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Beyond Resolutions – Finding Your Life’s Purpose

Guest post by Kyla Merwin, Centerpointe Research Institute

Sooner or later, for better or worse, pretty much everyone (everyone I know, anyway) has rolled their eyes to the heavens and wondered:

What’s the freaking point?!

Or, perhaps less dramatically, you yourself have wondered:

Is there more to life than what I’m living?

Life is beautiful and terrifying, full of love and full of loss, rich in some areas and bankrupt in others, and as rife with success as it is with disappointments. And it’s always changing. As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said:

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

It may feel as though nothing really changes, though, day to day, month by month. Especially as the confetti and the fireworks of the New Year settle down and you realise you’re pretty much the exact same person as you were a year earlier.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

You may go through periods in your life, when the status quo just isn’t enough. The scales seem to have tipped further away from meaning, fulfilment and purpose and more toward this can’t be right.

I want to share something with you that I’ve come to understand over many decades of seeking:

You’re not here on this earth simply to balance the good days with the bad.

You’re not here to struggle and sin, “suffer and bear,” and disappear into ashes at the end of an otherwise less-than-fully-satisfying life.

Each and every person on Earth has a distinct, let’s call it “divine” reason for being. Do you think that out of the 7.7 billion people on the planet, you’re the only one without a divine purpose?

Ikigai: Your Life Purpose

Pronounced “ick-kee-guy,” ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” Also stated as “a reason to get up in the morning” or a “reason to enjoy life”. And everyone has one…

Everyone. Including you.

(You just have to find it and follow it.)

Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

  • What you love (your passion)
  • What the world needs (your mission)
  • What you are good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get paid for (your profession)

Note: If you think ikigai is too woo-woo for you, even Forbes magazine published an article on the subject (yes, Forbes).

Moving on. Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfilment, happiness and make you live longer. It motivates you, and it drives your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Even if you feel as though your present circumstances aren’t what you want, having a clear goal can bring on the abundant feelings of ikigai. It can be a beacon to you in dark days.

You will not find your ikigai in wealth, accomplishments or material belongings. You cannot make yourself have purpose and meaning by forced actions.

The actions of ikigai are natural and spontaneous.

To start the journey to ikigai, sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and ask yourself the four questions below. Answers will come to you. Write down whatever pops into your head without questioning it.

You will change and refine your answers later until your ikigai sings on the page.

Another tool I use when I’m trying to unravel something that doesn’t seem obvious to me is to journal about it. Just dump all your thoughts onto the page. Even if your thoughts range from, “I have no idea what I’m doing” to “I really need to clean out the fridge,” keep writing. The good stuff will come.

The four questions that will help you find your ikigai are based on the same four components I listed above. Ask yourself:

  • What do I love?
  • What am I good at?
  • What can I be paid for?
  • What does the world need?

Ikigai Into Action

So let’s get down to it. Now that you have at least a rough idea of what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the worlds needs  – how do you follow your ikigai and live your life’s purpose?

Bill Harris

Bill Harris

Here’s where I’ll turn to Bill Harris, late friend, mentor, and founder of Centerpointe Research Institute. Bill had great wisdom for creating a life that gives you choice over your results, at the core of which is this formula:


Values –>Beliefs –>Thoughts –>Feelings –>Actions = Your Results in Life

  • Your VALUES (what you believe is important) create your BELIEFS (about the world)
  • Your BELIEFS generate your THOUGHTS (ideas, judgements and desires)
  • Your THOUGHTS, in turn, create your FEELINGS (what you think things mean)
  • And your FEELINGS result in your ACTIONS (the steps you take, your behaviours)

Finding your ikigai begins with an understanding of how your values, beliefs, thoughts, and actions create your reality. Once you understand the mechanics of your inner processes, you can begin to make conscious choices about what you want your life to be like.

Bill would say that this process, while largely unconscious, essentially creates the world within which you live and what every experience means to you. He put it this way:

Your life, and your experience of it, is largely a result of the ways in which you’re managing your values, beliefs, thoughts and actions.

This awareness is what you need to take control of your life. It’s your golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory. This concept embraces responsibility and personal empowerment. It’s about choice. And it is the master key to finding and living your ikigai.

10 Powerful Rules for Living

To add meaning and purpose to your life starting RIGHT NOW, download and read the free e-book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

It offers 10 practical rules that can help you find your ikigai.


  1. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  3. Smile and acknowledge people around you
  4. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  5. Surround yourself with good friends
  6. Only eat until you are 80% full
  7. Stay active and don’t retire
  8. Reconnect with nature
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

I don’t know about you, but I’m pinning this list to my wall!

Awareness Creates Choice

At the foundation of Bill’s life’s work is the concept that “awareness creates choice.” He said this over and over and over, because true awareness changes everything.

I’m reminded of the book, Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, in which he wrote:

“…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Put a foundation under your dreams. Find your ikigai–this most treasured gift–and live it to the hilt!

About Centerpointe Research institute

Centerpointe Logo

Centerpointe Research Institute was founded by the late Bill Harris in 1989. The Institute produces as it’s flagship a product called ‘Holosync®,’ an audio program formulated to recreate the brain wave patterns of experienced meditators.

If you use this program daily, you can achieve the same results in 8 times the time it takes for traditional meditation.

If you would like to get a free e-book called ‘The New Science Of Super Awareness’ by Bill Harris, please visit this web site.

When you sign up, you will also be able to get the audiobook version for free, as well as a free demo of Holosync®.