Spirit » Duh | 43 Kako kažu žitelji Okinave, ostrva s najvećimbrojem stogodišnjaka, ikigai je skriven duboko u nama, pa je, da bismo do njega došli, neophodno da strpljivo istražujemo dubine našeg bića According to the inhabitants of Okinawa, the islands with the largest number of centenarians, Ikigai is hidden deep inside us, so in order to reach it, it is necessary to patiently explore the depths of our being We live fast. Most often we spend most of the day in the bluish light of screens – be they computer, tablet, mobile phone or TV screens. We want to achieve more and possessmore – forgetting thewisdomof “less ismore”. How to find balance in all of this? e Japanese say - try ikigai. And what is that exactly? e linguistic etymological explanation is that it is a compound term that’s created by combining two words - “iki”, meaning “to live”, and “gai”, meaning “reason”. Accurate translations into other languages are difficult and would most closely be defined through the terms purpose, value and a sense of meaning to life. Fortunately for those of us who don’t speak Japanese, books explaining the finer details of this art of living have been appearing in bookshops in recent years. One of them is ‘Ikigai: e Japanese Secret to a Long andHappy Life’, co-authored by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles. Héctor, a resident of Barcelona who spent 13 years living in Tokyo, gives his own summarised interpretation of the ikigai principle. “Ikigai can be translated as a reason for existing, something that compels you to get out of bed every morning.” In order to determine what your Ikigai is, experts recommend that you answer the following four questions: 1. What do you really love to do? 2. What are you good at? 3.Whatdoes theworld, your surroundings, or the community inwhichyou live, need fromyou? 4. What can you be paid for? You can compile a list of the four aforementionedelements andworkoutwhat lies at theheart of all the answers, but finding your own ikigai can also be simpler than that. It is enough to simply stop at some point during the day and ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” - Once you notice which tasks you do with total enthusiasm, like a child at play, you will focus on things that have more meaning to you. “For example, I felt better inmy daily work when I learnt to say no to things that I felt I didn’t like, while on the other hand I started putting myself in situations in which I could do things that I love and am good at,” said García. “I also devoted more time to my hobbies (yoga and photography), and I enjoy themmore than ever.” e Japanese know well that adopting ikigai can’t be a quick process. Ikigai changes with age - that which drives a young person develops with the acquiring of new experiences and gains support through the harmony of personal satisfaction and the different roles that each of us has in the community. Its driving force is such that you can function with ease in various situations. It requires sufficient knowledge, patience and personal development, while the aforementioned money earned is by no means at the centre of attention. Considering that Japan is known for having the world’s oldest inhabitants, within an average life expectancy of 87 for women and 81 for men, Ikigai could be a secret source of their longevity. It’s worth a try, right? Have you already found your SECR E T F ROM J APAN People worldwide are placing their hopes in Ikigai, a Japanese skill that uses a series of principles of self-knowledge to provide calmness in chaos and convert everyday agitations into a purpose