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Ikigai (生き甲斐) – Reason for Being

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1 Ikigai (生き甲斐) – Reason for Being on Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:08 am



Ikigai (生き甲斐) – Reason for Being

Posted on January 1, 2016 by Christopher Chase

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self-discovery and reflection.
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. The word is also used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It’s not necessarily linked to economic status or daily state of things.
Even if a person feels that today is dark, but has a goal, he may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make one feel “a reason for being” are not actions which individuals are forced to take – these are natural and spontaneous actions.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” ~Abraham Maslow
In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.
Primary text source – Wikipedia: Ikigai (生き甲斐)
The idea of “kai/gai” from Iki-gai (effect to live) and hataraki-gai (effect to work) means the effect of doing some action is beneficial for everyone, for example to live and work supports the health, happiness and life satisfaction of self and others.
「かい(甲斐)」 動詞の連用形や動作性の名詞などに付いて、その行為をした効果・効験の意を表す。「生き―」「働き―」
Related: Japanese from Okinawa reflect on the importance of Ikigai in their lives  (video) *  Psychology Today: Ikigai & Mortality  * Blog: What is Your Ikigai? *  Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs * Self-Direction is the Key to Mastery * Every Child is an Artist by Nature  * Flow- The Psychology of Optimal Experience  * Paradigms are Made for Shifting * Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education  * Real Learning is a Creative Process  *
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ―Pablo Picasso

“Creativity is not a characteristic of famous artists only. We live in a Creative Universe and are involved in creative activities every moment of our lives. Understanding this more deeply, and teaching this to our children, could lead to a global renaissance of innovation and creative transformation on our planet.” ~Christopher Chase,  How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe
“If you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that…” ~Alan Watts
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way… Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself..” ― Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels…” ~Albert Einstein

Thanks to:

  I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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