Have you found your IKIGAI yet?

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The popular book on “IKIGAI - The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles has been in my house for quite some time now. But only recently, I did manage to read it (yay!! Finally!) during the “life-altering” COVID-19 lockdown period to be precise. And what a perfect timing it was! Going through the first two pages of the book brought an instant smile on my face. Not being a major fan of reading non-fiction books, I was quite delighted that this book kept my interest levels very high. This gave me more confidence to continue reading this life-changing book and assimilate the hard-hitting messages.

I presume that people who are reading this blog are aware about the meaning of the famous Japanese concept “IKIGAI”. Finding IKIGAI for one’s own self is often times challenging unless we pause and reflect upon our life choices and the consequences thereof. Is it a mere coincidence that the concepts mentioned and elaborated in IKIGAI have gained center stage as never before especially as witnessed during the pandemic period? It has been a reminder to mankind to value the importance of good health which includes eating natural healthy food in moderation, regular exercise, adequate sleep, calming the mind through meditation, maintaining a positive (even better, antifragile) attitude amidst setbacks, expressing gratitude even in the simplest things, pursuing our inherent interests with joy and ultimately, to maintain a healthy immune system for a long life.

Understanding and most importantly, applying this concept of IKIGAI has enabled me to catch myself if I miss out or fall off the track with some of the most important things that I attribute high value to (such as physical and mental health). After all, to live a well-balanced and meaningful life is what everyone strives to achieve.

Suchitra Chandrasekaran

Suchitra is a strong proponent of the IKIGAI concept and religiously follows its various tenets. As an Energy & Environment Sector Specialist, she has travelled extensively across Asia Pacific. During her travel to Japan, she came to know about IKIGAI and ever since has been an ardent follower of the concept.