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Whats your Ikigai ?


Ikigai is a Japanesse concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. It may also refer to something that brings pleasure or fulfillment that follows when people pursue their passions. Activities that generate the feeling of ikigai are not forced on an individual ,they are percievd as being spontaneous and undertaken willingly and thus are personal and depend on a person's inner self.

Dan Buettner reported for National Geographic that Ikigai might be one of the reasons for the longevity of the people of Okinawa, one of the Blue Zones where people continue to work for the pleasure it gives them, they belong to close knit groups of friends as well as having the famous diet that promotes a long and healthy life.


There are five pillars of Ikigai

1. Start small : Use routines to ground yourself, focusing on detail and small positive actions. Go the extra mile to make someone's day.

2. Release yourself : Accept who you are and let go of your ego. Don't take yourself seriously, enjoy activities without worrying about how good you are, take care of someone who is struggling.

3. Practice harmony and sustainability : Spend time outside in nature, enjoy walking and listening to birds . Work for the benefit of community.

4. Focus on the joy of small things : Make an effort to recognise the little things that make life special.

5. Be in the here and now : Immerse yourself in reality. Don't rush through life. Live life one day at a time.


The Venn diagram below was popularised as the four part theory of purpose and was purported to be Ikigai. However, the Japanese would disagree. True Ikigai is not about getting paid or changing the world, it comes from your actions . Purpose is something you create by dedicating time and attention to otherwise inconsequential things.



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