What Sparks Your Soul?

Infusing Your Life with Passion and Purpose

Barrie poster for healthy living

I’m Barrie, I’m 87 and I warmly welcome you to my monthly blog Over50andfit.ca

Ikigai (eeki-guy) is a captivating Japanese philosophy that encapsulates the profound essence of a purposeful life. Derived from the fusion of “iki”, meaning life, and “gai”, signifying value or worth, ikigai offers a timeless guide to living a life of purpose, meaning and fulfillment.

You can find your ikigai by asking: what drives you, brings you fulfillment, excites you, and fills you with passion. Finding your ikigai involves introspection, self-discovery, and sometimes trial and error.

My purpose is to encourage you to embrace your ikigai, and  the essence of a purposeful life.

What is Passion?

Passion is an eclectic combination of unbridled enthusiasm, intense desire, unwavering determination, and contagious energy. Passion is the unrelentless force that turns aspirations into reality. It’s the ardor and dedication that propels individuals to invest their time, energy and heart into fulfilling their pursuits, whatever they might be: sports, hobbies, exercise, profession, photography, music, art, cooking. Without passion, life can become uninspired and devoid of meaning. With it, a blazing fire within us that fuels our ambitions, and drives us towards our purpose, sparking our soul.

    The Four Pillars of Ikigai

    Several versions of this model exist, but generally they all address the same fundamental elements: your purpose, talents, social-interconnectedness, and profession. The convergence of these pillars create your ikigai.

    Firstly, you can establish your purpose once you have identified the activities and pursuits that you are impassioned by. Finding our purpose is one of our most fundamental human needs

    Secondly, your ikigai helps you to continually explore and develop your skills and talents and use them to impact your life and your community.

    Thirdly, fostering your social inter-connectedness helps to contribute positively to the world around you, addresses a societal need, and allows you to feel that you are part of something bigger than yourself.

    Fourthly, finding a profession that ignites and sustains you ensures that you continue pursuing what you are proficient at while meeting your financial needs.

    When Will You Recognize That You Have Found Your Ikigai?

    You wake up energized for the day ahead. You awake with a purpose-driven motivation. You know what you want to achieve, and you plan your pursuits avidly. Ken Mogi, a neuroscientist, describes this as waking up to joy.

    My Own Ikigai

    When I awake, I consider whether I will be exercising, teaching, writing my blogs, volunteering, meeting friends, or whatever other aspirations I have, and look forward eagerly to all as each fuels my passion. Another integral part of my journey is to set goals, both long term and short term. Goal setting is a powerful tool that empowers us to turn aspirations into reality. Furthermore, goals enable us to constantly embrace our life’s purpose.


    Our ikigai benefits us by providing a clear purpose, nourishing our well-being, fostering social connections, and encouraging us to explore and develop our growth. Compelling us to continue our journey of self-discovery.

    I would be delighted to hear any suggestions you have, and also be happy to answer any of your questions at Over50andfit.

    Yours in fitness.

    Barrie Street


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    Hi Barrie. Good concept to introduce. I’d not heard before of Ikigai and thought it might be like the French concept of elan. There are similarities, but I liked the one definition I spotted: The value one finds in day to day living. It makes me think of people who are comfortable in their own shoes.They know who they are and what makes them tick. They have an inner compass.

    Of course, achieving this is tricky when life has a tendency to present changes that are apt to throw one off balance. Getting struck by a car, for an example you can certainly relate to. Perhaps ikigai is the wizardry behind your determination to reclaim that balance.

    Maybe it’s just that oh so British expression: Keep calm and carry on.

    Cheers, Allan


    Being over 50 myself, this was great to consider! I had never heard of Ikigai before! Thanks for sharing!

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