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Motivation

Ikigai: Finding the Perfect Sweet Spot to Revolutionise Your Life

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If you haven’t been living off the internet under a rock, then you must have at least heard the word ‘ikigai’ floating about even if you’ve not seen or read about a certain book on the same. The charming pastel blue book claiming to contain the ever-elusive secret to a long and happy life seems to have inundated every online newsfeed and offline bookstores with its appealing aesthetic.

But the real value of the delicate text, as with all books, lies beyond the cover and in-between the pages, where it discusses an age-old Japanese tradition involved in the making of life choices and career decisions. In this article, we will be talking about what this seemingly wonderful concept of ‘ikigai’ is, how you can discover your own ikigai and how to harness it to turn your life around.

What is ‘ikigai’?

‘Ikigai’ (pronounced ee-key-guy) is a Japanese word that roughly translates into ‘reason for living’. It is a lifestyle that seeks to strike balance by mapping out different individual ambitions and aptitudes. It aims to create satisfaction in a life well-lived by uniting the practical and the spiritual things that sustain a person.

The New York Post perhaps said it best: “If hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something – and doing it with supreme focus and joy.” Simply put, it is a theory of everything— everything that a person might possibly need to be contented, happy and prosperous.

How to find your own ikigai

The four things that this unique idea considers are: what an individual loves doing, what they are good at, what the world needs, and what the world is willing to pay for. A closer look reveals that for almost everybody, it strikes the sweet spot between earning money to sustain oneself comfortably and leading a life that has meaning and contributes to the progress and well-being of the world.

So, think about your passions, interests, talents, and what you want your impact on the world to look like. Then try to figure out which of these is or can be developed into a tenable career choice, and lo and behold! The answer that you arrive at, might just be your ikigai. If you’re struggling, then look on the internet for colorful pie charts that can make your work in determining your ikigai easier.

What follows next?

As with all things in life, nothing is attained without practice. The same is applicable here too, since realigning your life choices, purpose and essentially, your philosophy of living calls for a near-total upheaval on both fronts— the personal and the professional. However, since the central premise of this unique and fulfilling Japanese concept is based on realizing your desires and ambitions in a sustainable way, there is little that can go wrong in the long run if you stick to it! 

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Motivation

Motivational Wall Art That Represent Your Culture

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The space where we live must reflect our personality, heritage, culture, and taste. One of the best ways to boost the style of home interior design with culture is to set up a wall with cultural art and craft. With walls, you have an endless opportunity to showcase ‘where you’re from’ while adding visual interest.

Whether you set up a home office or planning to renovate your living room, beautifying your walls with culture in mind provides you with the opportunity to express your values and personal beliefs- making your home sweet home a soothing place than ever before.

The issue is not everyone knows the art of wall art. If you are among those who don’t know how to do it, the first thing you need to do is stop stressing.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s your home, and you can make variations that you love to foster a relaxed vibe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a wall that feels like the creation of an expert.

Unique ways to infuse culture in your wall space and refresh their look

The following tips are for those who want to create a great cultural wall.

1.   Make a cultural trip gallery

What can be more fascinating than putting your most treasured pictures from your last cultural trip on your wall? Travel inspired décor is pretty in modern interior design.

trip gallery

Let the images speak for themselves. Displaying your travel photos is a brilliant idea to show your love for your culture no matter what corner of the earth you live. Tell your story and what you learn about your own culture through the language of images.

You can use printing services or use your own printer to get physical copies of your photos. There are tons of ways to use these images but creating a travel gallery wall is perhaps the most popular choice.

Now buy a wooden photo hanger, hanging frames, or branch string to display your memories creatively on walls. Have lots of photos to display? You can also create a grid to create photo display using poster tape

2.   Create an ancestor wall

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If you have wasted so many time scouring magazines and blogs for inspiration, now is the time to stop as here is a great idea for you to add a personal touch to your wall.

You can create a beautiful vintage family wall by blending the history of your own and your spouse’s family.  

Why should you create an ancestor gallery wall?

A family portrait wall can make a huge contribution to knowing your ancestral lineage and unquestionably more details about those blood relations who helped get us where you are today. Old portraits of ancestors would fascinate everyone in the home by looking at the photos of their distant relatives, knowing that some of them are not even alive.

A pro tip is to buy frames that do not match too closely with other frames. That way, it will appear as if the antique pictures have been accumulated over a long time.

3.     Use large-scale symbols

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As soon as you find an appealing cultural symbol, you can use that as an inspiration for your wall décor. Cultural symbols feature in books, movies, kids, clothing, movies, stationery, and fashion. You can also create a statement wall by painting a popular cultural symbol in the center. 

For instance, the Chinese dragon Feng Shui has a huge history in Chinese culture and symbolizes power, luck, and novelty. You’ve probably seen a Chinese dragon in a Chinese restaurant. These pictures have dragons with long snake-like bodies with sharp claws of hawks.

4.     Use fabric

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If you are looking for an interior designing idea that captures the attention of all the guests then

add a tinge of cultural grandiose to your living or bedroom by showcasing fabric on walls.

A tapestry can add life as well as softness to a wall. Consider vintage fabrics, scarves with patterns or other attractive textiles telling your cultural history.

Ancient Egypt and Italian tapestry from the 19th-century looks stunningly beautiful on walls. The added benefit of hanging tapestries is that they are a lot easier to move than a bunch of framed photos and paintings. 

5.   Paint a mural

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If your home has a large wall that needs a punch, then painting it with murals is a great idea. From wall murals in interior design to street art murals, they have been used by people as a way to mark their existence.

Murals cover large surfaces with beautiful imagery and tell a visual narrative expressing the history of a culture. Plus, they are a cost-effective strategy to add exotic cultural elements to your homes.

Take some inspiration from the Thai mural paintings that usually depict temples, exotic beach scenery, rainforests, and Thai symbols. You can choose your favorite cultural elements and uplift the décor of your lounge.

6.     Hang plates depicting your culture

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A cool idea to show your cultural roots is to hang in decorative plates with beautiful artwork. If you have friends from the southern culture, you’ll probably see hanging plates on their home walls for decorative purpose.

Most Southern homes have these hanging plates that tell stories about their homeowner’s culture and history. If you are bored with the typical old look of your walls, then redecorate them with some easy DIY wall plate ideas.

The finely hand-painted ceramic China plates are popular for their unique floral patterns in blue and white. A collection of plates arranged on the wall of your dining room can uplift its aesthetics. It is suggested to pick big and small plates of different shapes and create a layout that looks best.

Cultural wall to drive motivation

Art is commonly only used for decorating offices, homes, schools but art not only decorates a space, it actually defines it. In fact, art on walls can make a difference. You can use it to increase your productivity at work.

Culture shapes the way we spend our lives, but culture is also a key factor that can bring motivation to our everyday life.

How art brings joy to your life?

People experience both good and bad events in life. Arts let us validate our feelings and emotions. It is important to be thankful for the blessings and hope for a better future.

Gathering your much loved moments and displaying them creatively on the wall can give you the strength to move on even in your lowest phase. It can make us remember the happy moments, cheer up instantly whenever you’ll pass by, and inspire us to do more in life.

Plus, if you display happy memories from your last cultural adventure, then another trip isn’t far behind.

Try to create photos of your own. If you are busy an cannot create your own photographs, you can buy some relevant ones, just like students buys with their extracurricular activities buy dissertation to save time.

Creating a motivational wall trough art is a great idea to stay motivated and keep going. Revisiting your own culture teaches you more about your homeland and yourself. Hanging frames of your culture trip on walls remind you daily that you are linked to this place in many ways.

Why should you add cultural elements in your wall art?

Art is a language that speaks the things that cannot be said. With artwork that shows our culture, you can sense the hard work, time, and skills that went into the making. The brush strokes and colors used in the painting also made you think about the artist and what inspires him. The piece of art serves as a reminder of history and let you experience the incidents from the past.

By injecting culture in your interior design, you can give your wall a personality. Even if this isn’t your goal, you can use cultural elements as a way to showcase what you value in your life. The wall can be a perfect translator of what you like. This allows you to forge meaningful connections with anyone who comes into your home.

How art representing our culture motivates us?

The art not only gives us a brief introduction to our heritage and ethnic, but it is a valuable tool when it comes to an understanding our own selves and how we are different from others. It tells us how things changed over time.

The art depicting our culture also keep us informed about the old traditions and the interests of people. It also makes us brave. Assume a painting displaying a scene from the war field. It’ll definitely give you goosebumps. On the other side, seeing your ancestors and distant relatives is also enjoyable.

The symbols and depictions of our culture encourage us to cultivate a deeper appreciation for influence within our own particular society. Finally, your culture wall is a product of your beliefs and values, then carefully pick ideas that truly inspire you.

In summary

Filling in your blank wall spaces with art representing your culture is truly a fun activity. The representation of your culture shouldn’t be limited to walls, but a cultural touch can be given to complete interior design.

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Motivation

Why Most People Give Up Just Before They See Results

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When I was six years old, I remember giving up half-way on a math problem. I don’t recall who it was, probably a grade-school teacher who then told me a story of a man who needed to swim across a lake. The lake was 2 miles. He swam halfway and then got really tired and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. He turned around and swam back. 

I was aghast. “But he swam 2 miles either way! He could’ve just continued swimming forward and would’ve reached with the same effort!” It seemed like a pointless exercise and didn’t teach me much about giving up. When I think about it now, it’s not so surprising. We always tend to overestimate the journey ahead. 

We want tangible results

The moment we start a new project or skill, we expect results to follow soon. Most people don’t have an idea of what kind of results they want: just that it should be noticeable and experienced. 

If you recently started learning a new language, your idea of seeing results might be to speak fluently. That’s an undefined goal, and it’s difficult to say when that could happen. It could be a few months or a couple of years. But you’ll likely get frustrated before that happens. You’ll wonder why you’re working so hard but not seeing the results you want.

On the other hand, if your idea of seeing results would be to identify all alphabets correctly and pronounce two-syllable words, that’s a more realistic and well-defined result,, and you could accomplish it in six weeks with regular classes. 

Ensuring that your idea of ‘results’ is well-defined can help you identify the progress you’re making, however slow or little it is. 

The Plateau of Latent Potential 

A theory by James Clear (author of Atomic Habits) explains why progress is never linear. You’re making progress every single day, but you don’t always see these results. 

Just because you aren’t seeing results doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are being stored in your potential. James Clear likens it to heating an ice cube from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees. An ice cube melts at thirty two degrees, but just because the visible result happens between thirty one and thirty two, doesn’t mean the heating that happened before isn’t just as important. 

This is especially true for fitness. Those who make drastic lifestyle changes often notice visible physical differences or increase in strength only weeks after committing to exercise. In those first few weeks where the body is making improvements too minute to be noticed, people often get discouraged, thinking that it’s not working.

Those that do stick at it, however, suddenly show results! To the people around them, it seems like an overnight success. Everyone acknowledges your results, only noticing your ‘thirty one to thirty two degrees’ without knowing the effort you’ve put in. 

Remember that the ‘Valley of Disappointment’, as James Clear calls it, is for a very short duration before you see the progress that you’ve been working so hard to get. We often have arbitrary expectations from ourselves: if we’ve been working hard we ‘should’ be seeing some kind of improvement! 

Having faith in yourself and re-evaluating your motives for getting the results you want can help fuel your motivation as you plow through the first few weeks (or months!). Before you decide something isn’t your cup of tea, make sure you’ve given yourself a fair chance. You’ve put in a lot of effort already. Your ‘thirty two degrees’ might be closer than you think.

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the blow that did it — but all that had gone before.” Jacob Ruiz

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Motivation

Why Some People are More Motivated than Others

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An Experiment

In 1998, Psychologists Claudia M. Mueller and Carol S. Dweck from Columbia University conducted a study on more than 400 students from the fifth grade. 

They made two groups of children and gave them a series of puzzles to solve. In the beginning, they gave them easy puzzles where almost all the children performed well. They then congratulated the children in group A, telling them that they performed well because they were smart and gifted

They also congratulated the children in group B, but this time told them that the reason for their good performance was that they put in a lot of effort and hard work. 

After telling the children this, they gave them another series of tests: puzzles that were more difficult than the first time. 

What they noticed was that the children in Group A got discouraged easily. After trying for some time, they gave up solving the puzzles. When asked about their experience, they said they didn’t enjoy solving the puzzles much.

The children in Group B spent more time trying to solve these difficult puzzles. These children also said that they had fun doing the exercise! They had higher levels of motivation and self-satisfaction even when faced with a challenge.  

Since the puzzles were difficult this time, the children in both groups were told the truth that they failed in some of the puzzles and then asked why. 

The children in Group A thought that the reason for their failure was that they just weren’t smart enough. They felt disheartened and were found to be performance-oriented. A few failures and set-backs were enough to make them question their abilities and lose hope. 

On the other hand, the children in Group B felt the reason for their failure was that they didn’t try hard enough. They were determined to try again and use a different approach or method to solve the puzzles. These children were process-oriented and didn’t seem to care too much about whether they succeeded or failed, and gave more value to the entire learning experience. 

What We Can Learn from It

The children in Group A had such low levels of motivation and self-belief because they thought they couldn’t control the situation. They thought they succeeded in the first puzzle because of being born with brains, but also failed in the second puzzle due to those brains not being good enough. 

Telling someone that they’re talented or gifted may sound like a compliment, but it is really saying that the person was just born with it, instead of giving them credit for their efforts! 

Since the Group A kids weren’t given true credit in the first experiment, they thought they had no control over their intelligence. Research also indicates that when children are constantly told that they’re gifted, they’re more concerned with justifying that label: “Am I really gifted and as smart as they say I am? If it’s true, why did I fail the test? Maybe I’m not smart.” They begin to doubt themselves. 

How does this apply to adults?

When we stop giving ourselves real credit for our achievements, it backfires and makes us much less motivated to accomplish more things in the future.

If you did really well on a presentation last week and told yourself, “I really did get lucky! It was an easy topic.”, then the moment you’re struggling with the next presentation, you’ll think that the only thing that’s changed is that this time your luck has run out! 

On the other hand, if you recognized your own efforts: “I stayed up all night last night and worked really hard on this presentation. I’m so glad I did well.” Then next time you’re struggling, you’re going to remind yourself that hard work pays off well (just like it did last week!). 

This is why the levels of motivation are higher in people who take credit for both their successes and their failures. Thinking that you succeeded because of forces beyond your control will give you a handy excuse for whenever failure comes around. 

Just like the kids in Group A and Group B, successes and failures happen to all of us. We have easy challenges and then more tricky ones. The point is not how well you perform, but how much you enjoy a challenge, and how motivated you remain throughout the learning process

So next time you succeed: take credit. And when you fail, do the same thing! You’ll be more motivated to keep trying, and have fun doing it.

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