Ikigai can be loosely translated into “reason for being”. A reason to jump out of bed each morning. A reason to be excited for Monday mornings instead of dreading them.
According to the Japanese dictionary, ikigai means “power necessary for one to live in this world, happiness to be alive, benefit, effectiveness.” Ikigai can be understood as a sense of being alive now, an individual’s consciousness as a motive to live.’ Ikigai is personal; it reflects the inner self of an individual and expresses that faithfully. It establishes a unique mental world in which the individual can feel at ease. In a broader sense, ikigai can be viewed as the clear and driving purpose in our lives, which is something humans have been in pursuit of for generations.
In his book “Ikigai - the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’, Hector Garcia wrote: “Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing.” Just as humans have lusted after objects and money since the dawn of time, others 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.
As ikigai strives to balance the spiritual with the practical, it is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for. What you really care about can unlock your ikigai. Follow your curiosity. In case that doesn’t help, follow our steps:
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% full
4. Surround yourself with good friends
5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
6. Smile and acknowledge the people around you
7. Reconnect with nature
8. Give thanks to anything that brightens your day and makes us feel alive.
9. Live in the moment
10. Follow your ikigai