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Why Do I Live?

When stress and anxiety level go high, one feels low and asks oneself - Why do I live? Or, why do I not leave? Answer to this question is not easy. A clear-cut and simple explanation is needed. “Ikigai” - a Japanese word - gives us the answer, explaining the reason for living. Let's find out more. 

Ikigai (Reason for Being)

Ikigai is a lifestyle that strives to balance between the spiritual and the practical living. Here your passion and your talents are covered with the things that the world needs and the world is ready to pay for. We are learning a new word IKIGAI explaining us the meaning of purpose of life. Let us see the details.

Discovering Ikigai
  • Finding joy, fulfilment and balance in the daily routine life
  • Ikigai tells everything is connected and nothing is separated
  • The feeling of peace and lasting happiness that can sustain throughout life
Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles wrote a book - Japanese secret of long and happy life covering the art of living and simplicity - “Ikigai”. They studied people crossing century of life at Okinawa (Japan) and summarized the secret for us. Let us find out.

Okinawa city & Okinawans 
  • They treat everyone like a brother even if you have never met them before
  • They never retire
  • They bring nature and technology together
Slow Living
  • Walk slowly and you will go far. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to the quality of life.
Secrets of Centurions
  • Slow down and Relax, you live much longer if you are not in a hurry
  • Everything is fine!
  • You keep your mind & body busy
  • Don’t worry
  • Cultivate good habits
  • Nurture your friendship every day
  • Be optimistic
Diet for Our Life
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Consume fewer calories: less than 1785
The 10 Rules of Ikigai
  1. Stay active, do not retire.
  2. Take it slow.
  3. Do not fill your stomach.
  4. Surround yourself with good friends.
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday.
  6. Smile.
  7. Reconnect with nature.
  8. Give thanks.
  9. Live in the moments.
  10. Follow your ikigai.

Stress and Existential Crisis

Ageing and health problems follow stress. Avoid them.

In the existential crisis, one does what others do or what they are told to do, rather than what they want to do.

Those who give up the things they love doing, lose their purpose of life.

Morita therapy
  • You can accept the emotions without trying to control them and the actions will change them.

Concentration on one thing at a time can achieve the flow.

  • Ikigai means Life is worthwhile
  • The happiness of always being busy. (busy = living a full life.)
  • If you do not know, what your ikigai is, your mission is to discover it.
  • Ikigai may be different, but common is we are searching for meaning.
  • We can spend our days feeling connected to (ikigai) what is meaningful to us.
  • Our ikigai is the reason we wake up in the morning.
Finding out your own Ikigai is a must. It is not difficult. You just ask the following four questions to yourself and find out your own replies for each one. The summary is your “Ikigai”. Start living life accordingly.

Japanese Ikigai
  1. What do you love?
  2. What you are good at?
  3. What the world needs?
  4. What you are paid for?
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle
  • To be able to concentrate for a long time is essential for a difficult achievement. - Bertrand Russell
  • The grand essentials for happiness in life are: i) Something to do ii) Something to love iii) Something to hope for - Washington Burnap
  • Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing, to choose one’s own way. – Viktor Frank
  • Fall seven times, Rise eight. – Japanese Proverb
  • Instead of sitting constantly, just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again!
To summarize, we have to find out ikigai for oneself and follow it. We have to actively search what we can do, what we like to do and what is it the world needs at present. Adding all three things together we have to find out the reason for being and live a long happy life.

Best of luck!

  • Book Title: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Long And Happy Life    
  • Author: Héctor García
  • Book reviewed by: Dr Bharat Desai, Bilimora on 26-Jun-2020
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • ISBN-10: 178633089X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786330895


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