Why use this?

Ikigal does not really have a meaning in English. It is a Japanese word that means “the thing that makes you/me wake you up in the morning, and it’s a tool but also a philosophy of living”. The aim of this tool is to go through a process in order to map and visualize the “Ikgai” of people, connecting the concept of passion, mission, vocation and profession in one answer. A deep process of reflection and outcomes identification is expected.



The IKIGAI tool helps volunteers map and visualize their passion, mission, vocation, and profession to discover their purpose in life. Reflection, well-being, inspiration, and planning are key stages. Multiple sessions may be needed, and it’s best done at the end of a volunteering project to build a life plan.

Step 1:

Start with the followingquestions:

  • What do you love? (These speak to your passion.)
  • What are you good at? (These speak to your profession.)
  • What does the world need? (These speak to your mission.)
  • What can you get paid for? (These speak to your vocation)

Step 2:

Some questions that can help are:

  • What would you like to see change in the world?
  • What, in your life as it is now, makes you happy?
  • Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

Have you had any life-changing moments that provided a lightning bolt of clarity?

Step 3:

When one person finishes their answer it is her/his turn to ask the other person a question.

After answering these questions, the next steps are to interconnect them to other answer and to discover like this our passion, mission, profession and vocation. So, in the middle of this map, that simulate a lotto flower, we will find the connection of all the circle and the answer of the question… what if we connect our mission, vocation, profession and passion?

What will come out…? Our Ikigai

Tip from a Mentor

Using these methods is sometimes a bit hard to fulfil in time and also to answer the questions. So sometimes more than one session may be needed. We think the best moment to go through it is in the last moment of the process of volunteering to set up what to do after the project, so to build up a life plan after this international experience of volunteering.

Extra Material

How to Ikigai

What IKIGAI means for the Japanese: a personal reflection

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