Ikigai is a Japanese concept which roughly translates as ‘the happiness of always being busy’. Japan is the country where people live the longest in the world and ikigai seems to be one of the reasons why this is so.
Ikigai and finding your purpose
Psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi called the state of pleasure, delight, creativity and process when we are completed immersed in life – ‘flow’. This is also one key ingredient of ikiagi. To achieve this, we need to increase the time we spend on activities that bring us this ‘flow’. When we are in flow we concentrate on the task at hand without any distractions.
If you focus on thinking about the activities in your life that give you flow – you could write them down and ask yourself what they have in common e.g. Are they activities that you do with people or when you are by yourself? Are they activities that you do when you move your body, or are they ones where you are just thinking? Also, are they activities that you can be paid for?
Also, you can try new things that might be similar to what’s on your list.
Below you will see the ikigai diagram that shows how you can find your place in life, in a very practical way:
The ten rules of igikai
Ikigai is much more than this diagram, here is a summary (from ‘Ikigai, the Japanese secret to a long and happy life’ by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles):
- Stay active, don’t retire
- Take it slow
- Don’t fill your stomach
- Surround yourself with good friends
- Get in shape
- Reconnect with nature
- Give thanks
- Live in the moment
- Follow your purpose – make your mission to find out what this is.
You may also be interested in circles of concern and influence.