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Okinawa is a small town in Japan that has the highest concentration of centenarians of all other regions in the world. The people in Okinawa not only live longer, they also stay healthier for longer. Age related chronic illnesses like coronary and pulmonary malfunction, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis are rare. Above everything else, people of Okinawa also score highest in their happiness index. Reason for exceptional longevity, health and happiness of the inhabitants of Okinawa? It is Ikigai.
Ikigai simply translated means “reason to be”. There’s a similar often repeated phrase among the French, “raison d’etre”. Another way of defining Ikigai is “life on purpose”.
It is said every individual in Okinawa has his / her own Ikigai, a reason to live. Ikigai is always specific to an individual. Each individual must find his / her own Ikigai.
Finding one’s Ikigai requires patience and deep thinking. It may take several years to figure out what one’s Ikigai is.
When we talk of retirement planning, traditional view has been often limited to financial aspects – savings and investments. Longevity or the lifespan in India has been increasing by 4 years for every 10 years. According to WHO data, average life expectancy in Delhi is already at 79 years, and it continues to go up. Living for 20, 30 or 40 years after retirement will need a very different state of body, mind, and soul.
Before planning our retirement, finding our Ikigai becomes critical.
How do we find our Ikigai?
To find our Ikigai, first we have to know what do we love and then figure out what are we good at. If we are able to find a commonality, then that becomes our passion.
Next, we find out what the world needs. If we find a common ground between what we love and what the world needs, then that becomes our mission.
Once we know what the world needs, we try finding out what we can be paid for. If there’s commonality between what the world needs and what we can be paid for, then that becomes our vocation.
And if we can find common area between what we are good at and what we can be paid for, that becomes our profession.
Only if we can find something common between what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for, then we would have found our Ikigai.
Finding our Ikigai needs years of search in our within. The search has to start many years before our retirement dates. Probably the most ideal time to start searching for our Ikigai is in our late 40s or early 50s.
In Okinawa, everyone finds his / her Ikigai, and no one ever retires. With Ikigai one find the purpose to live for.
Like the inhabitants of Okinawa, if we too are able to find our own Ikigai and thus our purpose to live for, we would have spent our time between our retirement and our final day, well worth living for. Work would no longer seem like work, and we would have succeeded in retiring our own retirement.
Andrei Hall, President of Hall Wealth Management wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving. Visit us at WWW.HWMG-LPL.COM for a complimentary financial overview. We are also on
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