Ikagai Teaches You How to Derive Pleasure from Everything You Do. It Is One of the Keys to Japanese Longevity
The Japanese have created a kind of philosophy which lets them live very peaceful lives. They follow its principles with pleasure and enjoy every little thing they do.
Okinawa is an island with the highest proportion of centenarians. What is their longevity recipe? The answer lies in a philosophy called ‘ikigai’. Those Japanese people who live in accordance with its principles are more active, enjoy a better health and are less prone to blood-circulation system diseases.
Happiness is everywhere
What exactly is this magical ‘ikigai’? The word itself translates into English as ‘a reason to live’. Indeed, the philosophy assumes finding love and joy in whatever surrounds us. That is why we are supposed to enjoy both astonishing glories as well as small things. You have to celebrate for example finding a new job and having a morning glass of tea or seeing the rising sun. We need to look for small reasons to be happy on every day basis, anxiously getting up to start a new day.
Following ikigai we must find the answer to the following question: ‘What is the meaning of my life’. Some do it quickly, others need more time.
The foundations of ikigai:
• things you love (mission and passion)
• things you are good at (passions and professions),
• things you do to earn money (profession and vocation),
• things the world needs (vocation and missions).
According to the Japanese, ikigai is right in the middle where all the circles cross. If even at least is missing, the balance is disturbed and you stand no chance to live a long life. For example, you can have a job that you love and which is very useful for the world, but it brings no financial reward. In this case ikigai is disturbed and you have to try to make all the circles meet.
Ikigai also defines appropriate attitude to work. First of all you must derive some pleasure from what you do and constantly develop your skills. This is when work is not only a dull chore but also a value you will learn to appreciate. It will give us joy every day and we will find a way to learn how to enjoy the very process of working (without waiting for the final product or a spectacular success).