IKIGAI and Software Engineering

Mohanatheesan Theiventhiram
4 min readMay 29, 2021

What is IKIGAI?

IKIGAI is an age-old Japanese ideology that’s long been associated with the nation’s long-life expectancy. Philosophers have been deliberating over constructs that explain the pursuit of happiness and the meaning of life for centuries. Ikigai is one thought to combine the Japanese words “ikiru”, which means to live, and “kai”, Which means the sensation of what hopes for. Together these definitions create “a reason to live” or having a life purpose. In other words, your ikigai is the reason for gets you up every morning and keeps you going.

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai, the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect, means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning.

Ikigai is a beneficial practice in career growth because like your own passions and needs, and what the world needs the meditation of ikigai grows and changes with you. There is not necessarily an end to your ikigai practice, it’s an ongoing journey.

According to Japanese culture, everyone has ikigai. Detecting our strengths is not always easy. There are four questions that can help us find our path. If you write them down somewhere where you come across them regularly, you can use them as a compass bringing you closer to your purpose.

To find your Ikigai, you must ask yourself,

  1. What do you love?
  2. What you are good at?
  3. What you can be paid for?
  4. What does the world need?

Each of these elements helps contribute to your happiness, health, finances and intellectual pursuit, all these four are crucial for you to find the reason to wake up in the morning.

Let me examine myself through IKIGAI ideology, regarding the Software Engineering degree program and career with the software industry;


Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person. In the IKIGAI ideology, Passion will fall under two categories: What do you love and What you are good at.

Software development and Software Engineering is a kind of dream and passion for myself. Personally, I love to spend as much as possible time with computers. I love to create software. In this aspect the Software Engineering degree program is allowing me to prepare and involve myself into my passion.


A profession is an occupation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested objective counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. Profession will fall under two categories: What you are good at and What you can be paid for.

As a professional, I want to become a software engineer, possessing needed skills and qualities of a good software engineer. The software engineering degree program provides me an immense support in becoming a good software engineer. Not only the course contents, but also the talk sessions, special interactive sessions with industry people, the extra activities like RealHack and other hackathon events help me a lot on developing my skills and qualities to become a successful software engineer at profession.


A vocation is an occupation to which a person is especially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, or qualified. People can be given information about a new occupation through orientation. Vocation will fall under two categories: What you can be paid for and What does the world need.

For entering into the software engineering industry, there are certain skills, qualities and training a needed. Those will push oneself as a good fresh software engineering professional. The degree program gives those needed qualities to me to become a software engineer. The internship program will give me the chance to train myself and prepare myself to become a good software engineer.


A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It will well suit for a person too. Every person has a mission in their life. Mission will fall under two categories: What does the world need and What do you love.

Personally, I have the mission to become a successful person in my life with a good and healthy career in the software engineering industry. To pursue my mission, I need to get the right guidelines and need to be in the right place. The software engineering degree program seems to be the right place for myself without doubt. The degree program offers me the right things and guidelines to pursue my mission.