Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Happy Life
You’ve probably heard the saying, “life is what you make it.” Well, that couldn’t be more true. If you want to be happy, you have to find your ikigai – your reason for living.
For some people, ikigai is a passion or a calling. They love their work and can’t imagine doing anything else. For others, it might be a cause or something they’re committed to helping others with. And for still others, ikigai might just be spending time with family and friends and enjoying each moment life has to offer.
No matter what your ikigai is, finding it is the key to happiness. So how do you find it? Here are 10 rules of ikigai to help get you started:
1- Stay Active, Don’t Retire
Retirement isn’t always the answer – especially if you don’t have an ikigai. Instead of sitting around all day wondering what to do next, stay active and keep busy! There are plenty of things retirees can do to stay active and engaged in life. Take up a new hobby, travel the world, or spend time with family and friends – just don’t retire until you’ve found your ikigai!
2- Take it Slow
One of the best ways to find your ikigai is by taking things slow. Don’t rush into anything; instead, take your time and explore all your options. This may mean trying out different careers or hobbies until something feels right. The important thing is not to force things but rather to let them happen naturally over time.
3- Don’t Fill your Stomach
It’s easy to fill our stomachs with food but that doesn’t mean we’re filling our lives with what’s important. When looking for your ikigai, don’t focus on material possessions or wealth – instead, look within yourself for answers.
4- Make good friends
A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that having close friends was one of the key predictors of happiness. So when looking for your ikigai make sure you have a strong network of supportive friends who will help encourage and motivate you along the way!
5- Get in shape before your next birthday
Another study published in Lancet showed that people who were physically healthier at age 70 were also happier than those who weren’t as healthy. So start getting in shape today so you can enjoy a happy retirement tomorrow!
6- Give Smiles
According to research published in Psychological Bulletin smiling releases endorphins which improve mood. Not only will smiling make YOU feel better but it will also make those around you happy too!
7- Reconnect with Nature
Spending time outside surrounded by nature has been shown to improve mental health. When looking for your ikigai take some time out each day (or week) to reconnect with nature – go for a walk outdoors, visit a park or sit by a lake/river, etc.
8- Give Thanks
Being grateful has been shown increase happiness levels as well as overall wellbeing. Next time you catch yourself feeling down give thanks for all the good things in life – even if they seem small they add up over time!
9- Live in the moment (ichigo Ichie)
The Japanese phrase “ichigo Ichie” means “one chance encounter” and refers to the importance of living in the present moment. When looking for your ikigai remember that this is it – there’s no point worrying about yesterday or tomorrow because we only have today!
10- Follow Your Passion (ikigai)
Last but not least following your passion is one of the most important rules for finding your ikigai . Doing something that brings joy into our lives makes us happier overall.
Conclusion: If you’re looking for happiness in life, finding your ikigai is the key. The 10 rules of ikigai we’ve provided are a great starting point but don’t stop there. Keep exploring and discovering what makes you happy. Once you find it, hold on to it tightly and enjoy every moment. What’s your ikigai?
Also, check my previous post!