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Are you ready to be happy?

Though the “new year, new me” mantra is inspiring, the truth is if all that’s really inspiring us to do better is a different number on the calendar, maybe there’s a better way to fully embrace everything life has in store for us.

Who wouldn’t want to live a life where they are rich, passionate, talented, and changing the world? It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Yet it’s unrealistic and not the only way to live a life of meaning.

As we continue into mid-January trying to keep up with those well-intentioned but lofty New Year’s resolutions, there’s no better time than now to refocus our energies, and really plan out our hopes and goals for the future.

Enter #ikigai, the age-old Japanese ideology that’s long been associated with the nation’s long life expectancy. A combination of the Japanese words “iki” (生き), which translates to “life,” and “gai” (甲斐), which is used to describe value or worth, ikigai is all about finding joy in life through purpose.

"In other words,your #ikigai is what gets you up every morning and keeps you going."

How do you really find it, your Ikigai?

a) what you are good at

b) what the world needs

c) what you can be paid for

d) of course, what you love.

While you can make lists of the four elements above and figure out what it is at the center of them all, finding your ikigai can also be as easy as just stopping yourself throughout the day and ask yourself:

Why are you doing this?

“Gain awareness of the current status of your life.”

Start by putting together a note of the top 10 things you have spent your time on this week. After writing them down, ask yourself if those things are adding purpose to your life. You can subdivide by asking yourself four questions:

  • Is it something that I love doing?

  • Is it something the world needs?

  • Is it something I’m good at?

  • Is it something I can get paid for?

In order to achieve this optimal experience, we have to focus on increasing the time we spend on activities that bring us to this state of flow, rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in activities that offer immediate pleasure.

If this all feels a little too concrete and you have trouble committing, don’t sweat it, research has uncovered that just like music taste, fashion and, opinions, a person’s #ikigai can change and morph with age.

These are my 3 favorite lessons from the book ikigai are :

Lesson 1: If you want to be happy and live longer, discover your ikigai – a reason to wake up in the morning.

Lesson 2: Okinawan elders know a thing or two about well-being, and we should follow their advice if we want to live as long as they do.

Lesson 3: A key component of staying healthy is to keep moving throughout the day, no matter how little.

If you have read the book please share your learnings too,I will be keen on reading them.

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