Home » IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 4 minutes read

By: Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
Yesterday I got an opportunity to read a very nice book “Ikigai” – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life and found it very incredible. While going through the book I found that it really realises the value of a purposeful life and helps us to find our purpose in life. It makes us more positive from within and motivates us to feel at peace with ourselves and our life. On reading the title “Ikigai” one feels what it means. It means “Life to be worthwhile” or “Purposeful Life”. “Ikigai” is a Japanese concept that means “your reason for being”. Here “Iki” means “Life” and “gai” means “Value” or “Worth”. I found the book “Ikigai” worth reading as it contains many powerful and proven concepts that can help us to live a purposeful life and it also leads us to our way of living.
We all have observed that today Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world and a particular region named “Okinawa” in Japan has a higher life expectancy than the national average. Why do they live longer lives ? Because one thing among them is common is they have purpose in their life. The current life expectancy for Japan in 2022 is 84.91 years, a 0.14% increase from 2021 as per the United Nations projections till 2100. The life expectancy for Japan in 2021 was 84.79 years, a 0.14% increase from 2020. The life expectancy for Japan in 2020 was 84.67 years, a 0.14% increase from 2019.The Japanese live with ‘ikigai’ – an ancient philosophy that preaches that one must seek some joy and purpose in life instead of merely existing. It’s about having a practice that guides you towards fulfilment. It is not about instant gratification but surely about defining your purpose in life, your personal mission, and discovering your full potential. Japan is one of the most rapidly ageing societies in the world. A quarter of the population is 65 or older. In Tokyo alone, some 3.1 million residents will be 65 or older by 2025, according to the health ministry.
If one is positive the effect on others may or may not be positive and the environment may not necessarily become positive. But when a person is negative the effect definitely rubs on others and the environment becomes negative. Each one of us is negative or positive at some point in our life. Through awareness and perseverance we can turn the tide and begin to focus on living positively. It’s never too late to make alterations or transitions in your life. It is said that there is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
Today the man is bombarded by a number of distractions. His mind is torn into different directions by a variety of distractions. Long hours of thinking are not possible for everyone but one has to be a think-tank for himself for three hours a day. In order to stimulate your mind, spend time with people who are successful. Today, everyone wants to be happy but how can one be happy in life? Happiness is an emotional state characterised by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. According to Aristotle Happiness could be achieved through the golden mean, which involves finding a balance between deficiency and excess. Happy people still feel the whole range of human emotions—anger, frustration, boredom, loneliness, and even sadness—from time to time.
The Japanese have an advanced healthcare system. Regular health campaigns that guide people to incorporate healthy lifestyles like reducing salt consumption, and free treatment for TB are a norm. Hence, to attain a healthy mind and a healthy body, we should eat healthy food. One should keep a check on the lifestyle disorder by modifying food habits, making exercise as part of life, reducing the intake of junk food and adopting relaxation techniques to keep stress at bay. There is a tendency to excessive eating of certain kinds of food that contain a lot of fat, sugar and salt. This fact causes many problems. One should eat as many various foods as possible to get all the vitamins and minerals and should drink water, milk and 100% natural juices as the main drinks. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise are the two most important things a person can do for their body to maintain a healthy weight. Healthy foods assist a person in enhancing their physical and mental well-being. These foods are full of nourishment and enhance growth. Health in reproduction is therefore of great importance for the well being of families and communities and therefore it has been rightly said that health is not everything but health affects everything. Can’t we lead a long and happy life as Japanese live?

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