Ikigai: How to Find a Purpose in Life
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In recent times the influence of Japanese culture on the western world has been decisive. Some of his teachings, which are now centenarians in the land of the rising sun, are crossing our borders. One of the most innovative ideas is that of the Ikigai.
The word ikigai can be translated as “purpose of life” or “reason for being”. In this article we will see exactly what this idea consists of and what the laws of Ikigai are.
What is Ikigai?
The laws of Ikigai first came to light on the Japanese island of Okinawa . This small corner of the world is home to one of the most numerous and long-lived populations. In the second half of the twentieth century authors such as Dan Buettner decided to study the secrets of this country.
Butterfly and Girl
The factors that allowed the population of Okinawa to reach one hundred years of life are many. Among these there is ikigai. To quote the inhabitants of the island, it is the reason why they wake up in the morning .
Ikigai is understood as having a purpose, a personal mission. It is a lifestyle that involves something more than just “getting by”. Reaching it involves effort and dedication, but it also offers many rewards.
How to Find the Purpose of Our Life?
According to Japanese culture, finding the purpose of our life requires two indispensable elements. On the one hand, it is necessary to carry out activities that give value to life, which can vary from person to person.
On the other hand, making sense of one’s existence requires a certain mental state and routine. This is exactly where Ikigai comes in. Through its laws, it is possible to lay the necessary foundations to achieve a lifestyle that is worth living for.
The three laws of Ikigai
According to the Japanese, following the laws of Ikigai is essential for living well. What laws are involved and how should they be applied?
1. Find your Passion
The first and most important step to reaching the Ikigai stadium is to chase your dreams. It is practically impossible to live a life with a specific purpose if you abandon the path to what we really want to achieve.
However, finding our passion and reaching it is not always easy . There are many pressures that push us to abandon our dreams to be more “realistic”. The way they paint us is always the same: choose a faculty with many outlets, find a safe job and save money in order to make 15 days of holidays a year.
But what happens to those who don’t want to follow this life? Nonconformists , artists of all kinds, people who want to travel the world, entrepreneurs … all people who would feel cornered with a life of this type. Yet sometimes they have to adapt and they do.
Fortunately, more and more are those who have the courage to break the established patterns and to follow their own path. In the middle of the 21st century, with all the possibilities available to us, reaching our dreams is easier than ever. The biggest obstacle is fear: by overcoming it, we will find a myriad of possibilities to reach our passion.
2. Stay Active on The Physical and Mental Plane
After working or studying all day, who doesn’t need to disconnect for a moment? There are those who do it by lying on the sofa with the TV on, those surfing the internet or even eating junk food or drinking some alcohol.
Anyway, one of the most important laws of ikigai is to always keep active. It doesn’t matter if you are tired: if you have a goal in mind, it is essential to treat your body and mind in the best way.
To do this, it is important to develop healthy habits . Eating healthy, doing sports, learning new activities … are all routines that will help us achieve the excellence and purpose of our life.
Girl doing sports
3. Connect With Other People
Another of the most important rules of Ikigai is to share life with others. When you are alone, making sense of your existence is much more difficult. This is why it is essential to make sure that your goal includes links with other people important to us.
As we have seen, these three laws invite us to feed our Ikigai every day in order to give more meaning to our existence.
Following their research on the island of Okinawa, the authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles propose 10 laws to keep our ikigai active :
- Always Stay Active. It is important to carry out activities that give value to our life, to dedicate ourselves to what we love and that gives us a feeling of fullness. In this way we bring beauty and utility to others.
Take Life Slowly. Haste is not a good ally, it grays our mind and can lead to bad decisions. With calm and serenity, life acquires a new meaning.
Do not eat until you are completely satisfied. Sometimes less is better, always trying to maintain a certain balance.
- What We Eat Also Affects.
Surround yourself with good friends . The people around us are essential to experience the feeling of well-being and fullness that we desire. A healthy chat, shared moments, fun … all this contributes to a more intense life.
Get in shape before the next birthday . Physical health is essential for enjoying good emotional health. In addition, physical activity releases hormones that contribute to happiness.
To smile . A positive attitude towards yourself or others helps to maintain healthy relationships, but also to find calm. There is nothing more important than learning to enjoy the present.
- Connect With Nature . Recharging the batteries of the soul through contact with nature will give us a feeling of freedom and unparalleled energy.
Thank you . Being grateful is the action of a noble heart, of those who appreciate the simplicity and complexity of life as part of a whole.
Live The Moment. All we have is the present, the here and now. Let’s stop traveling into the future and get rid of the prison of the past, so as to increase the flow of happiness.
- Follow The Ikigai. Each of us has a passion, a talent that waits to be discovered to push us to give our best.
Woman with open arms contact with nature
Finding the purpose of one’s life, the Ikigai, is much easier taking into account these rules. Start applying them and soon you will be able to enjoy all their benefits.