Find your Ikigai

Superintendent Galaviz Dear Canutillo Community,

I had the pleasure of delivering an address at the 2023 commencement exercises for Northwest Early College High School on Thursday evening at the historic Plaza Theatre. The ceremony was beautiful and it perfectly captured the accomplishments of the more than 70 members of the Griffin Class of 2023. Congratulations graduates!

My address to the graduates centered around a Japanese philosophy known as ikigai. Ikigai translates to “your reason for being,” and it speaks to a person's path toward success by finding the perfect combination of what makes you happy, what the world needs, what you’re good at and what makes you money.

In essence, I tasked the graduates to make a drawing with four circles. The first circle should consider what makes you happy … what brings joy to your life. The second circle should consider what you’re good at … what skills or talents make you extraordinary. The third circle should consider what the world needs … the goods or services your community needs to thrive. And the fourth circle should outline a plan to make money and support your family.

The intersection of what you love and what you’re good at is your passion.

The intersection of what you love and what the world needs is your mission.

The intersection of what the world needs and what you can get paid for is your vocation.

The intersection of what you’re good at and what you can get paid for is your profession.

The sliver where all four circles meet is your ikigai, and I challenge all graduates to work hard toward finding their ikigai. Doing so will not only make them successful and happy, but it also will make their communities and families better.

Congratulations Northwest Class of 2023! I can’t wait to see how you’ll change the world.

Dr. Pedro Galaviz