Akaraaka: The Purpose of Your Life

Every machine has a reason for existence.

Vehicles transport us from point A to B.

Phones enable us to communicate with people in distant places.

TV sets transmit entertaining and informative images and sounds into our homes.

But what about human beings? Do we have a purpose? Is there a reason for our existence?

Traditional Igbos believe that each person has a specific reason for being born.

A person’s purpose in life is called akaraaka in Igbo language.

akaraaka odinala

Akaraaka literally means ‘mark of the hand’ and depending on the context, could mean destiny, skill, talent, luck, palm line, fingerprint, or fate.

In Odinala, akaraaka is the agreement you had with your chi before you incarnated as a human being.

It is your mission and purpose here on Earth.

There are three main methods for finding out your akaraaka:

1. Divination

You consult a dibia, who performs divination rituals to uncover your akaraaka.

I don’t recommend this method. An unscrupulous dibia may tell you anything just to make money from you.

2. The second method is self-analysis. You ask yourself penetrating questions like:

• What excites me?

• What do I dream of every single day?

• When do I feel the most committed?

• What am I willing to die for?

• If I had unlimited time, money and resources, what would I do?

• If I could share one thing with the world, what would it be?

The answers you give to these questions will help you figure out your akaraaka. This is the method I prefer.

3. The third method is to take a personality test.

A good book on personality types is Please Understand Me II.

Written by psychologist David Keirsey, Please Understand Me categorizes people into four temperaments—the Artisan, the Rational, the Idealist and the Guardian.

The book profiles the traits, strengths, weaknesses and preferred career choices for each temperament.

You’ll find out your temperament and akaraaka after answering the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.

When you know your akaraaka, you become more motivated and persistent in pursuing your goals.

You let go of trivial issues and focus on activities that are important to you.

You will no longer compare yourself to your peers but will have an inner, unshakeable standard for living your life.



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