Researcher Dan Buttner, with the support of National Geographic, for five years, conducted a study to identify and study the special places on earth, called them “blue zones”. These are some areas in which there is an increased concentration of centenarians. In the course of this work, scientists tried to identify those patterns of nutrition, culture, behavior that allow local residents to live much longer than in other countries.
One of these specific places is on the small island of Okinawa. In Japan, generally a rather high percentage of centenarians, but their concentration on Okinawa exceeds all limits. The average life expectancy in men is 88 years, for women 92 years.
Yes, the local set of products consists mainly of fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits. Yes, physical exercises and oriental spiritual practices are very common here. But there is also a very special phenomenon that distinguishes this area from the rest of Japan and the whole world. They call it ikigai (ikigai).
Once in a small Japanese town a woman was dying. At some point, she felt that her soul leaves the body, rises up and appears before the spirits of ancestors. A loud voice asked her: “Who are you?”
“I am the wife of the mayor,” she answered.
“I’m not asking who your husband is. Answer me, who are you? “
“I am the mother of four children. I’m a teacher at school. “
“Did I ask how many children you have or where you work?”
And so it went on until she said: “I’m the one who wakes up every day to help his family and teach children in school.”
After that she returned to her body and the disease receded.
She found her ikigai.
What is Ikigay?
The Japanese concept of Ikigai is rather difficult to translate unequivocally into Russian, but it can be roughly deciphered as “what makes life meaningful, something that makes us wake up every morning with joy.” In other words, ikigai is in the eastern way an elegant and compact definition of your main interest, the cause that brings joy to your life.
Although the Japanese of the island of Okinawa managed to make this concept part of their philosophy, it can not be said that Ikiqi is completely unknown in the west. We have repeatedly met his followers, especially among those people who managed to achieve much in their lives.
We could hardly wait for morning to start working again.
Wilbur Wright, the inventor of the aircraft
Do only what you love most. This will definitely lead you to success! Every morning I looked at myself in the mirror and asked: If today was the last day of my life, would I like to do what I’m doing today? And if the answer was “no” for many days in a row, then I need to change something.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple
– Pooh! When you wake up in the morning, “Piglet said at last,” what do you say to yourself first thing? “
“What do we have for breakfast?” Said Pooh. – And you, Piglet, what are you saying?
– I say: “It is interesting that today will happen interesting?” – said Piglet.
Piglet, just a piglet
Okay, Piglet can not be the greatest pig, but the words of this character contain a good definition of ikigai.
It is the interest in life, the desire to immediately get down to business and perform it in the best way, giving people a sense of their own worth, a sense of contentment and the meaning of life.
Those people who know their ikigai are unfamiliar with depression, they remain optimistic about life and are not subject to destructive habits. Therefore, for every person who wants to live a long and meaningful life, it is so important to find a reason to get up in the morning.
How to find your Ikiqi?
Opening your main business will require from you, perhaps, a significant investment of time and energy. You will have to make a meaningful and important decision, and it is unfortunate that many people understand its necessity too late.
The earlier you start looking for your ikigai, the sooner you will begin to feel calm and contented with your life. Here are some questions, the answers to which will help you in your search.
- Achievements. What achievements in your life do you consider to be the most valuable? Take a sheet of paper and write down 2-3 of your affairs, which you are really proud of. This can serve as a good starting point for finding your ikigay.
- Knowledge. What are your special knowledge and skills? What do you consider yourself an expert? What are you happy to talk about, what topic do you read literature on? What sites do you visit most often in your free time?
- Feel. Work in the field in which you understand, is the key to career success. But if you want to find happiness, then you have to do what you love. Your Ikigai is not too worried about your business successes, if they are not backed up by joy in your heart. This is the first thing to pay attention to.
- Self-evaluation. Who do you see yourself in your dreams? Are you a teacher, a lawyer, a mother, a scientist, a book publisher, a farmer? Perhaps, it is your assessment of your future that can become that lens that will help focus all your efforts.
- Personality. In the world there are no identical people, and different types of work are suitable for different personalities. Knowing your personality type, you will understand why some activities bring you great pleasure, and others do not touch a single string of your soul.
You can use it to search for ikigai and a special card that shows that your main business is located at the intersection of what you most want and what is best obtained.
And I want to finish this article with another quote from a man about whom you can absolutely say that he not only found his calling, but also followed him all his life.
You have to find what you love. And finding your favorite work is as necessary as your loved one. Work will occupy a very large part of your life, and the only way to get real satisfaction from work is to do it admirably, realizing it.
And the only way to do your job is to love her. If you have not yet found your favorite thing, keep looking. Do not stop looking until you find it.
As with everything else, to what the heart lies, you will immediately understand that you have found what you were looking for. And as in any excellent relationship, your passion for work will only increase over time. So, seek and do not rest until you find.
Have you already found your ikigay?