Ikigai: how to find purpose in life

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Ikigai: how to find purpose in life

Last update: 14 September, 2018

In recent times, the influence of Japanese culture on the Western world has been decisive. Some of his teachings, which are now XNUMX years old in the land of the rising sun, are crossing our borders. One of the most innovative ideas is that of Ikigai.

The word ikigai can be translated as "purpose of life" or "reason for being". In this article we will see exactly what this idea consists of and what the laws of Ikigai are.



What is Ikigai?

The laws of Ikigai first saw the light on the Japanese island of Okinawa. This little corner of the world hosts one of the most numerous and long-lived populations. In the second half of the twentieth century, authors such as Dan Buettner decided to study the secrets of this country.

The factors that have allowed the Okinawan population to reach the age of one hundred are many. Among these there is the ikigai. To quote the inhabitants of the island, this is the reason why they wake up in the morning.

Ikigai is understood as having a purpose, a personal mission. It is a lifestyle that involves more than just "getting by". Achieving it involves effort and dedication, but it also offers many rewards.

How to find the purpose of our life?

According to Japanese culture, finding the purpose of our life requires two indispensable elements. On the one hand, it is necessary to carry out activities that add value to life, which can vary from person to person.

On the other hand, making sense of one's existence it requires a certain state of mind and a routine. This is exactly where Ikigai comes in. Through its laws, it is possible to lay the necessary foundations to achieve a lifestyle that is worth living for.



The three laws of Ikigai

According to the Japanese, follow the laws of Ikigai it is essential to live well. What laws are involved and how should they be applied?

1. Find your passion

The first and most important step to reach the Ikigai stage is to pursue your dreams. It is practically impossible to live a life with a specific purpose if you abandon the path to what we really want to achieve.

However, not always finding our passion and reaching it is easy. There are many pressures that push us to abandon our dreams to be more "realistic". The path they paint us is always the same: choose a faculty with many outlets, find a safe job and save to be able to take 15 days of holidays a year.

But what happens to those who don't want to follow this life? Nonconformists, artists of all kinds, people who want to travel the world, entrepreneurs ... all people who would feel in the grip of a life of this type. Yet sometimes they have to adapt and they do.

Fortunately, more and more people have the courage to break established patterns and follow their own path. In the middle of the XNUMXst century, with all the possibilities at our disposal, achieving our dreams is easier than ever. The biggest obstacle is fear: overcoming it, we will find a myriad of possibilities to achieve our passion.

2. Stay physically and mentally active

After working or studying all day, who doesn't need to disconnect for a moment? There are those who do this by lying on the sofa with the TV on, those browsing the internet or even eating junk food or drinking some alcohol.


Anyway, one of the most important laws of ikigai is to always keep active. It doesn't matter if you are tired: if you have a goal in mind, it is essential to treat your body and mind in the best possible way.


To do this, it is important to develop healthy habits. Eat healthy, play sports, learn new activities ... they are all routines that will help us achieve excellence and our life purpose.

3. Connect with other people

Another of the most important rules of Ikigai is sharing life with others. When you are alone, finding meaning in your existence is much more difficult. This is why it is essential to make sure that your goal includes connections with other people who are important to us.

As we have seen, these three laws invite us to feed our Ikigai every day in order to give more meaning to our existence.

Following their research carried out on the island of Okinawa, the authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles propose 10 laws to keep our ikigai active:

  • Always stay active. It is important to carry out activities that give value to our life, to dedicate ourselves to what we love and that gives us a feeling of fullness. In this way we bring beauty and usefulness to others.
  • Take life calmly. Haste is not a good ally, it makes our minds gray and can lead to bad decisions. With calm and serenity, life acquires a new meaning.
  • Don't eat until you are full. Sometimes less is more, always trying to maintain a certain balance. What we eat also affects us.
  • Surround yourself with good friends. The people around us are essential to experience the feeling of well-being and fullness we desire. A healthy chat, shared moments, fun… all this contributes to a more intense life.
  • Get in shape before the next birthday. Physical health is essential to enjoy good emotional health. Also, exercising releases hormones that contribute to happiness.
  • To smile. A positive attitude towards yourself or others helps to maintain healthy relationships, but also to find calm. There is nothing more important than learning to enjoy the present.
  • Connect with nature. Recharging the batteries of the soul through contact with nature will give us a feeling of unparalleled freedom and energy.
  • To thank. Being grateful is the action of a noble heart, of one who appreciates the simplicity and complexity of life as part of a whole.
  • Live the moment. All we have is the present, the here and now. Let's stop traveling into the future and free ourselves from the prison of the past, so as to increase the flow of happiness.
  • Follow the Ikigai. Each of us has a passion, a talent that is waiting to be discovered to push us to give our best.

Finding your life purpose, Ikigai, is much easier if you take these rules into account. Start applying them and soon you will be able to enjoy all their benefits.



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