IKIGAI, a word from Japanese, is used to refer to one’s “cause for existing” or “the motivation behind getting out of bed.” Everyone has an Ikigai, or a cause to live, according to the Japanese. Everyone’s IKIGAI is unique to them. But it’s undeniable that we’re all looking for purpose (in our lives).
The book IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret To a Long and Happy Life by Héctor Garca and Francesc Miralles is less a description of Ikigai and more of a case study of the lives of the long-living residents of Ogimi, a small hamlet in Okinawa.
The book ends with ten IKIGAI guidelines that the author has gleaned from the experience of these elderly locals.
A well-known Okinawan town called “Ogimi” is well-known for its longevity (110+ years). Since World War II, Ogimi elders have lived by a few Ikigai ideals every day.
You could think of the laws as the lifestyle choices that help Ogami’s senior citizens live long lives and take pleasure in their ikigai.
The Ogami centenarians lead a totally different lifestyle than you do. You most likely work, live in a city, have a lot of duties, financial stress, interpersonal issues, and other things on your mind.
While some of the ten rules may be challenging for you to follow, others are very simple.
Remember that these are suggestions or habits you could adopt to enhance your health and wellbeing so you can identify and live your ikigai rather than rules you must abide by in order to achieve ikigai.
You can ask yourself, “What guidelines can I easily put into practice to assist me in my day-to-day life?”
10 lessons from IKIGAI
Here are 10 lessons from IKIGAI.
- 1. Always stay active, Never retire
- 2. Follow your ikigai
- 3. Go slowly
- 4. Surround yourself with wonderful friends
- 5. Get fit for your next birthday
- 6. Do not eat until full
- 7. Smile
- 8. Reconnect with nature
- 9. Express gratitude
- 10. Live the moment
1. Don’t retire; keep working.
“Those who stop doing the things they excel at and like lose their sense of purpose in life. Because of this, it’s critical to continue doing worthwhile work, moving forward, improving the lives of others, making a difference, and influencing the world around you long after your “formal” professional activity has finished.
2.Follow your ikigai
You possess a passion and a special talent that give your days purpose and inspire you to give your all until the very end. As Viktor Frankl once said,
"If you don't know what your IKIGAI is yet, your duty is to find it."
I believe that the authors misunderstood the last rule. Your IKIGAI doesn’t have to be a single special talent that inspires you to give your all till the bitter end.
This runs counter to the Japanese understanding of ikigai. According to Japanese author Ken Mogi, there are several ikigai you might have, ranging from taking pleasure in your morning cup of coffee to striving toward a major objective in life.
According to Ken Mogi’s writings in The Little Book of Ikigai;
‘Ikigai does not come from a single value system. It is not written in the orders of God. It comes from the rich spectrum of a spectrum of small things, none of which serves a grandiose purpose in life.’
if you want to know more about ikigai ,our previous article Explore yourself: IKIGAI for Students is for you
3. Go slowly.
Being hurried has an adverse relationship with life quality.. According to an old proverb, “Walk slowly and you’ll travel far.” Life and time have new meanings when we let go of urgency.
Being hurried suggests that you are under stress and are not in control. By moving slowly, you demonstrate greater control, greater awareness of your choices, and a propensity to act as you like.
4. Surround yourself with wonderful friends
“Friends are the finest medicine,” according to the proverb. They are there for confiding troubles over a good conversation, exchanging amusing stories that make you smile, obtaining advice, having fun, dreaming, and generally living.
Youth frequently utter the phrase “My life has no ikigai.” This is clear. Isolationists are incapable of having ikigai, or meaning or purpose. Only interpersonal relationships contain ikigai.
The significance of interpersonal interactions is emphasized in the aforementioned remark. Without relationships and friendships, we are unable to share our pleasures, hopes, problems, and anxieties as well as to feel connected, intimate, or in love.
This rule serves as a reminder of the value of friendship and all its advantages, especially when we take into account the fact that we now spend more time alone staring at screens than we do with our friends. Make a call to an old acquaintance and arrange to meet up instead of scrolling through your social media page to catch up.
5.Get fit for your next birthday
“A cheerful approach not only improves your mood but also makes making friends easier. To keep your body functioning for a very long period, it needs a little daily upkeep. Additionally, physical activity produces chemicals that uplift our mood.
3. Do not eat until full
Less is more when it comes to eating for a long life as well.. The 80 percent rule states that rather than cramming ourselves, we should eat a little less than what our hunger requires in order to stay healthier for longer.
Less is more when it comes to eating for a long life as well.
腹八分目に医者いらず – Hara hachi bun me ni isha irazu.
In English, it means “Eating until only 80% full keeps the doctors away.” ‘Stomach eight parts full’ is the meaning of the 2,500 years old Japanese Confucian phrase hara hachi bun me. Japanese people typically only say “hara hachi bu” towards the end of a meal or after finishing it to signify that they are nearly full.
Consider the phrase “hara hachi bun me” to be a slogan for the wisdom-based calorie restriction that the Japanese have been using for centuries. To help you remember not to overeat, you may say “Hara hachi bun me” before or at the finish of your meal. How hara hachi bu works.
“A cheerful approach not only improves your mood but also makes making friends easier.. While it’s important to acknowledge the less than ideal circumstances, we must never lose sight of the privilege of existing in the present and being surrounded by so many opportunities.
7. Reconnect with nature
Despite the fact that most people now live in cities, humans are created to be a part of nature. We should come back to it frequently to refuel.
“Do you know the word shinrin-yoku in Japanese? It refers to experiencing nature through the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch,also known as “forest bathing.” It is a mindfulness technique that will assist you in getting back in touch with nature so that you may revitalize your body and find some serenity in your mind.
9. Express gratitude
To your forefathers, nature, which gives you the air you breathe and the food you eat, your friends and family, and everything else that makes your days bright and makes you feel fortunate to be alive. You’ll see your happiness reserves develop if you take a time each day to express gratitude.
Give thanks for a moment each day, and you’ll see your happiness reserves develop.
10. Live the moment
Stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. You only have today. Maximize your use of it. Make it something to remember. We have an ongoing internal conversation with ourselves from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. We forget to be conscious, present, mindful, and alive in each moment because our minds are always jumping from one worry to another.
“The present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not ‘this moment.’ Is this not a fact?”– Eckhart Tolle