Ikigai is roughly translated into "a reason for being" or knowing your purpose. When what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at intersects, that is your Ikigai. Looking at the diagram below, when you are missing the characteristics of one of these categories, it can lead to unfulfillment. For example, if you are missing "what the world needs", it can lead to satisfaction, but a feeling of uselessness. So the ultimate goal to discovering your purpose in life, is to fulfill all four categories.
When I think about the purpose of school with a STEAM focus, it truly is to help our students discover their Ikigai. How can we help our students find their Ikigai? One way to start might be by encouraging our students to ask questions and to provide them with opportunities to discover with:
- What do you love? -> What do you want to learn more about and how will you teach others?
- What are you good at? -> How can you use your talents to contribute to our community?
- What can you be paid for? -> How does what we are learning in school prepare you for this?
- What does the world need? -> How can you show empathy and help with this need?