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!
How to Appreciate Life More and Find Joy in Every Day
When you think about your life, do you consider yourself a happy person? Can you live in the moment? Do you really value your life? If not, what should you change first?
Gratitude has the power to make a huge difference in your life. Focus on the good things and you will feel good. Notice the joys and you will feel joyful. Notice and rejoice in all that is good in your life and you will have something to be grateful for. Gratitude changes not only your thinking but also the whole state of being that begins to vibrate differently. When we are truly grateful for what we have and what we are, the brain releases neurochemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin – well-known hormones that allow us to feel happy.
You can start the day by complaining about something that is wrong and talking about your problems – but how exactly does that change anything? If something is not as you want it and you know you have the power to influence it, take action towards change. Less talk, more work. If you do not have the power to change something (for example, you cannot change the weather today or end the Covid-19 pandemic), then you just need to accept it.
When we choose to be grateful, things in our lives begin to change – and it happens very quickly. Here is how you can appreciate life more and be grateful…
When you give to others, you do not immediately realize how much of an impact it can have on both you and them. It does not matter if it is a gift, a nice word, or maybe the most valuable gift of all – your time. Selflessness is one of the things that can make you look at everything completely differently. Why? You are part of something bigger than yourself. It is living with meaning and purpose. When you give selflessly, you grow, evolve, and realize what is most important in life. In this way, you not only contribute to another person, to whom your time or attention can mean a lot, but you open yourself to the world, give your best, and create loving relationships both with other people and the world and with your inner being.
If you are wondering what to give – give love, understanding, and support. Give your time to a loved one. Invite her/him to ask how their day went. Give a sincere compliment to someone, be supportive of your loved ones in difficult times, offer help to someone who needs it, congratulate a success, smile at a person that passes by you… In that sense, everyone can provide something valuable to others. It does not mean that giving will solve your or anyone else’s problems, however, kindness in this world can do a lot. Do not do it for a reward. Do it because of the feeling you have when you give. That way, you will lead a life in which you will feel good.
When you give, let it be unconditional. Any giving that has intentions and expectations behind will, sooner or later, create conflict, dissatisfaction, or frustration in you. Many say they sacrifice and think they give. Sacrifice does not bring anything good. You may have heard someone saying “I sacrificed for you and did this and that, and you are giving it back to me like this.” Sacrifice comes from gain, powerlessness, and fear, while unconditional giving comes from pure love and complete freedom of choice. So, either give something unconditionally or do not give at all. Sacrifice is never heroic. Only giving is.
Be in the Present Moment
Find at least a few minutes in your day and sit with yourself, your feelings, your thoughts. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Be aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations in the body. Then look around and pay attention to what surrounds you. Focus on the senses. Notice colors, shapes, sounds, smells. Try to understand how tiny you are compared to the vastness of the sea or the sky. Understand that you are part of one big puzzle that makes up this world – a small but necessary part without which the puzzle would not be as it is. Release everything that is false and transient and feel the beauty and power of living.
Meditation and spending time in nature are the best ways to get back to yourself and learn to enjoy the present moment. Often the flow and hustle and bustle of modern life lead us to neglect ourselves and what is really important. But only a few minutes every day are enough to remind us of important things. Do not deprive yourself of this time, it will mean a lot to you.
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You have probably heard and read this countless times, so much so that sometimes you think it is taken for granted. However, even though it seems so, we still often forget that self-love is the basis of everything. If we do not love ourselves the most in the world, we will not be happy. No, that does not mean we are selfish or love others less. Healthy self-love is the basis for the love of life and healthy relationships.
Unconditional self-love implies accepting our flaws, inner resistance, challenges, and old wounds. There is no point in just putting a smile on your face and pretending that everything is fine. Persons who love themselves are aware of their virtues, values, beauty, but also of their flaws, traumas, vulnerabilities. Persons who love themselves know who they are, accept themselves completely, while at the same time they work on getting rid of repressed emotions, resolving old patterns that torment them, replacing bad habits with good ones, changing their useless and limiting beliefs. Persons who love themselves are aware that this takes time and that nothing happens overnight. They support themselves in the process, dismiss the need to be perfect, and appreciate every step they take.
Appreciate yourself. Respect yourself, with all your flaws and virtues. Do not condition love for yourself with some achievement or achieved goal because then it is not (true) love. Love yourself even when you make mistakes because mistakes are there to teach and guide us. When you accept yourself as a whole, you will be happier than you ever imagined. Be patient with yourself and understand your worth. Another very important thing – do not compare yourself with others. No one can live your life except you. You have your own unique path, which only you can tread, so enjoy the journey.
Focus on the Good
You have probably heard this before. So, now you realize that you do not need a lot of new information but remembering what you already know and, above all, applying what you have learned. And how do we focus on the good when we are in a challenging life situation or when we experience a hard time?
The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself the right questions, and here are a few examples:
- What has made me happy lately?
- What are those beautiful experiences that I had and that I enjoy remembering?
- What have I done well for myself or my loved ones lately?
- Who was kind to me or listened to me when I needed to?
- What do I like most about myself and what am I good at?
- What is it that I can do right away to feel better?
There may be periods in your life when you are overwhelmed by unpleasant emotions or it seems as if nothing is going as you imagined. Then is the right time to stop, take a deep breath, and try to answer some of these or similar questions. When we shift our focus from a problem or something that is bothering us and focus on the good, it will be much easier for us to come up with a solution from the good state in which we put ourselves. And even if we do not succeed in that, the problem will look much smaller.
Write Down What You Are Grateful For
Believe it or not, this is one of the most powerful tools that can help you find reasons to rejoice every day. No matter how bad the day was, there is always at least something to be thankful for. If you do not believe us, we will explain through an example.
You probably slept in a bed last night, which means you have a roof over your head and a safe and comfortable home. You ate today, so you have enough money to provide yourself with food and water. Maybe you are at work now, maybe you are at home, babysitting or preparing for an exam. These are all reasons to be grateful – for a job that brings you money, for home, family, or opportunities to get an education and progress. You are reading this article from your smartphone, tablet, computer, so you probably have your own device and Internet access, which already gives you huge opportunities. Congratulate and thank yourself for it.
Make a routine of writing down a few things you are grateful for every day. We often take some things for granted. Realize what these things are in your life and imagine for a moment what it would be like to lose them. This will probably encourage you to appreciate them more and start being grateful for them.
Have you looked around lately and seen how good your life is? This does not mean that you have reached the peak and that you do not need to develop anymore but stop for a moment and appreciate everything you have and what you have achieved.
To continue to grow and progress, you need to know how far you have come. The easiest way to see this is a break, a short break to just enjoy and nothing else. Whether it is going on vacation, going out for coffee with friends, walking in nature, or betting at online casinos that offer amenities and can be found at topcasinoexpert.com/allbonuses/no-deposit-bonuses/, take the time to enjoy yourself. Maybe you are one of those people who think they are missing something if they stop to rest or you believe that you do not need rest if you are motivated to constantly progress. Wrong. You need to understand that rest is necessary if you want to stay healthy, motivated, and ready for the next challenges.
Get out of the house. Explore nature. Travel. Put down your phone and look up at the sky. Whether you are on a half-hour break or on vacation, give yourself the freedom to relax. Be sure that, with renewed energy, it will be much easier to continue the path to new victories.
Celebrate Your Victories
Speaking of victories – don’t think that they have to be only big things, such as business success, wedding, buying a flat or a car, and the like. Sometimes the victory is just to get out of bed and bravely step into a new day. Getting out of bed as soon as we hear the alarm, without putting it on snooze. It is also a victory. Victory is when you dedicate an hour to yourself in the morning, instead of scrolling through social networks the moment you open your eyes. Victory is whenever you react differently in a situation that has bothered you before, when you set boundaries and respect yourself, or when you decide to work on introducing a new healthy habit. These are all small victories that have great significance.
Remember what your life looked like a few years ago and what has changed. Consider what you have achieved and what you continue to do well. That says a lot about you. That means you are brave, persistent, and disciplined. With that perspective, you can do anything. Even if some of your plans did not materialize, you can be thankful that they redirected you to something new, different, that was necessary for your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual development at the time. Praise yourself and reward yourself occasionally. You deserve it.
When you start appreciating yourself and everything you have every day, your life will undergo a transformation. You will be fulfilled, joyful, you will create deeper and more significant connections with the people who are important to you. This does not mean that you will be constantly happy and that you will not have difficult moments. That is why you are born, to go through various experiences, to learn and get to know yourself and the world through them. If you achieved perfect peace and happiness, there would be no more reason to live because that would mean that you have mastered all earthly lessons. So be grateful even in difficult moments, because they shape you the most. Say thank you to life itself.
You have got one life and what you do with it is up to you. Your life has value. Time is short, limited, so every moment is important. However, we know that it is not always easy to see what is in front of you. It is easier to complain, shut down, and be blind to the beauty this life offers. However, when you open up, you recognize that you are never alone. Feel that you, as you are, are unique and a unique part of the Universe. Life is a gift, start living it in accordance with that knowledge.
Motivational Wall Art That Represent Your Culture
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Why Most People Give Up Just Before They See Results
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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