What is Ikigai? It is a combination of the Japanese words “iki”, which means “life,” and “gai”, which describes value, ikigai is all about finding your joy and bliss in life through a meaningful purpose – it is about finding meaning in life – meaning that keeps you up and running – it’s about why – your reason for being. Following are the ten principles of Ikigai from the book “IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.
1. Stay active; don’t resign
Those who stop doing the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so critical to keep doing things of value, going ahead, bringing beauty or value to other people, helping out, and changing the world around you, even after your professional job is done.
2. Calm down
Being in a hurry is a direct enemy of quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly, and you’ll go far.” Calm down, think and move. Leave off hasty decisions, tasks, steps. When we stop being quick and fast, life and time will take on new meaning.
3. Don’t eat much
Less is more when it comes to eating for long and happy life, too. According to the 80/20 rule, in order to stay healthier and longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.
4. Create a company of good friends
Friends are the best medicine for all the troubles you have in life. You can confide worries over a good chat, share stories that brighten up your day. Friends can help you have fun and dreams. You can be advised on important matters of life.
5. Get in shape
Water moves; it is pure only when it flows. Water becomes dirty and impure when it stops. The body you have needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Get up early in the morning, exercise and move your body. Exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy throughout the day.
6. Give a Smile
A smile creates one of the most relaxing attitudes—it also helps make friends. It’s good to recognize the things that aren’t good, but we should never forget the fact that it is a great honor to be in the here and now in a world which is so full of possibilities.
7. Spent time with nature
Most people would spend a life of cares. They live in cities nowadays. Human beings are natural species – they work best when they are made to be part of the natural world. When we exhaust and drain – we should return to nature more often to unwind and energize ourselves.
8. Be thankful
Be thankful for all that you have from your parents, nature, environment, country and life. You are alive today because of what is in the environment which provides you with the air you breathe and the food you eat. You are alive because of your friends and family who supported you. There are countless things that brighten your days and make you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and you’ll watch your happiness grow.
9. Enjoy the present day
Past is gone and the future is an illusion. Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. The best thing about the past is that it is gone and the best thing about the future is that it can be made beautiful. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering – Live in the now!
10. Follow your why.
Everybody knows when they are born, but very few realize why they are born. There is a passion inside you, a talent that gives meaning to your life and drives you to share the best of yourself before you die. If you don’t know what your why is, look what Viktor Frank means to say,
your mission is to discover it.
The best book on the art of living a long and happy life is the Holy Qur’an. By following the same, we can find not only our meaning of life but also instructions on how to live a life of purpose that adds value to your self and the people around you.