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Finding Your Ikigai by Hitting a Wall

Is feeling alive important?

Recently, I read the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles and started thinking about the reasons why I jump out of bed early morning. Everyone has a reason to start their morning but most of us have difficulty getting up in the morning. Staying in bed even after the alarm goes off and struggling with sleeplessness has become a common custom. Ikigai begins with figuring out the different reasons that make you move out of your bed.

  • What is the first thing on your mind as soon as you wake up?
  • Why do you wanna move out of your bed?

Let’s look at the answers from two perspectives:

Checking notifications or the number of likes on your post is one trend then we have our moms checking on us as soon as they wake up and entering the kitchen for the family. Your ikigai lies in the uniqueness you encounter as soon as you wake up.

  • Does making food for the family an ikigai for moms?
  • Does going to practice an ikigai for sports professionals?
  • Does working hard for dreams an ikigai?

Ikigai is your reason for being alive. It is about what you love and what you are good at. Ikigai is about finding joy, fulfillment, and balance in the daily routine of life. Discovering your passion and finding ways to pursue it is what ikigai is all about. Asking yourself what profession you want to follow and what the world needs can help you find your ikigai.

Let’s look at things that give you dopamine. Crush asking you out, code executed successfully, or getting a promotion may be some of the reasons. You work for them continually with dedication. Is dopamine related to your ikigai? Ikigai does give you dopamine and serotonin although it gives you monoamine oxidase, endorphins, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

“Cuz how do you know yer alive if you don’t hurt?”
― Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

It’s easy to fall victim to siloed thinking, getting depressed, and getting deviated from your pathway. Having a flow in life is crucial as it opens a gateway to joy and satisfaction. For understanding ikigai, you should know that everything is connected. The first step towards peace and lasting happiness is to find the flow of your life. How to find the flow?

  1. Know what to do
  2. How to do it
  3. Know how well you’re doing
  4. Know where to go
  5. Take challenges
  6. Gain skills
  7. Be free
Watching Netflix(Funimation in my case) and distancing yourself from the world may give you serotonin but is that your ikigai? Life is a journey comprising several events that leads to your goal. Hobbies are a part of life plus having fun is very important for a healthy life. Challenging yourself and pushing your limits is what makes you feel alive. Having the least number of regrets is vital for having a healthy life. Stepping out of comfort and exploring the unknown world will help you get a better view of life. Don’t you want to try it out?

Hypertension, anxiety, and depression takes away the fun from your life. Wasting time overthinking past events won’t help you achieve life goals instead will add reasons for your depression. Finding goals are essential in life because you want to feel alive. Why should you find your ikigai?
The burning sensation in your chest when you ask out your crush or waiting for your exam results helps you experience a new feeling. This feeling, the ups, and downs in life are what makes you feel alive. Ikigai is aching to experience new emotions and feelings. Ikigai is why you want to feel alive. Everyone has their ikigai plus finding it will give you a broader perspective at life and some extra years.

“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die — dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows

Once you understand the flow, set small goals, and work towards them. Connect with people, start visiting places, find joy in little things, and accept yourself. Change is good but never regret your decisions.
Finding your Ikigai is well and good but are you ready to change the world? Think about it thoroughly because it’s your life and you want to do something big.
Big can be anything from building an empire to being the reason for your family’s smile. I hope you find your goals and live the life of your dreams.