Hello Friends ! It’s been a while since I wrote.
Today I want to write about What makes us feel Alive. What makes us get up and say Hurrah , it’s another day. What do we look forward to when we wake up. “What is our reason to get out of bed every morning.”
I was recently in Japan over work for a week and thoroughly enjoyed the Sakura bloom week. Everytime I go there I marvel at the people, their culture, their mannerisms, the ceremony in each aspect of their lives, how they go about their way. They are the most humble, polite and kind people. They are mindful of other people, and respect their space. I was sitting in the shinkansen and you can hear a pin drop. A child was crying and the mother suddenly stood up to rock him to sleep, and bowed apologising profusely. It is a perfect blend of age old traditions and modern technology. And ,then there is the food. Ahhhhhh ! It is my favourite cuisine. I can write multiple blogs on it.
Japan needs to be seen to be believed. In my first trip itseld I had felt an immediate connection and affinity to this incredible country.
Each trip also always makes me wonder as to what is the secret behind the longevity and fitness of the Japanese. The average life expectancy of a man is 84 years old and of a woman is 92 years old.
Is it the food ? Fresh, Raw and of the highest quality. Lots of fish and vegetables and green tea through the day.
Is it the non polluted, clean air, clean streets. Japanese people are most obsessed about cleanliness. If there is a drop of soya sauce at your restaurant table, three girls will emerge and clean it. There will always be a wet towel next to you anywhere you go. People wearing masks in train stations, airports, even the streets.
Is it the amount of walking they do. This concept of 10,000 steps is an old Japanese way of life – humans were meant to walk and the minimum needed for good health is 10,000 steps.
So then what is the secret to their longevity ?
While most people believe that their are seven aesthetic principles that guide life in Japan namely :
1) Kanso – Simplicity and elimination of clutter
2) Fukinsei – Asymmetry
3) Shizen – Naturalness
4) Yugen – Subtlety
5) Datsuzoku – Breaking from Routine
6) Seijaku – Stillness
7) Shibui – Austerity
I believe that there is more to their healthy long lives.
In my quest to answer this question I discovered Okinawa.
So, what is so special about this place.
It is an island in Japan which is home to the maximum number of centenarians in the whole world.
And it is here that I heard first time about the phrase ” Reason to get up every morning” – IKIGAI.
What is Ikigai ?
Simply put it is R’aisond’etre !
Your Reason for Being.
Your Purpose in Life.
In Okinawa, they define Ikigai simply as ” reason to get up in the morning”.
And, It is widely believed that the concept of “Ikigai” originated from there.
What makes you feel alive ? What is the reason to get up every morning ? The key is to have a purpose, a reason for being, something one is passionate about, something one lives for.
IKIGAI – the secret to their long lives!
Over time I discovered a unique quality of most healthy people. They seem to have A purpose to their lives, A calling if you will, A passion that they are drawn towards.
So here is what you should do :
1) Figure out what you are good at, what skills you possess. Only you know your strengths and weaknesses
2) Figure out what you are passionate about, what is it that you are doing when you feel most Happy – is it travel, photography, listening to music, singing, exercising, playing a sport, fashion. Again only YOU can know this.
3) Find a common ground between these two.
Is your passion your profession ?
Is your profession to you a means to enable you to enjoy your passions?
Once you have the answer to those questions you will know.
I spend a lot of time on my passions ( refer my earlier blogs) – your profession cannot be the only purpose in your life. It’s your passions who define you and make you the person you are. It’s your passions that make you happy. Take out the time to spend doing what you like, what you enjoy – most importantly spend time with the people you enjoy being with.
Find your Own Reason to wake up everyday and feel Happy to be Alive ! Find your IKIGAI.