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How the Japanese Concept of Ikigai Works for Me

by | May 26, 2021 | Latest News | 2 comments

My wife recently posted about Ikigai on Facebook in these terms:

TEN RULES OF IKIGAI
(The Japanese art to a long and happy life – enjoy every nanoseconds of the rest of your life)
1. STAY ACTIVE; DON’T RETIRE. Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your “official” professional activity has ended.
2. TAKE IT SLOW. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.
3. DON’T FILL YOUR STOMACH. Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD FRIENDS. Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat, sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming . . . in other words, living.
5. GET IN SHAPE FOR YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY. Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and does not stagnate. The body you move through life in needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Plus, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy.
6. SMILE. A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing – it also helps make friends. It’s good to recognize the things that aren’t so great, but we should never forget what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities.
7. RECONNECT WITH NATURE. Though most people live in cities these days, human beings are made to be part of the natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries.
8. GIVE THANKS. To your ancestors, to nature, which provides you with the air you breath and the food you eat, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and you’ll watch your stockpile of happiness grow.
9. LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most out of it. Make it worth remembering.
10. FOLLOW YOUR IKIGAI. There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, your mission is to discover it.

Those rules, or at least some, have resonance for me and here’s why.

#1 Having retired from my official line of work when I was a younger man, I stay active by writing books and I believe those books bring enjoyment to many readers he world over.

#2 I have always advocated taking it easy. It’s my nature though as an Aries, I can be impatient sometimes.

#3 Took me a long time to discover the truth of this for myself.

#4 My friends are in the main, my wife, her boys and her family.

#5 I’m on some new medications to reduce my blood pressure. Does that count?

#6 Easy!

#7 Never lost touch with nature. I marvel each day at wildlife and sunsets.

#8 Yes, I truly thank them all for without them, I would not exist.

#9 This could be my mantra. I have experienced many setbacks in my life but I’m still standing and joyously happy.

#10 My passion is my writing. I do consider (modestly) it is my unique talent.

What do you say?

2 Comments

  1. Sara

    This sounds like something we all should do. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Stephen Bentley

      I can’t argue with that, Sara. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment.

      Reply

I would love to hear from you!

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