Ikigai is an interesting self-development concept from Japan, a prism for potentially seeing how to bring satisfaction, happiness & meaning to life. The direct translation is the “happiness of being busy.”

The original diagram was created by British community activist Marc Winn in 2014 from a TED Talk on Longevity by writer Dan Buettner.

Ikigai

The diagram has since gone super-viral. (Marc recently mused on the incredible impact of that simple graphic)

What You Can Improve

Sadly, pedantically, the four-way Venn in the diagram is broken, from a technical POV. If you look closely, two sectors – love & paid for, good at & world needs – don’t intersect uniquely.

So I fixed that and theorised what those missing sectors might contain, while making a few other tweaks.

Got stuck a bit with “what the world needs” category which has a touch of entrepreneurial zeal about it. Not everyone can impact ‘the world’. But couldn’t come up with a variation that worked.

What’s interesting is that two intersections make something positive – passion, mission etc. But three intersections create a discomforting pinch point i.e. if you good at something, it’s what you love and what the world needs, but doesn’t earn you money, you’re “struggling”.

Enjoy this object of contemplation. Feel free to suggest any improvements.