Although the “new year, new me” slogan is motivational, the fact is that all we really can encourage is another calendar zero, perhaps there’s a smarter way to embrace all the things life has for us.
Enter ikigai, the ancient philosophy of the Japanese, which is related to the long hope of the country. The Japanese expression “iki” (den) is used to define meaning or interest, which implies to be happy in life with intent. “den” means a mixture of “difficulty” (deny) and “difference” in Japan.
The term ikigai originates from the Heian period (794 to 1185). In a 2001 research paper, Akihiro Hasegawa, a clinical psychologist and keenly aware of ikigai development, wrote “gai” as the word “kai,” which in Japanese translates into “shell.”
The coats were extremely valuable during the Heian period, so the value combination of the word was still inherently visible. The same Japanese words can also be seen in hazarakigai, (say) the job interest, or yarigai ~ga aru, meaning “it is worth doing.” It means “it is worth it.”
Gai is the secret to your life purpose or meaning. The best way to encapsulate ikigai’s general philosophy is to explore the image of ikigai Venn that reveals the four key qualities: what you are fantastic at, what the world needs and what you can provide for, and of course what you enjoy.
Many sociologists, scientists, and journalists have researched, hypothesized and drawn several interesting conclusions concerning the usefulness and truths of this particular phenomenon. One hypothesis, in particular, is that ikigai will make you live longer and longer.