Art & Culture

The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Laura Lee
Jan 25, 2020

We all want to live long, happy, healthy lives. The thing is, in our modern world. life is hard and stressful, and sometimes the important things get left behind. Well, it might be time to start doing things a little differently. The Japanese island of Okinawa is said to be home to the largest population of centenarians in the world. The word ‘ikigai’ originated on the island of Okinawa and it just might be the secret to living well. Pronounced “eye-ka-guy”, the principle is, above all else, a lifestyle that strives to balance the spiritual with the practical, according to Forbes. “This balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for.”

Simply put, ikigai is the reason why you get up in the morning. To find your own ikigai make three lists: your values, things you like to do, and things you are good at. The cross-section of the three lists is your ikigai. Next, it’s time to put your ikigai to action. For some people, work might be their ikigai, while for others it might be singing and dancing. Ikigai can lead you through life with purpose and intent while making a difference in the world. And you just might live longer because of it.