How to Find Your Passion and Purpose - Ikigai

Friday, October 26, 2018

Do you know how to find your passion and purpose?  You wish to live for a hundred years? People on a Japanese island, Okinawa, do, and they brought it to reality. But why do Okinawans live longer? What’s their secret? Longevity isn’t only about eating well and having plenty of exercise; you first need to define your purpose.

Hector Garcia Puigcerver talks about this in his book – Ikigai. It’s a Japanese concept to enhance life. Hector is a specialist in Japanese culture, and he along with Francesc Miralles, tries to uncover the Japanese secret of longevity.

Find out how to find your passion and purpose and how deep happiness can help you live a long life.

Listen to the summary at Blinkist or listen to the book at Audible.

Find your purpose

Defining what is your passion is the first step in finding your ikigai.
Defining what is your passion is the first step in finding your ikigai.

Okinawa is an island in southern Japan where you can find the most number of centenarians (people who are more than 100 years old) in the world. And one of the main reasons is that they live life by the ikigai way (ikigai kanji depiction – 生き甲斐).

For the Okinawans, ikigai is like a reason to get up in the morning, a reason for existence and the formula for happiness. They believe everyone has an ikigai, a purpose they were born to fulfill. 

While some find that reason early, other must seek it out soon. And once you know how to find your passion and purpose, it will motivate you to get out of bed every day.

Ikigai is something of what you’re passionate about, what your skills are, how you earn a living and what the world needs. It’s a combination of those four elements which add value to your life. And here’s how to find your ikigai and how to find your passion and purpose in life.

Stay active and curious

The meaning of passion in life is to keep doing the things you love and thrive on.
The meaning of passion in life is to keep doing the things you love and thrive on.

One of the first steps to a long and healthy life is to keep doing things you love, the ikigai. If your ikigai is the job you do, you shouldn’t retire. And if other things awaken your inner fire, like a hobby, never give it up. 

Finding your reason for being and committing to it, reduces the chances of heart disease and also, dementia.

Getting trapped in routines instead of what you love doing, lessens the flexibility of the brain over time and thus, you should exercise your brain. 

Play chess and cards or go out and meet people. Such activities keep your mind working. Social interactions also keep you free of stress and prevent early aging.

Read more: Curiosity or the Desire to Learn

Do yoga, meditate and give yourself a chance to calm down and observe… yourself. And worry as little as possible. This is the real way on how to find your passion and purpose in life.

Worry less, enjoy more

Morita therapy is a great way to learn mindfulness techniques and more about your emotions; which in turn will make you worry less!
Morita therapy is a great way to learn mindfulness techniques and more about your emotions; which in turn will make you worry less!

Excessive worrying over things causes unnecessary stress and this overthinking, also uses up your energy. So, instead of wasting it, use it to smile and greet others, even the strangers. 

Enjoy with what you have, make friends and wake up every day for your passion.

Instead of sitting and watching back-to-back movies, try undertaking some activities that make you happy, like really happy. Going for activities like skiing, swimming or others which make you want to live forever can influence your longevity. They increase the fun moments in your life and thus, you should give them a priority over media entertainment. 

Read more: Stop Worrying and Achieve More with Essentialism

Such physical activities keep you so concentrated that you forget every other concern, even time.

But if you still feel stressed, you may want to try the Morita therapy. It starts with cutting you off from the world. All you do is spend time with yourself and work on your emotions. 

This is when you find your ikigai, and learn how to find your passion and purpose to your life and thus, experience the joy.

Follow Okinawa diet plan

Okinawa is called the Blue Zone thanks to the healthy local food.
Okinawa is called the Blue Zone thanks to the healthy local food.

If you’re still struggling to know how to find your passion and purpose, let’s get you a little diverted to the Japanese longevity diet. 

According to studies conducted by Makoto Suzuki, the Okinawan diet consists of a variety of foods. The locals, on an average, eat up to 206 different foods regularly and some of them are rich in antioxidants.

The first in the list is the air-dried green tea, and another antioxidant-rich one is a local citrus fruit, shikuwasa. Although there is a variety, the Okinawan diet is quite plain. 

The residents of Okinawa eat 60% less sugar and 50% less salt than the others in Japan. And it’s worth knowing that the Japanese diet already is healthy compared to the world.

Apart from the variety, another significant feature of the Okinawa diet pyramid is small portion size. According to Okinawans, you must stop eating when you’re about 80% full. 

They serve food in small bowls, and modern science has also proved that eating less restricts the aging in cells.

Get in shape through exercise

There are numerous ways on how to stay physically fit, and it's essential to just move around.
There are numerous ways on how to stay physically fit, and it's essential to just move around.

While you’re trying to see how to find your passion and purpose, just know that staying in shape too is essential for longevity. 

But you don’t need intense sports activities; the regular movements will do. Okinawans walk around, grow their vegetables and also go on the karaoke stage.

Remaining idle has adverse effects on health and thus, affects your lifespan. By the way, getting up for even five minutes every half hour can significantly reduce those effects. 

And you can also warm up your joints by lifting the arms up and bringing them down. If you’re having movements regularly, you won’t need those heavy pushups, Pilates and others.

So, to live long

You have to –  

  • Eat well and have plenty of exercises.
  • Find a purpose that drives you every day.
  • Focus your energy on what you love doing.

Finding your ikigai, the purpose, not only gives you a reason to live every day but also helps focus your energy. Getting yourself work towards the right direction reduces the energy wastage and gets you lead a longer life. So, Ikigai can be a great guideline to how to find your passion and purpose in life!

Abhijeet Kumar a freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.