6th SEPTEMBER 2021
The 10 Rules of IKIGAI:
The Japanese Secrets To a Long and Happy Life
The book "IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret To a Long
and Happy Life" by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles,
is more of a case study on the lives of the long-living
residents from Ogimi, a small village in Okinawa,
than an explanation or guide to understanding Ikigai.
The 10 Rules of Ikigai
1. Stay active; don't retire.
"Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life.
That's why it's so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing
beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after
your "official" professional activity has ended."
2. Take it slow.
"Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to the quality of life.
As the old saying goes, "Walk slowly and you'll go far." When we leave urgency behind,
life and time take on new meaning." If you are in a hurry it incites that you are not in
control and under stress. By taking things slow it means you are more mindful of your
decisions, in control and more often than not doing the things you want to do.
3. Don't fill your stomach.
"Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too.
According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer,
we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.
" Hara hachi bun me ni isha irazu- This Japanese proverb translates
to 'Eating to only 80% full keeps the doctors away'.
4. Surround yourself with good friends.
"Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat,
sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming . . .
in other words, and living." Young people often say "My life has no ikigai".
This is obvious. People who isolate themselves can't have ikigai – meaning or purpose.
I kigai is only found in interpersonal relationships.– Ishikawa Tatsuzo
"A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing – it also helps make friends.
It's good to recognize the things that aren't so great, but we should never forget
what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities."
7. Reconnect with nature
Though most people live in cities these days, human beings are made to be part of the
natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries.
"Are you familiar with the Japanese word shinrin-yoku. It translates to 'forest bathing'
and means connecting with nature using the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell,
and touch. It is a mindfulness practice to help you reconnect with nature so that
you can rejuvenate the body and give the mind a moment of peace."
8. Give thanks
"To your ancestors, to nature, which provides you with the air you breathe and the
food you eat, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and
makes you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and
you'll watch your stockpile of happiness grow."
9. Live in the moment
"Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have.
Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering."
From the moment we wake up to the time we fall asleep we are constantly running
an internal dialogue with ourselves. Our mind jumps from one worry to another and
we forgot to be aware, present, mindful and alive in each moment.
Eckhart Tolle summed it up best in his book, The Power of Now,
when he wrote :"The present moment is all you ever have.
There is never a time when your life is not 'this moment.' Is this not a fact?"
– Eckhart Tolle
10. Follow your ikigai
"There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days
and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don't know
what your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it."
I think the authors got it wrong with this last rule. Your ikigai doesn't have to be
one unique talent that drives you. Japanese author, Ken Mogi describes ikigai as a
spectrum, and that you can have several ikigai, anything from enjoying your morning
coffee to working towards a life-defining goal.
COMPILED BY :Sonal Shah