The Peak (Malaysia) - - View From The Peak -

I chanced upon a book on iki­gai on a trip to Lon­don re­cently. It was placed, rather bizarrely, in the Na­tional Theatre book­shop (the­atre­go­ers on their way to the blood­bath that is Ru­fus Nor­ris’ Mac­beth, pick­ing up a book on find­ing one’s bliss – in­ter­est­ing). Nev­er­the­less, it was through the book­shop’s savvy prod­uct place­ment that I found my­self drawn to­wards it like a moth to the flame, de­spite my usual wari­ness of any trendy self-help con­cept.

Iki­gai, es­sen­tially, sets us on the course to find our rea­son for be­ing. “Your iki­gai is at the in­ter­sec­tion of what you are good at and what you love do­ing,” write the au­thors of Iki­gai: The Ja­panese Se­cret to a Long and Happy Life and pro­ceed to de­tail this in a pas­tel-coloured chart of cir­cles. What caught my eye was a set of four tri­an­gles within the chart that ac­cu­rately de­scribe the state of be­ing we all fall into at some point – a sort of en­nui de­spite all our achieve­ments and ac­qui­si­tions. There are four ques­tions to ask your­self out of this state: 1. What do I love? 2. What am I good at? 3. What can I be paid for now- or can trans­form into a fu­ture ca­reer or vo­ca­tion? 4. What does the world need? In short, the ques­tions ev­ery en­tre­pre­neur asks be­fore em­bark­ing on their ad­ven­ture.

David Linley could well be the poster boy for iki­gai, hav­ing iden­ti­fied and an­swered th­ese four ques­tions as young as his teens. Es­chew­ing typ­i­cal royal ex­pec­ta­tions of a military or univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion, Linley opted in­stead for a vo­ca­tional course at Parn­ham Col­lege, a train­ing school for crafts­men in wood, un­der the tute­lage of its leg­endary founder John Make­peace. Even­tu­ally, Linley formed his epony­mous lux­ury be­spoke fur­ni­ture and in­te­ri­ors busi­ness, and, de­spite the var­i­ous chal­lenges, has seen it through with the sort of tenac­ity fa­mil­iar to those who have devel­oped and found their true pas­sions.

There are oth­ers who have dis­cov­ered their own bliss, un­der­stand­ing the im­por­tance in find­ing mean­ing past merely what they do. They tell us what th­ese pas­sions are, lend­ing ad­vice and in­spi­ra­tion to the rest of us still find­ing our way. Else­where, we speak to Mike Horn, the 21st cen­tury’s mod­ern day ex­plorer, about what set him on his per­sonal path to glory.

Here’s to your own pur­suit of iki­gai. May you find your happy. MINDY TEH, EDI­TOR-IN-CHIEF

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