Connect with us

Success Advice

The One Strategy to Help You Create Meaningful Work

Published

on

creating meaningful work

This past week I had dinner with a friend who had recently returned from Japan. While hearing about her trip, the Japanese concept of Ikigai came up and had stayed on my mind for days. I found it really compelling and couldn’t help but delve into the topic.

Ikigai, pronounced (ee-kee-guy), translates to “One’s Reason for Being.” It is believed that everyone has an Iikigai and discovering it brings satisfaction and meaning to life. The challenge is to find it since it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self.

I invite you to explore whether you have found your meaningful work- your Ikigai- because if you haven’t then you might be working to help someone else achieve theirs.

Not too long ago, I was going through my own career struggle. I was extremely unhappy and disconnected to my work. I only wanted to wake up inspired and enjoy what I do, instead of playing various scenarios in my head telling my manager that I was ready to quit.

I had no clue what would be the best fit for me. I craved a meaningful career, not just a job to get by. I tried testing different options, but as time went by I lost hope that I would ever be able to discover my life’s work.

I was desperate for clarity, but instead, I was getting more and more confused. Later on, it became clear to me I was doing it all wrong. I was influenced by countless opinions and suggestions of others, all showing how work should be, which eventually resulted in a total choice paralysis: Should I start a business? Should I try to establish myself in a company? What was I even interested in? What was I truly good at?

When it finally became clear, I couldn’t believe it took me almost two years to figure it out, because it was so simple.

The one strategy I needed was starting backwards.

I started by unwinding my creative imagination and used a design thinking approach. I knew once I crafted a vision about work which could get me excited, I would be on the right track. In the beginning, I was trying to create my life around a career, instead of doing just the opposite. I had to first design the life I wanted to have and then search for what careers fit that lifestyle.

“The life you want begins by embracing the life you have.” – Rob Bell

I had to start backwards from the bigger vision of what I wanted my life and work to look like. Not many people will implement that approach, but for me, it made all the difference. I took my time to articulate my own perspective on life and work. I figured I should be asking myself different questions which would help me understand what I wanted for my life as a whole, not just my career, family, or social life.

Truth be told, our work consumes a huge amount of our time. Spending it asking the wrong questions won’t get us any further. The key to a happy and fulfilled life is to create a way to integrate all areas of life into a coherent lifestyle. A life that allows us to fully express ourselves and our beliefs in order to be content with how we spend our time. Essentially, all of us want to live a happy and fulfilled life as opposed to a mediocre existence.

I started with the bigger vision in mind and asked myself the following questions:

  • What is the lifestyle I want to have?
  • What do I want my day to day activities to be?
  • Where would I like to work from?
  • What hours and intensity of work do I want to commit to?
  • What is my social and family life going to look like?
  • What are the fields of interest that I would like to develop, learn and grow in?
  • Who and what is supporting my values and interests?
  • What is making me proud to say what I do for a living, and why?
  • What impact do I want to create for the society and for the community I am a part of?
  • How do I want to make money and how much money do I need to feel comfortable supporting myself and my family?

Once I reflected on all of these questions I was able to look at my life from a much more creative angle. I gave way to my imagination and curiosity, because I saw my life as a joyous experience I wanted to intentionally design. I was approaching my career with a whole new perspective, which allowed me to see opportunities I didn’t think existed before.

I have come to realize that our school system is more often preparing us for a scripted life. It isn’t set up to propel asking the important questions. In fact, there isn’t a class which teaches how to discover meaning and fulfillment. Climbing the corporate ladder only to wake up bored every morning isn’t what we signed up for, but somehow most of us end up doing just that.

“Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey

Today, I dare you to create your Ikigai- by getting clear on what you desire your life’s work to be. Start designing your vision with intention and you’ll encounter wonderful serendipities. The right people will come your way, opportunities will align and eventually, you’ll find yourself on the right track.

How will you make sure you achieve your goals? Comment below and share your plan with us!

Vanya is a Professional Leadership Coach, certified by the "Institute For Professional Excellence In Coaching" (IPEC). Prior to her coach certification, she graduated "Sofia University" with a B.S. in History of Philosophy, where she began her journey to study the human experience and the powerful role of the mindset in changing behavior and achieving success. Her entrepreneurial nature and innate drive for personal and professional growth, balanced with a deep connection to purpose have led her to work with leaders, entrepreneurs, and founders. Her personal experience, moving to the USA at the age of 22, allowed her to develop the skills and mindset to navigate constant change, tolerate risk, and build resilience. Based in NYC, today she helps her clients to optimize their leadership potential, gain perspective, improve their productivity and time management skills and define the bigger vision for themselves and their business. You can find out more about her and her work on her website www.liveauthentic.net and her weekly podcast 'The Coaching Journal'.

Advertisement
3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Peter

    Feb 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks <3

  2. Harsh Tiwari

    Jan 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Brilliant piece of work – Great article!

  3. Fouzia

    Jan 24, 2018 at 5:21 am

    Good Work to writing on business point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Why Body and Mind Harmony Are So Necessary for a Successful Life

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to have a good balance of mental and physical health so you can live a successful and prosperous life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


In the times when so many people are experiencing extreme amounts of strength and have to constantly put up with a lot of pressure, looking after mental health has never been so essential. Here is how body and mind harmony are the most important professional traits. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Take the Time to Answer These 3 Questions if You Want to Be Successful

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to succeed in the areas of your life most important to you so you can live your best life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


I’ve personally never met someone who hasn’t had or doesn’t currently have success on their mind. I do believe we all have unique and different views on what success means to us, but nonetheless success is something that we strive for. The definition of success; based on my google search of the word, is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Why Working Faster Matters Even When You Make Mistakes

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Too many people work slowly because they fear making mistakes, but the cliché saying is true: time is money. Jeff Bezos recently argued that being wrong can hurt you, but being slow will kill you. Evolutionary biology tells us the same. It was, after all, the meek, but speedy, rodents from 160 million years ago that ended up inheriting the earth as humans today. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

7 Self-Discipline Tips That Will Help You In Business

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to develop self-discipline so you can stick to your decisions and follow them through, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


What are the qualities of a disciplined person? How can self-discipline help you in business? How to know if you have self-discipline? To put it simply, self-discipline is all about willpower, but to really be in control of yourself, you will need to learn many new habits. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending