Ikigai Interviews: Call for Participation!

In the culture of Okinawa, there is a concept of ikigai, which might be translated as your “reason for being” or “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.” Some argue that ikigai is part of the islanders’ secret to long life and happiness. Ikigai relates (unsurprisingly) to balance, and there’s more to wake up for than your job, dependents, or the perfect cup of coffee! 

Instead, ikigai is a balance of skills, knowledge, and activities: things that make you happy, make use of your talents, provide a paycheck, and support the greater good. At its core, ikigai is unique self-realization of what matters most to you. This is the path to live your most fulfilling life. Or, as we like to think of it, the path to being Awesome!

The diagram below demonstrates some overlapping elements which may lead to ikigai:


Ikigai Venn Diagram

To find your own ikigai, or reason for being, ask yourself: 

  1. What do I love?

  2. What am I good at?

  3. What am I paid to do now — or what career can I aim for in the future?

  4. What does the world need?

Each month or so, we’d like to feature different librarians (or library professionals) and what they consider their ikigai. We’ll interview each professional and, more excitingly, ask them to create a representation of their ikigai. 

Creative or practical, the possibilities are endless! Create an infographic, photo collage, or film. Write a poem, share a meme, draw a picture, or compile a soundtrack. We welcome diversity in these submissions!

We hope that these Ikigai Interviews will showcase inspiring individuals who are helping to move our profession forward.

To nominate someone for an interview spotlight, fill out our quick form!

And Janine Pino (jpino@vols.utk.edu) is happy to answer any questions you might have!