Finding the Spiritual and Practical Balance of Ikigai

Finding the Spiritual and Practical Balance of Ikigai

It was only a few months ago when I came across a book while sitting in a cafe, just around the corner from my dorm room. It was life’s fate. I was distraught and had no direction in life and the first piece of wisdom I touched upon in months woke me up to a new way of living. 

Ikigai. 

The idea was pretty simple and just too complicated at the same time. Finding happiness and purpose in life. Finding the reason to wake up everyday. Finding longevity in yourself and around you. 

Prior to reading about the concept, I believed that my work, my family and my personal interests were nothing but different, siloed, separated parts of my life; never connected and never related. There was no deeper meaning to life, you live because you exist. The moment my eyes fell upon the words in the book I realized how meaningless my life had been.

I realized just how little I know of the people around me, and how little people know of me. If today I were to fall down the stairs or hurt myself, would my neighbors care to find out about me? Or would I too perish like my old neighbor whose son left him to fend for himself? 

And what does my life amount to? The work I do, who does it help? Does it bring any form of satisfaction? Or is it just the financial support that makes me break my back everyday? 

What was my ‘reason for being’? What is yours?

The Concept of Ikigai 

Ikigai, the Japanese concept of finding meaning behind the life we live and living a life filled with purpose. There are a bunch of books exploring this concept, multiple psychologists trying to find the idea behind the concept of Ikigai and how it has impacted the lives of a whole nation. 

The concept of Ikigai comes down to a diagram where your passion, mission, profession and vocation coincide. 

Your life becomes fulfilling when you have all these in synergy, and not even the combination of two or three can give your life true meaning. 

Passion

Your passions are a combination of what you love and what you’re good at. It gives you the feeling of happiness and spiritual contentment. 

Profession

Your profession is a combination of what you are good at and can get paid for. This brings your financial stability and a comfortable lifestyle. 

Mission

Your mission is what you love and what the world needs from you. 

Vocation

 When you combine what the world needs from you and what you get paid for, you get your vocation. 

Every single one of these is incomplete without the other three. If you have emotional and spiritual complacency but lack financial stability, that in itself is an incomplete way to live life. But a life with economical support that lacks any form of happiness and satisfaction is devoid of its status to be called living. 

Life is meaningful when your emotional, spiritual and financial needs get fulfilled together. 

And that starts from realizing that you don’t, in fact, lead a siloed and separated life. Every aspect of your life is interrelated and connected, connected through you. 

The Concept of Longevity: How Ikigai Brings You Immortality (Almost)

We’re not immortals, we age, weaken, and eventually fade away; but the idea is to live long and live full. 

Japan is the country with the longest- living citizens. Especially the citizens living on Okinawa Island. The citizens are known to value life, companionship, and follow a healthy lifestyle; finding their Ikigai and holding onto it. 

The lifestyle isn’t hard to follow, I’ve been onto it for the past few months. I simply take the best delta-8 THC gummies every morning, go out for a walk and follow it up with a healthy high-protein breakfast. I’ve learnt to indulge myself in things I enjoy, with people I enjoy the company of. The idea is to make life valuable, something worth waking up for. 

Nathaniel Garrett

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