Everybody wants to be happy but not everybody have the same way of achieving that. Some think that war is the right answer, others prefer peace. And no matter how different their means of reaching happiness are, they have a common goal. To be happy.
According to Blaise Pascal, French philosopher, people believe that the happiness can be only found in resting. When we are resting, when nothing stressful is going on, we are happy. But then there is another instinct—the one that pushes us to seek amusement. We are bored when we can just rest and enjoy and when nothing is happening. We have these two instincts that are contradicting each other and the vicious cycle from amusement to rest and back is what is keeping us from happiness.
Japanese people have found happiness and long life in Ikigai. They say that happiness can be found in always being busy and never stop working. Ikigai is about finding something you like doing and never stop doing it. The word “retirement” which we love in English, doesn’t even exist in Japanese. Most of the people there never retire, never stop working all together. They keep living their purpose until the day they die.
Their goal is different from ours, they don’t want to rest, they don’t’ want to find happiness, they want to find purpose and never retire from it.
Other things that centenarians in Okinawa claim are their secret to long life are: smile a lot, healthy diet full of various kinds of food, eating until they are 80% full, social ties with family and community, exercise (both mental and physical), plenty of sleep and no stress, positive attitude, and resistance to keep living Ikigai forever.
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