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In Japan, millions of people have ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy)— a reason to jump out of bed each morning.
What’s your reason for getting up in the morning?
The Japanese island of Okinawa, where ikigai has its origins, is said to be home to the largest population of centenarians in the world.
Could the concept of ikigai contribute to longevity?
“Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing,” says Hector Garcia, the co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. He writes “Just as humans have lusted after objects and money since the dawn of time, other humans have felt dissatisfaction at the relentless pursuit of money and fame and have instead focused on something bigger than their own material wealth. This has over the years been described using many different words and practices, but always hearkening back to the central core of meaningfulness in life.”
ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:
- What you love (your passion)
- What the world needs (your mission)
- What you are good at (your vocation)
- What you can get paid for (your profession)
Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfilment, happiness and make you live longer.
To find your Ikigai ask yourself the following four questions:
1. What do I love?
2. What am I good at?
3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?
4. What does the world need?
And follow these rules:
1. Stay active and don’t retire
2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
3. Only eat until you are 80 per cent full
4. Surround yourself with good friends
5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
7. Reconnect with nature
8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive.
9. Live in the moment
10. Follow your ikigai
So… want to live a happy and long Life?
You now know how! 🙂