Take time to watch this simple video that introduces us to the Japanese concept of Ikigai – a combination of the Japanese words ikiru (to live) and kai (the realization of what one hopes for) – and its wisdom for a long life. The principles may serve longevity but they synthesise very well the lifestyle that gives us that elusive balance between stillness and movement. The Guardian sums it up well: “The lesson we can draw from the people of Japan – and specifically the residents of Okinawa – is that we should do less when we are feeling overwhelmed, but keep busy when we feel like doing nothing. Don’t overwork, but don’t fritter those hours away either.” The Independent reminds us that these themes have engaged humans since the days of yore: “Just as humans have lusted after objects and money since the dawn of time, other humans have felt dissatisfaction at the relentless pursuit of money and fame and have instead focused on something bigger than their own material wealth.”
Today, reflect on the activities that bring you psychological flow as research suggests that this flow state – one that aligns our skills with the requirements of a task – gives us a hint as to our ikigai might be. Or you can ask some logical questions to help you reflect: What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need from you? What can you get paid for? If you want to read more, we oblige.