3 Collaborative Concepts to a More Fulfilling Life

3 Collaborative Concepts to a More Fulfilling Life: Ikigai, Career Planning, and Numerology

 (photo credit: itinerantabroad.com for the following original drawing.)

new ikigai.jpg


Some of you may have already heard of the philosophy of Ikigai.  It seems it was more "abuzz" a few years ago with coaches, business owners, and in the crux of popular culture.  However; companies like Ikigai Park City have embraced its meaning and spirit wholeheartedly in forming a supportive culture of like-minded professionals today.  This demonstrates there is no shortage of Ikigai-momentum.  

If you had not stumbled upon the concept yet, you may be pleasantly surprised.  You might be intrigued by the integrity of the reasoning behind this philosophy for living a more fulfilling life. I know I was - hence this e-dialogue with you right now. 

I just finished poring over Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life   by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. The read was simple in its nature and yet felt so meaningful and straightforward in a time where things do not always feel straightforward, let alone profoundly meaningful.

Without further ado I will define Ikigai as a reason for being in the world: what brings satisfaction and meaning to a human being, and what it means to merge with our true nature. Our reason for being should bring about happiness and fulfilment. It should energize us, galvanize us and revitalize our spirit. Not only for ourselves but for the greater good

The most beguiling part of this concept for me is how Ikigai helps illustrate the synergy between two driving forces in my life: career planning and numerology.

In the graphic at the top of this post, you can see where I have drawn my association to Ikigai and my interpretation of how numerology falls beside the aspect of “mission”.  This is where, at a soul level, your numbers may bring forward your strengths/challenges to assist you in uncovering your mission.  I have also placed career planning under the aspects of "profession", "vocation" and "that which you can be paid for".  The career planning process can aid you in the process of finding personal fulfilment and meaning in those three categories.

Ikigai's foundational nuances go beyond just landing a vocation/path/passion. It drives deeper into a mortal’s quintessence of existence - in so much that: 

·       You can be your absolute best in striving to challenge yourself, in finding a meaningful and rewarding experience. Therein lies the motivation and unquenchable thirst to find your mission.

·       You can begin to shift to a mindset that promotes concentration on a single task at a time instead of multitasking and skimming through the experience.  This incorporates the idea of “flow” or "microflow" that you can complete the most mundane tasks with excellence and perfection, allowing for an elevated sense of joy and satisfaction. 

·       You can acquaint yourself with the global and expansive experience that engenders the epitome of living a very conscious lifestyle.  This includes a healthy experience with your body and nature.

·       You can knit with a commonly-threaded community that supports your mission.  Many social media forums such as LinkedIn, or local like-minded in-person associations such as a Chamber of Commerce provide a community feel of support, respect, resources, and uplifting encouragement.  This union-of -community concept is demonstrated in a detailed overview in Garcia and Miralles’ book describing the practices followed on the Japanese Island of Okinawa.

·       You can validate your intuition as your internal knowing that can navigate to connecting with your Ikigai.


I have spent over fifteen years helping clients with job searching, career planning, and incorporating numerology into my social work practice.  And yes, I made it part of my fact gathering to occasionally, with consent, garner people’s digits as another tool to guide clients at a deeper level.  This was an instinctive drive from somewhere rooted within me that just made sense.

As is well known, there are a battery of techniques employed in career planning. These include assessments and aptitude tests, researching requirements, labour market understanding, and decision making to assist people to find a fit for them. You can take career planning workshops at local public service offices wherever you find yourself and do just fine with that process. There are abundant resources to be found both online and in person.

A supremely rich companion to aid in career planning is the Ikigai philosophy. Schematically, we see Ikagai at the center of the diagram above. It is the culmination of a multi-layered approach to determining an individual’s motives for being.  I am in 111% agreement with the concept that there are a myriad of components that work together to unlock and guide human beings to what live a long, happy, and fulfilled life.

What became resoundingly evident for me in this book is that it is possible, and should be our ultimate goal, to spend time mastering something you want to get really good at.  Ikigai suggests you should feel like you are challenging your soul.  I see it as like a wild boar trying to get out of a fenced enclosure – a diversion that can keep you peering over the fence and being pleasantly occupied with the puzzle for hours.  It should ignite you. You can even attract kindred professional spirits to assist you in your experience.  It should also allow balance for your well-being including rest, nature, along with thoughtful and intuitive eating. It should be the journey that you desire for your life.

To me, this is the bee's knees outcome of career planning.

To help you uncover the richness of your inner knowledge of yourself, and to help you find your Ikigai, I ask you to address the following questions. Feel how each question reverberates within your body and think them out reflectively.  Write the answers out, and trust in the process:

1)     What are you really good at? (what activities have people complimented you on?  Do you ever hear others say, “you should do this for a living!”?

2)     What is the passion activity you go to if you have down time?  What does your mind meander to when you daydream? If you don’t know, track your daydreams over the next month, no matter how ridiculous or peculiar you may judge them to be.  Just repeat to yourself "it’s OK, this is about my happiness!”, and then write IT down.  There could be a shiny and juicy pearl in what you discover!

3)     What is it that you love?  You may have tried a few things; what is it that pulls at your heart strings? You may not even have ever done it, but what do you love? What do you dream, what do you act-out in your dream state?

4)     What do you feel is your mission?  This is at a real soul level: do you know what you are being guided to achieve?  Knowing whether you are a soul who is more introverted or more extroverted will help you define how you will want to carry out that mission.  Have others looked at you with honesty and straightforwardness and said "I have listened to you and you are always talking about your values around ______."

5)     Related to this is, what do you feel subjectively that the world needs?  We are living in complicated times and the warming and gentle aspects such as kindness, assistance, and generosity may be things that you see the world thirsts for.  What other concepts start to permeate into your consciousness when this question is posed to you?  Take some time to let it digest, it’s a weighty concept to cogitate on.


The work and innate value of numerology is to align to the vibrational and energetic principles of numbers and letters. If you watch it, feel it, sense it, and stay with it, you will begin to feel its rhythm and delight in your life. I do this every day. You will even see the helpfulness it incites towards your day-to-day living.

Envision that every number has a frequency affecting and influencing the cosmos and your life. There is a foretelling helpful power in numbers. All numbers have their themes and individual offerings which are positive at their best-dressed and negative at their worst-dressed.  There are 9 foundation numbers in Pythagorean numerology that are the fountainhead of the practice.

So with that being said, there can be a predictive element here to assist you with something as inordinately important as to assist you with the experience you want to have.  We have free will and can elect to have an experience with numbers as a part of that life experience. In fact, there are cycles in numerology that include when we have a stronger resonance to certain numbers affecting our career paths differently.

This is what numerology can do to connect with Ikigai and abet YOU in your career planning:

1)     You can see what you may have brought into this incarnation and examine your karma. I know not everyone believes in this concept - it is possible to see this as part of a current experience to embrace or not.  Understanding and working with this karma can assist you in guiding your life path including work.

2)     Numerology will zero in on your relevant five core numbers. These will demonstrate your strengths, talents, opportunities and challenges.  Your core numbers give you some definite understanding of what you currently have to work with and strengthen.  They will also guide you towards areas to explore. These numbers consider your past, present, and future.

3)     There are timing cycle numbers: personal year, your pinnacles, and periods.  In pinpointing influences based on your entire life-cycle, you can explore where you have been, where you are now, and where you are going with your number combinations. Quite telling and helpful!

4)     Planes of Expression are 4 numbers in numerology which give you a general sense of your general nature and characteristics, I call it your resume of your soul: Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual. These are relevant to the soulful aspects of finding your purpose in life.

This enticing menagerie just described allows for some expansive ways toward a deeper well of contentment for yourself. 

Perhaps there were some thought-pearls that incline you toward more self-discovery and further curiosity about one or more of the topics discussed.  

A writer can aim high with her message and her mission...

With that being said: say YES to...


Numbers and Namaste,

Maureen Yvonne Nowicki


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