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Ikigai

John Rowland

Posted on March 17, 2019 20:09

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Anybody want to live to be 100? Check out Ikigai -- an interesting human philosophy.

Some may already be aware of Ikigai. It is a Japanese idea meaning "a reason for being," normally signifying the basis of "value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile."

For English speakers, Ikigai is translated as the "thing that you live for"; the reason you get up out of bed every morning. Ikigai is a highly individualized notion relating to people's lives, values, and convictions. The dynamics of Ikigai never involve force against individuals, its ultimate design being "individual satisfaction" and a sense of life's meaning.

As endurance cyclist and Fellow at National Geographic Dan Buettner wonderfully, studiously illustrated, the elements involved in Ikigai are keenly instrumental in certain relatively isolated global populations (Blue Zones) living to be 100 years old or more -- statistical anomalies, actuarially speaking.

Some of these aspects include love, passion, mission, and vocation. Ikigai is an interplay of these and other components (like satisfaction, delight, comfort, and excitement) that, when partially combined, achieve a sort of limited nirvana in terms of human fulfillment.

A complete synergy is accomplished upon full integration of all elements -- the evolved existence which is Ikigai -- a condition of total self-actualization.

The chart, while engaging, can initially be kind of dizzying; some may even need a therapist to help figure it out.

But one interesting aspect of Ikigai is that the mental and spiritual factors through which people interpret that their lives are valuable are not strictly linked to one's financial status.

So long, happy lives to everyone.

John Rowland

Posted on March 17, 2019 20:09

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