Monday, October 26, 2015

Living with intention: passion, vocation, mission, profession

Last year in our Leadership PLC we discussed the hedgehog concept from Jim Collins' book Good to Great.  Collins writes about a hedgehog knowing and concentrating on one big thing, in contrast to a fox that knows many things and pursues many ends at the same time in a scattered or diffused way without a unifying vision. Central to the hedgehog concept is a deep understanding of 3 circles:
  • What you can be best in the world at
  • What drives your economic engine
  • What you are passionate about
At the time, our challenge as a Leadership PLC was to add a 4th circle: what the world needs. We talked about empathy, tolerance, understanding and compassion, and that an education that develops these values, that promotes international mindedness, is what the world needs.

And then a couple of days ago, in a post on Facebook, I came across the word "ikigai" and the graphic below.  Ikigai is a Japanese word - it means the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. It's what gives meaning and enjoyment to life.  This is what it looks like:

As you can see it contains the 3 hedgehog circles from Jim Collins, as well as the 4th circle that we discussed last year in our Leadership PLC.  Your "ikigai" is at the centre of all these circles.  It seems that at the core of a healthy and happy life is:
  • doing something that you love
  • doing something that you are good at
  • doing something that you are paid for
  • doing something the world needs
If you are intentionally doing all these things, it seems that you have found your "ikigai".

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