IKIGAI| 2021-02-28


 Everyone wants to live a long, healthy and happy life. It’s a cherished wish among us that we want a life of longevity, sound health and ample happiness. Many of us think that it’s a God blessing to those who live such a dream life. But, there are legions of esoteric elderly Japanese who live a dream life we wish to live. Now, a question crops up : Is it possible for us to have a life of natural health & happiness? And if you ask the very question to Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia, the answer might be “yes” as they did research on the secret of the elderly in Japan. Why do Japanese elderly become so extremely old in certain areas in Japan? What do they eat? What do they do to stay active? How do they deal with stress? What does their social life look like? 


On the island of Okinawa in Japan, the most centenarians live per 100,000 inhabitants than anywhere else in the world. Not only are they old, but they are still active and happy, up until a very high age. .The elderly of Okinawa never retire. The best thing about our ikigai is that once we’ve found it, we don’t want to retire. Some 90 year olds say they have so many plans and don’t think about dying. They always keep having a purpose for which they get out of bed in the morning. 

”Ikigai” is a Mysterious Word :-

The term ”ikigai” is explained in various ways. It can be briefly described as: the reason why one gets out of bed in the morning. It is the reason for one’s existence. It is the bliss of always being busy. Ikigai is actually a combination of our passion,  mission and profession. 


1. Stay Active; Don’t Retire :- It goes saying in Japan “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years. It is very important to keep doing things we love doing and do well.

2. Take It Slow :- As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far” . When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning. Give up hurry burry nature and become slow and steady in every action.

3. Don’t Fill Your Stomach:- An old Japanese proverb is “Hara hachi bu”. This means ”eat until you’re eighty percent full”. The Japanese elderly don’t overeat and believe that eating a little less than you need is healthier. According to the 80% rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.

4. Surround Yourself With Good Friends:- Friends are the best medicine. It is customary in Okinawan to form close bonds within local communities. A moai is an informal group of people with common interests who look out for one another. In this group the elderly are always there for each other when they need help or support. Whether one has financial problems or need help with something at home, he can always count on his moai.

5. Stay Physically Active:- Get in shape for your next birthday. Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and doesn’t stagnate. The body you move through life in needs a bit of daily maintenance in form of exercise. Walk to work or walk for fun for at least twenty minutes a day. Don’t use an elevator or escalator, but use your legs. Moderately intensive moving your body equals a longer life. Sufficient rest and sleep is also equally important.

6. Reconnect with Nature & Give Thanks:-  Human being is made to be part of the natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries. To our ancestors, ,to nature, which provide us with fresh air, sound health, food and everything that brightens our days and makes us feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment giving thanks, and watch our stockpile of happiness grow.

7. Nutrition :- A healthy diet is of course very important. The diet on Okinawa is also called the ”wonder diet”. It’s for example important to eat a variety of foods and not to overeat.

8. Smile:- “Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”  A cheerful smile wins a lot. It helps to make friends. One smile has the power to release stress, make us attractive & happy. Believe it or not, smiling can actually cause happiness.

9. Live In The Moment:- Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all we have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering. Realize that the only thing that really exists and what we can control is the present. So we should not worry about the past or the future, but appreciate the things that are here right now. We can do this for example by living in the moment, in Japanese this is called “Wabi-Sabi”. This means that we should try to see the beauty of everything that is perishable, changing and imperfect.

10. Follow Your Ikigai :- There is a passion inside everyone, a unique talent gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what is your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it .

 According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking, though they carry it within them



-Motivational Speaker, Trainer, Educationist,

from onemilliontalent!