This, my friends, is a Japanese word meaning “the reason for being” or “the reason to wake up in the morning” – or so I’ve been told. Google says so, I’ve read a book that says so (The Blue Zones), and I absolutely adore this word.
I have no relation to the Japanese language, culture, or people, but I truly and deeply appreciate this word.
Why do YOU wake up in the morning?
Do you wake up every day excited about what lies ahead in your workplace?
Do you wake up beside the person that you love?
Are you excited for a vacation that is planned, coffee that you can hear brewing, breakfast that is made by loved ones.
I think ikigai can mean something different every day and on some days it can mean more than others, but overall I think we all should deserve to find our “reason for being.”
Now days I find a lot of people associate their worth with literally “how much they’re worth” – how much money they have in their bank account. Yes, it is nice to have money and be financially stable because, lets face it, we need a job that provides enough for us to live comfortably but if that is all you are waking up to every day.. is that happiness?
If you truly love your job I think that is wonderful. Nothing more satisfying and almost rare because again, I feel like a lot of people spend their whole life working and doing something that they don’t love. Which I also understand because no job = no money, and well, that sucks too.
So if you don’t love your job, I hope you have something else that keeps you happy. If I don’t love my job – which has happened in the past – I find happiness elsewhere. I think it’s hard to really figure this out sometimes.
You can find it on a Starbucks coffee. This barista was definitely drunk (hahaha, just kidding) but I really had a good laugh when I got this cup. My new Starbucks drink name will now be Emma, no one can screw that up.
Anywho getting side-tracked…
Lately, I have been in on this weird path of reflection, figuring out what my goals are and how I can achieve them, what makes me happy, and who I want to share my happiness with. Which is why I am so in love with the word ikigai.
There are a lot of things that play into my happiness but I have narrowed it down to one word. Sharing.
There is a reason why they say happiness is multiplied when shared. I want to share my happiness with people because they are my happiness. That’s why I love food so much – not the food itself but the meaning behind it – the memories. It brings people together, it creates memories, moments in time that you can never replace by being alone.
I’ve realized that’s why I share so many photos on Instagram and my blog. I want to share my life with you because even if you aren’t with me eating that delicious pizza at Prima Strada or with me at the market on Sunday’s, or curled up on the couch with me on a Friday night, I want you to know that I wish you were. And in this day and age… it makes me feel less alone.
And don’t worry, I don’t go home and cry at night because I’m “alone” but I just mean that social connection with people is so far gone these days. It all comes down to texting and whatever else. We look for that connection but we don’t actually ever pick up the phone and call someone or follow through on plans because its easier to snapchat and text.
For example this week I received a phone call from a friend “just because” and it was so nice. People don’t do that these days. At least not for me and I was so happy and grateful that he called. So when I thought about that, I started laughing because I was so happy to get a PHONE CALL from someone. It’s pathetic and wonderful at the same time. Our social media driven life in a nutshell: A phone call has become a rarity.
Social media has made it so incredibly easy to share our life, but it’s also made us so incredibly anti-social. I read THIS ARTICLE in the Globe and Mail yesterday and man, does it ever it home.
“It is the great irony of our age that we have never been better connected, or more adrift.”
Anywho, lately my ikigai is just to share my life – yes through Instagram and this blog (a little less of course) but more importantly I want to make a conscious effort to be present in those moments.
Be integral with what I say and be accountable for my actions. If I make plans with you I want to follow through. To really share moments with people, friends, and family. I want to create space in my life for you.
I don’t want to go to the market alone, I want you to come. I don’t want to grab a coffee by myself, I want to sip it with you. I don’t want to watch a movie by myself, but I want to watch it with you. I want to do absolutely nothing with you. It’s the little things that are worth sharing.
What’s your ikigai?