It encourages us to follow the example of the Okinawan people, who are some of the happiest, healthiest and oldest humans on earth, and take the time to discover our reason for being or our ikigai.
All of us, especially those of us running our own businesses, do so because we want to pursue something we are good at, provide a service to others and make a living. Most of us would like to believe that our business is the proof that we do what we love, however, some days this is not what brings you happiness.
This year I have decided that going forward with my business whilst embracing my ikigai will ensure all-round happiness. Its an interesting process to go through, and perfect at the beginning of a New Year when I am striving to make the year as successful as possible.
My ikigai is to nurture. Each day with each task I do I endeavour to ease someone's workload, resolve their problems or make them smile. It took me a while to realise that every position I have worked in up to this point was providing service to others and by connecting with them I could show them someone cares and is interested in their issues.
The book discusses Dr Santos who teaches one of the most popular classes at Yale, "The Science of Well-Being". She teaches that there are 8 elements we should incorporate into our lives regularly for our well-being:
1. Acts of kindness
3. Social connection
5. Time affluence
6. Good sleep
Some of these things are easy to achieve, but some we need to actively schedule into our lives or spend 5 minutes thinking about how we have achieved them. Ever the detail recorder, I have decided to try and track my progress, so I can see if I need to be doing more in some areas, as life can sometimes get in the way of happiness. I have found in just one of these areas that a simple gratitude list in the morning, whilst I sip my coffee, before the rest of the household stirs, is a brilliant mood lifter and way to start the day.
Have you heard of ikigai? Have you discovered yours? I'd love to hear what you have discovered on your journey and how you find pursuing this each day, has it changed your view on your everyday tasks?