A Gem from Japan: Ikigai
World travel includes many different adventures and experiences but learning new cultural practices and traditions is my favorite.
With Covid still an issue, I am hesitant to travel to far corners of the world, but yesterday in Grapevine, Texas, I realized I do not need to travel far to have a new cultural experience. Just 130 miles from my home, while doing a book signing, I met a Japanese woman who taught me a practice called "ikigai" (ee-kee-gahy).
She told me that each morning, she had to state her ikigai for the day when she was a child. This statement was her reason for being and direction or purpose for the day. It could be as simple as "to be a better person than I was yesterday" or as complex as a small step toward a lifetime goal. It has to do with passion and happiness. "Iki" means life, and "gai" means value or worth. After stating her intentions, the family adults would offer to help her reach her day's ikigai.
This valuable tradition teaches the control one has over the fate of their day. And that stating one's intentions and asking for support only adds to the day's happiness, value, and success.
Today, talking about living purposefully and with intention is popular, but this is not new. Whatever you call it, think about bringing this practice into your daily family routine for you, your partner, and especially your children or grandchildren. Imagine the difference it will make to everyone's life: focus, direction, purpose, passion, sharing the load, and especially happiness.
My ikigai today is to share this wonderful Japanese tradition with others. Please help me by sharing it with your friends and family.
What is your ikigai today? And how can I help you?
Never stop believing!