To Life!

The Japanese have a word, ikigai, which basically means “a life well-lived.” People in parts of that country are well-known (as are other so-called “blue zone” areas) for longevity and a higher degree of happiness. Walking almost everywhere, rarely retiring from work, enjoying time in their garden, socializing, having small meals with a variety of vegetables and fruits, these are folks who love life and value health and wellness.

Might I suggest that to live life well is also to become a lifelong learner. School is never out for summer break. You can never be too old or too good at what you do. No, school is for life. And life is truly school. Learning is a daily thing, wisdom an endless pursuit. You never arrive, you never fill up, you never graduate. Because the world is always revealing new lessons...even in the oldest texts. For example, Seneca wrote many years ago that "there is no one more foolish than one who stops learning."

So be kind to yourself. Take a look at your nutrition, sleep and exercise. Do a "time audit" every now and then and ask yourself if you are spending your days wisely or wastefully. Do this for you! You have been given the gift of life and the best response is to take care of that gift as well as you can. Keep learning, keep growing, keep stretching, never stop reaching!

Back to those who live in Blue Zone areas, they inspire us to take care of ourselves so that—at the end of our lives—we too may say that we lived an “ikigai” life: well-lived!