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Ikigai: A Japanese concept to improve work and life

Ikigai and Longevity

Japanese have a large number of senior citizens, including many centenarians, with the average lifetime being 87 years for women and 81 years for men.

Ikigai has been a major reason for the long life of the Japanese, along with special kinds of diets.

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Ikigai: A Japanese concept to improve work and life

Ikigai: A Japanese concept to improve work and life

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20170807-ikigai-a-japanese-concept-to-improve-work-and-life

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Ikigai: The Reason for Being

Ikigai is illustrated in four overlapping circles, as in a Venn Diagram which talks about a synthesis of:

  • What you love to do.
  • What you are good at.
  • What the world needs.
  • What you can be paid for.

Life Value

The Japanese have a secret that embodies the idea of happiness in living, and it is called Ikigai.

Essentially, Ikigai, loosely translated to life value, or life worth, is a concept of living that the Japanese culture imbibes for decades.

Ikigai and Happiness

According to psychiatrist Mieko Kamiya, the concept of Ikigai is similar to happiness, but with a difference.

Ikigai looks at the larger picture of life, allowing you to be ok with a miserable situation, as the grand vision of life, and the future is still positive.

Everyday Life and a Lifetime

The concept of Ikigai aligns with everyday life, as opposed to a lifetime. It makes us appreciate our daily life, celebrating it, and experiencing the small joys of living.

Ikigai is the reason you wake up in the morning for, that thing you live for, daily.

Ikigai and Longevity

Japanese have a large number of senior citizens, including many centenarians, with the average lifetime being 87 years for women and 81 years for men.

Ikigai has been a major reason for the long life of the Japanese, along with special kinds of diets.

Make Your Ikigai

Make three small lists:

  • Your values
  • Things you like to do
  • Things you are good at

The cross-section or overlap of these three lists, is your Ikigai, something you should do for the rest of your life.

Purpose of Action

Ikigai is not a theoretical concept to be understood and left aside, and can only work in daily action and constant practice.

Your work should make a difference in people's lives, and not necessarily would be just working hard.

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Origins Of Ikigai

The term was initially mentioned in the 14th Century and was then seen in the novel Kokoro (The Heart Of Things) by Natsume Soseki in 1912. As Japan emerged from an era of isolation and started embracing the international, industrial world, the new way of life started to interest the population.

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