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Ikigai - The new lifestyle mantra

Updated: May 29, 2019

"Less stress, better health and greater happiness: it's all about the Japanese life philosophy ikigai" - The Times

Live a happy and long life the Japanese way

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." The word ikigai literally consists of 'iki' (to live) and 'gai' (reason).


ikigai does not come from a single value system and comes with five important pillars:


1. Starting small

2. Releasing yourself

3. Harmony and sustainability

4. The joy of small things

5. Being in the here and now


The word ikigai is usually used to indicate the source of value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile. Or simply,


what is your reason for getting up in the morning?

ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

What you love (your passion)

What the world needs (your mission)

What you are good at (your vocation)

What you can get paid for (your profession)


Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfilment, happiness and make you live longer.


What you deeply care about can unlock your ikigai

The problem for millions of people is that they stop being curious about new experiences as they assume responsibilities and build routines.


Also people tend to regard certain things in life as necessary for happiness.


You can be focused on a particular aspect of life, so much that you can believe your happiness depends on it. Researchers have called this phenomenon 'focusing illusion'.


How many time have we seen ourselves or people around us making statements that they wouldn't be happy until they are married, have enough money, have a proper job, etc. In having a focusing illusion, you create your own reason for feeling unhappy.


But there is no absolute formula for happiness.

In order to be happy, you need to accept yourself. One of the most important yet difficult tasks!


ikigai and happiness come from the acceptance of the self.



We hope you enjoyed this article! If you would like more advices and tips, join us for one of our workshops or book a one to one session


In Japan, Ikigai is "the reason to get up in the morning"


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