What is happiness?
To understand the meaning of a word I like to find it’s etymology.
The Happy word in Latin is “felix” which had more of an agronomic than a psychological meaning.
In fact, “Arbor Felix” does not mean “happy tree” but a tree that gives good fruit and in this sense we can define it happy.
Happiness lies in finding what makes you grat fruit, that thing, so you can’t wait to get up in the morning; What makes your life worth living.
Whether it’s a hobby, a “job”, a project, a person, a place of dreams, in short, anything for you represents the reason to wake up happy in the morning.
For the Japanese this is ikigai.
This word represents the union between “iki” (to live) “gai” (reason) and precisely means “reason to live“.
Traditionally, ikigai is based on five pillars:
- Starting from the small things: Everything is about starting something, proceeding in small steps, without having as its ultimate goal the achievement of success but the joy of continuous improvement.
- Forget about oneself: The meaning of everything is to do something that starts “from within”, something to which we dedicate ourselves with love, care and attention, without aiming for recognition.
- Harmony and Sustainability: What you do has an impact on the world and on people. Always act with the intention of bringing improvement to people and the environment
- Joy for the little things: Appreciate the little things; They are the ones that most often make us feel joy: a good meal prepared with love, the warm embrace of a family member, a smile from a passer-by ……
- Staying in the here and now: This last pillar is based on learning to live in the present, in the here and now, accepting it as it is, in a word be centered. If we spend our time worrying about the future, we will never live our life that will flow through us, like the water of the river without our being able to quench our thirst.
How to find ours
In Japan the explanation would have stopped there, but, to help the deeper understanding of this concept, we can continue with a visual representation in the form of a Venn diagram
This type of representation of the Ikigai was created for the first time by Marc Winn using the traditional idea of Ikigai, in order to find a schematic, tutored way to find one’s purpose in life.
Marc Winn Identify these four areas:
- What you love to do
- What you do well
- What the world needs
- What you are paid for
The perfect balance, crossing, between these macro areas of life represent our reason for being, our Ikigai.
Finding one’s reason for living can sometimes be difficult because we often find ourselves in an environment that hinders us, that blocks us, insinuating fears or fictitious needs that in an attempt to satisfy them make us lose the right path.
If you still don’t know what your IKIGAI is, print the following image, fill the 4 sets with everything you can think of and find the perfect junction.
Something worth living for, Ikigai, is very different from doing something to survive, a job; Find your Ikigai and you won’t work even a day, not because you won’t be doing physical or mental work, but because it won’t weigh on you.
Whether you prefer Marc Winn’s method, the more traditional one or that you already have a purpose in life, to be happy, the important thing is that you have one.
Have a life worth living!