3 Monumental Lessons from Ikigai- Steps to a Happy life

‘..essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.’

the book ikigai on a table with candles and stones
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

I can’t fathom how the first month of 2021 just flew by! After a good break of two months, I am back to post about all things lifestyle and marketing. 

Today’s post is about a few lessons from a book called ‘Ikigai’. If you haven’t heard of it, it basically talks about the ‘Japanese secret to a long and happy life’. The authors Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia refer to the island of Okinawa, where the life expectancy of people is about 83 years, over and above any place on Earth. 

Ikigai talks about a lot of life-changing aspects, but change is slow and constant in our lives. Let’s take baby steps to improve one strand at a time.

Movement

Ikigai emphasizes the significance of constant physical movement in our lives. The people of Okinawa are persistently involved in physical activity (such as gardening), to keep their body moving and active. The idea behind this principle is that our bodies are designed to move. Exercising and regular movement boosts immunity and helps in the circulation of blood and air in our veins. No matter their age, the residents of Okinawa make sure to stay active and exercise routinely.

Dancer in front of a yellow background
Dance is a great way to incorporate movement!

Another imperative part here is constant movement. We tend to work out hard for an hour a day and then stay inactive for the rest. The idea is that try to move every 60 minutes or so. Take a break and move from your desk, walk around, and breathe for a bit. This helps in the circulation of oxygen and blood, keeping you fresh and active. 

Make sure to exercise and move your body for a minimum of twenty minutes each day. It is the most simple and easy step towards improving your life- move more to live more!

Social Circle

The residents of Okinawa believe in the principle of ‘Echar-Eba-Cho-de’, which translates to ‘treat everyone like a friend even if you haven’t met them before’. They believe in nurturing good relationships by sitting and spending time in the evening, engaging in communication, and building life-long friendships. In our era, sure, we are connected to all our friends via social media, but we are also disconnected from them due to a lack of effort and engagement. 

friends in a forest with sunlight
Nurture your relationships!

A healthy social circle adds to the essence of life. Make sure you nurture your relationships, call your friends to check up on them, and stay emotionally invested. Have long and real conversations with your loved ones- it is paramount to stay connected in reality.

Ikigai

And the ultimate aspect of life is obtaining your ‘Ikigai’. The Venn diagram below summarizes the idea of ‘Ikigai’. 

Ikigai venn diagram
The Ikigai Venn Diagram

Ikigai is your life’s purpose. It is an intersection between what you love, what the world needs, what you are good at, what you can be paid for; or more precisely, your passion, vocation, mission, and profession. The residents of Okinawa believe in keeping your mind active and busy. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should never relax and always keep working. It simply means that don’t stop challenging yourself. People don’t retire in Okinawa. They stay on their toes, keep working their mind and body, and stay healthy for a long time. 

Finding your Ikigai can take a long time, and it’s something you can’t do in a day. But if you keep that passion for working alive, you will come closer to it. 

Ikigai is definitely a good book to add to your shelf. It gives you some simple ideas to live by, and you might veritably and gradually improve your life. Take small steps and stay patient. Keep yourself active physically and mentally, nurture your relationships, and live a happy life. 

On that note, it’s time to end this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll talk to you very soon. Thank you for reading!

Keep the active vibes flowing,

Pranjali 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sunita jain says:

    Pranjali you have summarized the book so beautifully. Proud of you.

    Like

    1. Pranjali says:

      Thank you so much!

      Like

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