Is there a fountain of youth? The Japanese think so, and they call it ikigai.
On the island of Okinawa, where the majority live to over 100, people constantly smile, laugh, eat sushi, walk daily and play in the water. Sounds like the perfect life to me! And they look great. Smoother, thicker skin and hair, appropriate weight and no drama. I think my mom would say it’s the bitter melon. But they insist it is due to ikigai.
Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing, in other words, the meaningfulness of your life. Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four elements:
• What you love
• What the world needs
• What you are good at
• What you can get paid for
Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfillment and happiness and make you live longer and look more beautiful. We all know beauty has nothing to do with your physical symmetry, but with the authenticity of your spirit.
Whatever you deeply care about is a good place to start. Or you can look for fulfillment and meaning in what you are already doing. It is there if you look. I’ve found that a subtle shift in my thinking can alter my entire approach to my life, my art and my business. I now see them all as one whole piece, not separate parts of my life. Each part can only exist if the other part is there too. And each piece is a different medium for me to express who I am and what I am all about.
I know I am here to make pretty things, bring beauty to the world, and help women and animals. As long as I do those things in any way, shape or form, I am living a truthful life. It doesn’t matter if I paint something, design a product, take a picture or donate to animal charities. It all leads to a convergence point of skills plus passion plus the right work.
We 'd love to hear about your own personal ikigai. Share it with us so we can support you in your fulfillment too!