Friday, April 10, 2020

I for Ikigai - My favourite things to counter COVID-19 stress

(This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. I am writing this month on activities that keep me refreshed during these depressing days. It's Day 9 today.)

A suggestion that came up on my Kindle last month was a book Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life. The Japanese are known for their high life expectancy. The nation also has a large number of centenarians, especially in the southern island of Okinawa.

I have never heard of this Japanese term, so I downloaded a sample of the book. Since it was interesting, I bought the book. I am more than half-way through it.

I am not enamoured by this focus on long life. Because there is no point in living many, many years if we aren't healthy. I would rather prefer to have a happy life, which I guess, might lead to a healthy life, and ultimately a long life.

According to the book, Ikigai is one of the keys to a long life; the others being diet, exercise and strong social ties. So, Ikigai is only a part of this book. Practising Ikigai is all about finding what excites us, focusing on it, and thereby realising our full potential. The book talks of certain tools to practise it.

Well, have I started on it? I must say I have begun taking baby steps. Why not ... There is always scope to improve our lifestyle. I have often felt I need to be more focussed, organized and do less multitasking.

Course correction never happens overnight; it's a long-drawn-out process. The ample time and energy during the enforced home confinement have provided me with an opportunity to embark on it.

23 comments:

  1. What an interesting concept. I have not heard that term before.

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  2. Hari OM
    I am familiar with ikigai from colleagues of Japanese heritage in Sydney. So it might be said the ikigai is for Improvement - another fine i word! YAM xx

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  3. You are young and have much more to accomplish.This book should interest young persons to draw the maximum out of life.For me at the last leg of my journey,with tired limbs and reduced mobility, prolonging life is itself a  punishment.Different strokes for different folks I admire your fluent writing style.

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    1. Hi KP - I know as one gets old, we slow down, we don't have the same drive as we used to have when we were young, and we feel a sense of accomplishment and completion. However, every day is a new day that brings with it scope for change and improvement.

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  4. This post is really an inspiring one. When we do something which we like, we will not be conscious about the time. Otherwise we will face a lot of impediments without seeing the shore of success.

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    1. Hi Sarala - It's all in the mind, is it not?

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  5. I have heard the term but didn't know what it was about.

    I think, at every stage of our life, we need to be driven by passion about something.

    Destination Infinity

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  6. Thank you for sharing. I had not heard this term. It sounds like a valuable concept to add meaning to ones existence. Be well!

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    1. Hi Darla - I am checking it out. Thank you. Take care.

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  7. I like Ikagai.
    And as you've said, a long life without good health is not the goal. Living well, on the other hand is.
    Good choice for I.

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  8. Yes, there's no point in living if you can't do it happily :)

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  9. It's about quality as much as it is about quantity. Cultivating the practice of things you love and maintaining loving social connections are two big ways to do it, I agree.

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    1. Hi Jade - That's true. I am trying it out. Thanks, Take care.

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  10. I just googled it and it looks interesting - although I'm not sure why they put "something that makes you lots of money" as a key requirement - these days I'm more focused on living a life that doesn't need lots of money - it gives me a lot of freedom compared to those who are constantly looking for ways to get wealthier.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Hi Leanne - Who knows "making money" might be someone's Ikigai. But my doubt if it's really sustainable, and whether it will bring lasting happiness and contentment.

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  11. I have never heard of Ikigai before. I agree with you that I would rather live a happy life than a long life if living longer means I am no longer happy. # MLSTL

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    1. Hi Michele - Ikigai is becoming popular. It's all one's passion, and it can be different for different people. But what binds them all together is they are contented, happy and have a purpose in their life.

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  12. I've heard of Ikigai and the idea of living a happy life is what most of us yearn for. Perhaps now in isolation we can reflect on what changes we would like to make in the future. Thanks for linking up at #MLSTL.

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    1. Hi Sue - Yes, these are times of introspection as we figure out new ways of lifestyle.

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