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Ikigai: The Secret to a Long, Happy and Purposeful Life

Young woman making heart shape with her hands at sunrise
Photo: © Jcomp / Freepik.com

What gives you a spring in your step when you get out of bed in the morning? If you’re really fortunate, it might be because you have found your ikigai.

Ikigai is a Japanese word made from two words: iki meaning “life” or “being alive” and gai, meaning “what is worthwhile and has value”. So the literal translation would be “that which makes life worth living” or “a reason for being”. It is a Japanese secret to a long and happy life. 

Finding your ikigai can entail a deep and often lengthy search of self, which ultimately leads to a life that is worth living.

On the island of Okinawa in Japan, the inhabitants hold the record for having the longest lifespan on earth. Ikigai might be part of the reason. Finding your ikigai can entail a deep and often lengthy search of self, which ultimately leads to a life that is worth living. It’s about having meaning and purpose in life, where your dreams, aspirations and fulfilment all come together.

Ikigai is your purpose in life. It is the meaning of life, the thing that makes you get out of bed each day in eager anticipation. The Japanese believe that we all have an ikigai or even several inside us, even if we don’t know it yet.

Cover of the February 2022 issue of The Teenager Today

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Dr Resham Satyani is an educator by profession and a teen life coach by passion. She has over a decade of teaching experience at various high schools in Mumbai. After completing her Ph.D. in management studies she has found her Ikigai as a life coach and career counsellor for teenagers.

Dr Resham Satyani

Dr Resham Satyani is an educator by profession and a teen life coach by passion. She has over a decade of teaching experience at various high schools in Mumbai. After completing her Ph.D. in management studies she has found her Ikigai as a life coach and career counsellor for teenagers.