What's Your Ikigai?
What does this 102 year old Okinawan lady have that we might not? No, the answer is not a great, great granddaughter (which she does have). The answer is that this lady possesses an “ikigai”. In Okinawa, “ikigai” roughly translates to “why I get up each morning” (Buettner, 2009).
Dan Buettner, National Geographic explorer and longevity researcher, traveled the world in search of what he called Blue Zones-areas of the world where the population lived for an unusually long time. He searched for common characteristics among the populations, trying to understand what was helping them live 7-10 good years beyond the average American...to live longer, isn’t that what we all want?
So, this ikigai…what does it mean? It means having a dream, a purpose, something to live and strive for. No, collecting a paycheck or getting through the day doesn’t quite cut it. I’ve had the chance to help an individual lose a 110lbs in a year, and a handful of others over 60lbs. You know what each of those individuals had? A fire inside them, a reason to want to live…an ikigai. What’s your ikigai?
Want to hear more? Check out this TED talk