Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to “a reason for being.” It may also hold the keys to prolonging your life.
At the intersection of ikigai is having a purpose—feeling as though one is contributing to society in a positive way gives them something to live for. Perhaps the best illustration of ikigai exists on the island of Okinawa, where some of the oldest living people in the world practice the philosophy.
While Japan's interpretation of the ikigai is a source of value for one's life, Westerners may use the system as a guidepost for bridging better work and life balance. If you want to better understand the meaning of the concept, consider asking these four questions:
- What do you love?
- What are you good at?
- What does the world need from you?
- What can you get paid for?
As all life is an experiment, so too is your ikigai which evolves as you age. The more you feel valued, the better.
“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Learn more in the video below.