Cultivating Ikigai: Nurturing Your Mind and Discovering Meaning in Life

Tara H

Tara H

Sep 14, 20233 min read


Cultivating Ikigai: Nurturing Your Mind and Discovering Meaning in Life


In the pursuit of a fulfilling life, we often find ourselves searching for that elusive sense of purpose. What is it that truly gives us a reason to wake up each morning, excited and motivated? The concept of Ikigai, originating from Japan, offers a profound perspective on this matter. It goes beyond mere passion or economic success, delving into the depths of our sense of self and what truly makes life worth living. In this article, we will explore the essence of Ikigai and how we can cultivate it by tending to our "mind garden" and nurturing our inner selves.

Understanding Ikigai:

Ikigai, in its truest sense, is a personal concept that allows individuals to create a mental world where they can find comfort and satisfaction. It transcends external factors and economic status, focusing instead on the internal harmony that comes from aligning our passions, talents, and values. While passion may be fleeting and surface-level, Ikigai runs much deeper, connecting us to our authentic selves and providing a sense of purpose that goes beyond momentary desires.

Nurturing Your Mind Garden:

Just as a gardener tends to their plants, we must cultivate our own "mind garden" to nurture our Ikigai. In the modern world, where information is abundant, it is crucial to develop strategies to effectively consume and retain knowledge. One such strategy is the generation effect, which suggests that we better remember information when we actively engage with it. Taking the time to write our thoughts and reflections in our own words can help solidify our understanding and retention of the knowledge we acquire.

Finding Common Ground:

Interestingly, both the concept of Ikigai and the practice of cultivating our mind garden emphasize the importance of personalization and authenticity. Just as Ikigai encourages us to find our unique sense of purpose, tending to our mind garden requires us to create our own version of the information we consume. By making knowledge our own, we not only enhance our understanding but also develop a deeper connection to the subject matter.

Creating Your Ikigai:

To uncover our Ikigai, we must embark on a journey of self-discovery and introspection. Start by reflecting on your passions, talents, and values. What activities bring you joy and fulfillment? What are you naturally good at? What principles and beliefs do you hold dear? By finding the intersections between these elements, you can begin to uncover the essence of your Ikigai. Remember, it is a process that requires time and reflection, so be patient with yourself and embrace the journey.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Curiosity: Cultivating our mind garden requires us to have a curious mindset. Seek out new knowledge, explore different perspectives, and never stop learning. Embracing curiosity opens up new possibilities and helps us discover elements that contribute to our Ikigai.
  • 2. Practice Mindfulness: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to lose sight of our inner selves. Take moments throughout the day to pause, reflect, and reconnect with your thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness allows us to align our actions with our values and helps us stay true to our Ikigai.
  • 3. Embody Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful tool in nurturing our Ikigai. Take time each day to express gratitude for the things, experiences, and people that bring joy and meaning to your life. By acknowledging and appreciating the positives, we cultivate a mindset that fosters the growth of our Ikigai.


In our search for a life filled with meaning and purpose, Ikigai offers a transformative perspective. By understanding and embracing our unique Ikigai, we can unlock a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond external achievements. Cultivating our mind garden, actively engaging with knowledge, and staying authentic to ourselves are valuable practices that can guide us on this journey. So, let us tend to our inner selves, nurture our Ikigai, and create a life worth living.


  1. "What is Your Ikigai?", (Glasp)
  2. "You and your mind garden", (Glasp)

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