There are some places in the world where people live longer, on average than in the rest of the world. Japan, and the island Okinawa in particular, are such regions. A factor that plays an important role in the health and vitality of the residents of Okinawa is to have ‘a goal’ in their lives: ‘ikigai‘ (pronounced ee-kee-guy).
Okinawa, where ikigai has its origins, is said to be home to the largest population of centenarians in the world.
Could the concept of ikigai contribute to longevity?
So in addition to eating habits and living environment, this Japanese concept plays a major role in aging healthily. Because your ‘ikigai’ makes it possible to keep looking towards the future, even when you are going through a difficult time.
‘Ikigai’ is a Japanese concept that, simply put, means ‘your reason for being’. In French, it is called ‘raison d’être’. Ikigai is a combination of the words ‘iki‘, which means life or living, and the word ‘kai‘ (pronounced as gai), which represents value, effect, result or usefulness.
What is ‘ikigai’ exactly? It is that place where your passion, mission, calling and career intersect. This is best illustrated by the overlapping circles of a Venn diagram.
Your Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:
- What you love (your passion)
- What the world needs (your mission)
- What you are good at (your vocation)
- What you can get paid for (your profession)
Create your Ikigai by making a list of the below:
- What do you love to do (Passions, enjoy, etc.)?
- What are you are good at (Strengths)?
- What do you beleive the world needs (what is there a demand for, space in the market for)?
- What could you be paid for?
Once you have this list you can play with the options and start to make a list of ‘Ikigai ideas’. These ideas may be the ‘one’ or it maybe a hybrid of the Ikigai ideas you came up with.
Until next time… make it happen.
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