At the ripe age of 30, I have lived through many experiences that some may go their whole lives without. A lot of good, some bad, and a few downright ugly. It has been an entertaining ride that has come with its costs. Miseducation, addiction, physical suffering and a whole swag of mental battles.
Yet somehow despite these hurdles, I have always had a burning desire to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I realised very early on that the need for self development and learning was an important factor in this quest. I read everything I could get my hands on, watched videos, listened to podcasts, joined courses and experimented in setting up an amazing panel of experts; friends, family, colleagues, psychologists, and subject leaders.
A conscious effort to shift my introverted personality at the age of 10 changed everything (yes, the Psych’s were impressed). My grades suffered significant losses but somehow I felt more complete as my friendships became more complex in breadth and depth. I left school in ok shape and joined a rollercoaster of experiences as I ducked and weaved in and out of the ‘rat race’. I discovered and lost self worth, worked with some of the very best and occasionally worst examples of management and had a lot of days were I woke up wishing, well, that I hadn’t woken up at all.
I was always searching for something but when you don’t know what you are looking for, it is very hard to find it. No one taught me about the importance of finding my reason for waking up each day because no one taught them. Not in the family home, not at school and not in the media.
Have I found my ikigai? Not yet. But I’m a damn sight closer than I have ever been before. I look forward to honing in on my reason for living instead of just being alive.
Will you join me?