The Japanese secret of longevity


There is something specific they do for this but now it is not more a secret. It’s about a Japanese philosophy known as ikigai, over-simply translated as the happiness derived from being busy at some activity that holds meaning and purpose for them. It was described  in some well written books like Dan Buettner’s “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” or Héctor García and Francesc Miralles’ compact “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.” Basically more factors as a healthy diet, movement/exercise, plenty of time outdoors, getting enough sleep and having a good social life with real friends are involved. Ikigai means purpose, passion, meaning, mission, vocation and drive, all together.

Woman from Ogimi village

The first step is to determine: What do you love ? What are you good at ? What motivates you ? What you can do easy and with pleasure do for others, for the whole world ? Clearly, this is personal, people have different passions, but doing what they like and with a smile on their face has the same effect. Existential crisis not exist in the ikigai philosophy. There are not suicids.  Ikigai doesn’t need to be  complicated. Being fully and delightfully immersed in what people like to do is the key. Those Japanese don’t have a word for „retirement.” They are for life addicted to their passion. Money or need of success as a goal are not subjects in their life.


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