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Find Your Inner Ikigai

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February 20, 2019

By now you’ve probably heard of Hygge—the Danish way of embracing feelings of well-being and coziness throughout the cold months. Most cultures have their own approach to happiness and it can be beneficial to explore new concepts to incorporate into your own life!

Have you heard of Ikigai? Ikigai is a Japanese concept that is easy to understand and just might be their secret to a long, happy life—they actually have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

In the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, it states that Ikigai is the intersection of what you are good at and what you love to do. The concept is often described as a reason to get out of bed—sometimes a reason to jump out of bed! How many of us feel that way in the morning? Could you imagine going to work and doing something that you love and are good at? Or spending your days immersed in what makes you feel vibrant and content?

Picture a glassblower who truly loves her art, working late into the night, arising early and creating joy for people who admire or purchase her art. Find that thing that mixes your passion, your career, a way to make money, and solve something the world needs. Make it your mission in life. When you follow your heart, that inner voice will lead you to what you love. Then it’s not hard to decide what to pursue.

In the book above, they break the concept into 10 rules—some which overlap with Hygge. A few of them are: Surround yourself with good friends. Choose to stay active, but slow down to savor moments, not rush through them. Live in the moment. Reconnect with nature. While these are very general and broad suggestions, you can apply them to your life starting today. It’s something we have full choice about, believe it or not. We can choose our happiness by choosing how we spend our days and who we spend them with.

Choose to keep your curiosity as open as a 2-year-old sees the world around them. It is the curiosity that leads us to learn and seek things that make us feel alive and excited! We all want fulfillment and Ikigai provides a path. Become insatiable in inventing, creating, and exploring—and you have found your Ikigai!

Do you think Ikigai is the secret to a long and happy life? What will you do today to take steps to embrace your Ikigai lifestyle?

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