Life,  Work

IKIGAI – Seeking the Purpose of Daily Life

The word education in Denmark is divided into two categories. 1st is uddannelse – a term that is reffered to basic capabilies a person needs in order to be an active working citizen by learning school subjects. 2nd is dannelse – a term that is reffered to upbringing a person; it could be social skills as example. Working with students therefore includes sharing your life journey with them as a part of the education.

I notice that young people nowdays lack inner motivation. As a teacher, sometimes I struggle to motivate them to do what they need to do. Rights and responsibility goes together, well that’s how I believe a society functions best. In order to receive, you have to be willing to give. But it appears that young people have the tendecy of thinking about their well being without actually knowing what it means to be happy. In reality they avoid their fear, fx. accepting that they aren’t good at certain subjects. Instead they skip class or making noise so they don’t have to face the fact that they need to work harder. Mastering something takes time and process and even failures.

I believe parents and family are the important factor for this matter. If they just live in order to just survive, well that’s mostly how their children will turn to be like. They will feel as if the world is against them when things don’t go as their wish and yet they don’t do anything to make a change. The world is just a place to live without any meaning…

Discovering Ikigai

I, on the other hand focusing to much of the future. I want this and that and ending up feeling suffocated by my own goals that I set up to far away ahead. In November 2018 I had to reflect on myself. On that self-reflecting period, I found this book Ikigai written by Yukari Mitsuhashi, which had changed my life since. I appreciate my daily life rather than focusing on what’s next all the time. If you translate Ikigai, it means the value of life, but it’s not that simple. The concept of Ikigai can be intepreted in different ways and not everyone sharing the same ikigai, as we find joy in different ways. But don’t confuse ikigai as a type of happiness. Ikigai contains the idea of moving foward to one’s goal as well as appreciates the present moment.

It’s the reason what you get up every morning

As I mentioned earlier, Ikigai can be divided into different categories:


It could be enjoying food, having curiosity, doing hobbies, volunteering.

Since I don’t originally come from Denmark, living here feels like discovery. As my mom was new to the culture as well, she did not always know the answers of my questions or what I experienced. It could be as simple as doing taxes. Even now, there are still somethings that I discover even after living here for years. I find my Ikigai therefore in discovering something unknown.

Another Ikigai I discovere is doing hobbies. I always love to write even if it takes longer than simply writing it on computers. When I first found out about Bullet Journaling, it reminds me of my childhood as we wrote a lot, I mean really a loooot at school. (I’m going to write a blog about how I start bullet journaling, so keep an eye on my site)


Some people work to cover the bills, some are lucky to work at their dream job. The reason why I became teacher was actually a coinsidence. I took a year off after high school in Greenland as I knew I would like to study in Denmark. I worked as a substitute teacher in School 1. Little did I know I love sharing my knowledge to people. So I changed direction from architect to teaching. Even if I’m not an architect, I still have the opportunity to design my class, which I love very much. I have as well the option to bring my personal interests in my way of teaching.

On my journey finding my Ikigai, I found out as well that I actually love the idea of combining my personal interests and work. So that’s where – a webshop for bullet journal started. I work at school on daytime and when I get home, I do the webshop. It’s hard but somehow I love it.

Everything I do, I do it for a reason. Up until now, I have shared about the reasons why I get up every morning. The truth behind my actions is my dream of reuniting with my grandparents. As I grow older, I appreciate them even more and the thoughts of them being far away is paining me. So working double time is a pleasure for me knowing I’m one step closer to my dream.

To sum up everything, by discovering Ikigai one can achieve life balance and appreciate more life. I really hope my students find their ikigai so they won’t be lost in life.

Following is the questions I quote from the book, which helps to find one’s Ikigai:

  1. Going back to childhood, what did I enjoy the most? What events or incidents do I remember strongly? Does it still affect me today?
  2. Looking back at my life, what were the memorable moments where my emotions were stirred?
  3. What brings happiness to my everyday life?
  4. When do I feel happiest?
  5. What is the most fulfilling way that I spend my time?
  6. What oputs a smile on my face just thinking about it?
  7. When have I experienced strong emotions? When do I find myself moved, and by what?
  8. Where does my curiosity lie?
  9. What keeps me from being bored?
  10. What aspects of my life do I seek change in?
  11. What is something I do even though no one asks me to?
  12. What would I still pursue even if the rest of the world didn’t understand?
  13. What would I continue to do even if I had enough monet to live happily ever after?
  14. What events do I look forward to in the future?
  15. What changes do I wish for in the future? What can I do about them?
  16. What makes me want to be alive to see tomorrow?







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