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Happiness and longevity are two of the issues that most interest and concern people nowadays. According to the study , in a survey conducted in Japan in 2010 with 2,000 men and women, only 31% of the participants considered their work as their Ikigai. But Ikigai is certainly not limited to work. As Gordon Matthews, professor of anthropology, published on “Reason For Being”, Japanese Ikigai philosophy can help you achieve fulfillment in both areas. Ikigai helps us to be happier, it is about reaching our purpose in life, and once we find it, we can have a fulfilling longer life.
The Ikigai Philosophy refers to the fact that we all have a reason for being in the world. The element motivates us and represents everything worth living for. Ikigai helps us to be happier, it is about reaching our purpose in life, and once we find it, we can have a fulfilling life. The literal meaning is the fusion of two words "iki" meaning life and "gai" meaning purpose or value, without direct translation. It is a term that embodies the idea of the happiness of living, and was first made known in 1966 by psychiatrist Mieko Kamiya. It began to be popularized between 2017 and 2018 by various publications such as "Ikigai: Your 12-week program to find the secret of happiness by Caroline de Surany, among others.
There are 4 basic areas in the life of every person, which are: passion, vocation, mission and profession. So you should ask yourself, what do you love the most? What do you think the world needs from you? What do you find easy to do? And, why would you get any financial remuneration for it? Your Ikigai is the balance point where all the answers to these questions come together.
It may be overwhelming to start this process, as you will have to question many aspects of how you are letting go of your life, besides it is changeable and it will be trial and error. You will have to reflect on your values, skills and strengths, let go of material things, set short and medium term actions, taking into account your present and future, that way you will align your goals towards a whole and not just one objective, as your Ikigai can change constantly.
It will be a slow but sure path, you will not achieve it on the first try, and that's okay, it's part of knowing yourself, finding the balance of your life, at work, with your family and what matters most to you to be happy. There are many ways to start with this philosophy, such as, for example:
We will probably have to give up many things of our present, as we will be more aware of our reality and what we need to be a better person, contribute to a better society and find a reason to fight for. Ask yourself what makes you live, what motivates you to get up with a smile every morning, in this way we will feel complete and with our purpose in life.
The Ikigai is the philosophy that will make you know yourself as a person. You can start by making a list of everything you like, what you love, your hobbies, everything you think you can not live without. Then you must cross out everything for which you do not get an economic remuneration in return, like eating or sleeping. Then cross out with all sincerity what you are not good at, like drawing or cooking. In the end you will be left with few points in which you must identify those that contribute to you and the society around you or the world.
The actions we do day by day will contribute to our path in incorporating this philosophy of life, the important thing is to value what we are building every day following our purposes, to progressively find true happiness.