How Ikigai can help teenagers find a purpose

Ikigai for teenagers

Ikigai. There’s no one way to properly describe what ikigai means; it’s a little bit of an emotion and a little bit of a state of being. But loosely translated, ikigai embodies the idea of happiness in living. It’s what drives you and wakes you up every morning with a sense of purpose. But it’s so much more than that too. 

What is the meaning of ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese concept, compounding two words: iki (生き) meaning life or alive and kai (甲斐), pronounced gai, meaning an effect, result, fruit, worth or use. To summarize, it’s something that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living. On a much deeper level, it’s a self-reflection process. Knowing your ikigai means understanding yourself, your values and what serves you in the real world.

But why are we telling you about this? Well, ikigai can play an important role in defining your life as a teenager and potentially answering one of the most crucial questions that you inherently ask yourself: what is my purpose?

The good part is that you’re not alone. Many more young learners and teenagers like yourself are plagued by what to study next, what to do, will I do well as a dancer, doctor, scientist, engineer, artist, or any other passion you want to explore.

As a young learner, ikigai can shape your motives and help you find your true passion. It can even serve as a way of finding the ‘why’ behind your actions and make you wonder whether it’s something that brings you joy or not. There’s really no better way to truly know yourself than by asking all the right (or wrong) questions. In fact, several studies have found that following the path of ikigai not only gives people clarity in their vision but also provides long-term health benefits too!

Ikigai for teenagers

What is ikigai not?

Now that we know what ikigai is, it’s important to note that it’s not as simple as “following your passion”. A few simple factors differentiate ikigai from the latter: 

  • Ikigai is challenging. It involves a lot of perseverance and personal growth. 
  • Ikigai is a choice. You must feel responsible for your choice and journey.
  • Ikigai demands commitment. It’s a process that takes time and effort, and you won’t see a difference overnight.
  • Ikigai boosts your well-being. It encourages positive relationships and good health, leaving you with more energy to do what you really love.

How do I practice ikigai at a young age?

Life as a teenager can be filled with curveballs, full of emotions, excitement, impulsive decisions, and a lot of confusion. As a teenager, you are at the cusp in your life where you need to decide on a career, find a path, and so much more. It is at this stage that many end up blindly following unrealistic passions and wind up feeling discouraged when their dreams don’t materialize. Many others will resign themselves to careers that bring them money and status but no joy or fulfillment. The end goal of practicing ikigai as a teenager is to, as Mark Twain rightly said, ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. 

Now, you must be wondering how you can make this happen? Here’s how. First, start your journey by asking yourself these five crucial questions:

  • What does my best day look like? (Your perfect day, which brings you happiness)
  • What’s keeping me stagnant? (Is it your insecurities, fear, or doubts?)
  • What comes easy for me? (When you feel that time has passed so quickly you didn’t even realize it) 
  • Who am I when alone? (Tap into your true inner self)
  • How can I help someone today? (Something you can offer another that also makes you happy) [Side note: An NPR research found that a teen’s self-esteem rises after volunteering or helping strangers] 

These questions might seem philosophical or too deep to answer but they’ll go a long way in helping you find your calling. This is because ikigai for teens addresses inner crises and gently nudges them towards their goals. Answering all the above questions will help lay a rock-solid foundation and guide you in finding your passion or career.

Can ikigai help me find a career path?

Yes! Ikigai can help you navigate not just your life decisions but your career as well. Here are a few things you can follow to help you along the way: 

Seek answers

Start by writing down these questions on a piece of paper and try to answer each one of them with as much honesty as possible:

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be rewarded for?

It’s good if you have all the answers, but it’s okay even if you don’t. Give yourself the time to think about them and answer them over time. 

Let’s take for example that you’re an artist who loves to tell stories. You’ll realize that you have many career options to choose from such as an illustrator, a writer, a painter, or a filmmaker. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way of finding purpose. There’s only your way. So, don’t be too quick to judge yourself. You can always add, remove, and modify your ikigai along the way.

It’s not a race against time

Ikigai is not about getting things right or becoming a millionaire. Instead, it’s about your personal growth and finding the right place for yourself in the scheme of things. Remember not to pressurize yourself along the way. But always be curious; it will take you a long way. With some trial and error, you will be able to uncover your purpose and passion.

Let your ikigai be the north star for you. And never forget, it is a process and it will take time.

Discover your ikigai with Power Club’s Real-World Learning

At Power Club, teenagers can immerse themselves in real-world experiences to explore their interests and passions, and discover what they truly want to do. We enable real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts on the app. They lead to immediate, bite-size learning and build excitement around the theme or the domain that interests you.

It pushes you to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan, and move forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, and ultimately, success!

You can get started by exploring challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, design, sustainability, and many more. Interact with industry experts and find like-minded global peers who share common interests. It’s an exciting place for self-discovery and finding your ikigai!

Discover the Power of Real-World Challenges

career discover
career discovery

‘Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!’

Life, more often than not, throws various challenges at us, but how many times are we prepared to face them? While academic education helps build the foundation of a career, it doesn’t adequately prepare learners for the real world.

So how does one develop the skills and competencies to prepare for a productive future?

Unlock your potential with real world learning

Real-world learning for the 21st century is a crucial missing link between academic achievement and long-term life success. At its core, the phrase “real-world learning” means learning that is active, applied, and grounded in the world beyond school walls. It goes beyond test scores and empowers you with the skills to navigate college, career, and community, laying a critical foundation for success.

Start by engaging yourself in authentic, relevant problems, projects, and experiences that develop career awareness and readiness. 

Once you immerse yourself in learning experiences with experts, influencers, brands and purposes, your academic work finds meaning beyond the walls of the classroom. Also, this allows you to gain hands-on skills that you can use for a lifetime.

‘Challenge’ your Limits!

Attempt real-world challenges on the Power Club App

A challenge lets you turn an abstract concept into a concrete and actionable output. It is a call to action to learn deeply about the subject. And by doing so, you develop essential skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world. It fuels collaboration to identify big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, and identify, investigate and solve complex problems. 

Power Club enables real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts on the app. They lead to immediate, bite-size learning and build excitement around the theme or the domain that interests you. 

It pushes you to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan and move forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, and ultimately, success.

Career Discovery with Power Club

Power Club is a daily space for learners where they can design their own life pathways by attempting real-world challenges.

  • We know that learning is driven by motivation and instead of a one-way flow of centralized pre-prepared information, so we’ve adopted learner-generated parallel flows on the app; this helps learners to explore their talents and interests with creativity and curiosity.
  • You can explore real-life domains where they can dive deep into topics that interest them and discover new career pathways with the help of experts.
  • The more you create on the app, the stronger your portfolio becomes. Your strengths, interests, and passion are well-documented for future references. It also helps in sparking enthusiasm for further discoveries and creations.
  • It makes you future-ready as you gain relevant 21st-century skills – one challenge at a time!

Getting Started 

Explore challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, sustainability, tech, and many more. Interact with industry experts and find like-minded peers who share common interests. And of course, in the process, you also create amazing work and showcasing your talent to the world!

Each challenge/domain/theme is a contagious field of energy that spreads excitement – that stimulates each user to start discovering unknown things or work on their own skills.

At Power Club, you are free to pursue and develop interests every day without textbooks, or the pressure of exams, and marks.

Start attempting challenges on the app to discover your possible future life pathways.

Happy creating!