“My whole plan is to get recharged, redirected, and rested…
I’ve got to figure out where all this passion, energy, and inspiration goes. I don’t want it to be on a football field.
I’m excited to see where this takes me.”
- Chris Peterson
Chris Peterson shocked the college football world in early December when he suddenly announced that he was stepping down as Head Football Coach at the University of Washington. At the age of 55 and for no clear reason, the successful coach walked away from a coveted job that so many others aspire to. In a later interview, Peterson offered the quote above, providing insight into the mind of a man who clearly understands the connection between his goals and his values while offering sage advice for the rest of us.
To be clear, I’m not advocating that you suddenly resign from your job! The financial implications of that decision would be difficult for most of us to manage. However, I do advocate that you engage in the same process of self-discovery that Coach Peterson must have taken. He understands that to be truly fulfilled, he must dutifully and intentionally consider the intersection of the following questions:
In my opinion, Coach Peterson most carefully considered the final question in determining that the world doesn’t NEED another football coach, but instead that he could use the skills he learned as a coach to positively impact a larger subset of society. And don’t we all have something to share with the world? Your gifts are probably different than Coach Peterson’s, and their uniqueness is what makes them valuable.
The Japanese have a word that describes this intersection of those four questions: Ikigai. Loosely translated, Ikigai means “reason for being” and it can be a powerful state of mind that frees you up to pursue dreams, goals, and personal fulfillment on a grand scale.
While the four questions above are your starting point, I’m most interested at what happens when some intersect, but not all. In spite of the blissful lives that people portray on social media, I’m convinced that most are still looking for something...steps away from their Ikigai. Their online (and often in-person) persona can often hide their true selves, and I know I am guilty as charged. In the spirit of full disclosure, I sit in that space just left and below center marked by "Profession", unsure if the world needs another Career Coach slinging life hack advice on the internet while questioning whether or not I am really following my passions. But I am also comfortable in knowing that I will get there eventually, and I really do find joy in both the journey and the process of self-discovery that accompanies it.
What about you? Do you find the sweet spot of Ikigai in the work you do? If not, are you content in knowing that the journey is just as important as the destination? To help you begin your journey towards Ikigai, our team has created an online course that I believe will assist you in becoming the best possible version of yourself AND lead to career success, personal achievement, and fulfillment both personally and professionally. I hope you click the link below to begin.
Searching for Ikigai,
Michael Mueller, PGA
PGA Career Consultant
Proudly Serving the Carolinas Section
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