I must say while I’m feeling excited to write this, I’m also nervous about exposing myself and my ideas to all of the web (hi mom, look at me, I’m a blog author!).

But there is no better time than now and I couldn’t think of a more relevant topic for my first blog.

What does it mean to be awake? Having a good 7-8 hours sleep, a killer workout and a strong coffee? That does it for me most mornings….

Nah, the kind of awake I’m talking about is being conscious. “Life provides you with whatever experience is most necessary for the evolution of your consciousness” author: unknown, source: 10-year-old Oprah magazine from a doctor’s waiting room. Loose translation: Life has a way of throwing a curveball when we are entirely unprepared whether it be through illness, accident or job loss (for example). In this moment we are provoked to wake up, take notice, maybe even re-evaluate.

In the book “Bouncing Forward- Transforming Bad Breaks into Breakthroughs” author: Michaela Haas PHD, Dr. Haas describes a similar notion – post traumatic growth which refers to “positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning. Growth does not occur as a direct result of trauma, rather it is the individual’s struggle with the new reality in the aftermath of trauma that is crucial in determining the extent to which posttraumatic growth occurs” Source: Wikipedia. Spirituality, support and acceptance coping are all factors of predicting levels of post traumatic growth.

Simply put, It’s your “life alarm clock” ringing in the morning. However, you need to have the courage, a helping hand and a purpose to get out of bed and go hustle rather than hitting snooze and going back to sleep.

When it comes to work, Neil Pasricha, author of the Happiness Equation indicates that people work for the 4 S’s – Social, Structure, Stimulation and Story. I’d like to break down Story for a minute as it relates to this blog. Mr. Pasricha writes” when you’re working you become part of something bigger than yourself”, it ignites your “ikigai” – or the reason you wake up in the morning. The thing that drives you most. This idea comes from the people Okinawa; a population which lives the longest disability free life expectancy on earth.

To remind yourself of your ikigai, write it on a folded piece of paper, and keep it by your bed. It’s easy to write the ikigai card. It’s harder to develop one. However, it’s worth the effort – it can lead to more successful careers, personal lives, health and longevity (based on a research study completed at the Tohoku University).

We all know that life is too short, it can change in a second, and tomorrow is not a given. Are you ready to open your eyes and pursue your ikigai, are you awake?

We can support you with this @ the Possibility Centre.

Dedicated to my colleague and friend, Shauna Streich. I’m glad you’re awake, I missed you!

Anne Macgregor BHumEc, CECC, CRCM, RRP
Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor