Many people work at jobs just so they can afford to live, eat and survive. The majority of us also experience some sort of feeling of dread in the hours of Sunday evening all the way through to the start of your work day on the Monday. The Japanese theory of Ikigai suggests that you are only dreading going to work because you haven’t got enough balance in your life. If you were to align all of the elements of Ikigai, then it wouldn’t be such a problem to go into work on Monday morning.
Craftsmen, teachers and farmers seem to have found their Ikigai. They are pursuing a career in the thing they enjoy and are passionate about creatively. Also, a lot of people have become successful in other jobs without ever finding their ikigai.
Let’s get started on finding your ikigai. You must first ask yourself these four questions:
- What do I love? (Passion)
- What am I good at? (Profession)
- What can I be paid for? (Vocation)
- What does the world need? (Mission)
Here is a visual representation of the concept of Ikigai and how you can fit your own answers into a balanced and happy life for yourself:
In the book “Ikigai the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Fransesc Miralles, they state the 10 rules to follow when in search for your own Ikigai.
- Stay active and don’t retire
- Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
- Only eat until you are 80% fill
- Surround yourself with good friends
- Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
- Smile and acknowledge people around you
- Reconnect with nature
- Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive
- Live in the moment
- Follow your ikigai
Many people feel that Ikigai is the secret to living for longer. This is because whilst japan has their fair share of natural disasters, their life expectancy is among some of the best in the world. Due to this it has become clear that whilst eating healthily and exercising regularly are important factors of living a long life, so it having a clear sense of purpose.
Take Jiro Ono as an example of this. At the age of 92, he is currently the oldest Michelin chef in the world. He has had the passion to create the best sushi for most of his life and each day he seeks to improve on the day before. He believes that he still hasn’t mastered it.