Ikigai - How To Live A Long And Happy Life

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as the famous saying in Okinawa goes at

70 you are but children at 80 you are

merely a youth and at 90 if the

ancestors invite you into heaven ask

them to wait until you're 100 and then

you might consider it Okinawa is an

island south of mainland Japan

containing some of the world's longest

living humans on average men live until

84 and women until 90 there's also a

very high concentration of people who

are 100 or more even the oldest

Okinawans are considered healthy and

have the emotional physical and

intellectual capacity to live and

function independently those who study

why the inhabitants of this island in

the south of Japan live longer than

people anywhere else in the world

believe that one of the keys in addition

to a healthy diet a simple life in the

outdoors green tea and the subtropical

climate is the icky guy that shapes

their lives a key guy I keep meaning to

live and guy meaning reason or as we

would say in English your reason to live

which is why in this video we'll be

learning about a key guy and the other

things people of Okinawa do to live a

long and happy life from the book of a

key guy the Japanese secret to a long

and happy life by Hector Garcia and

Frances Mariah's number one follow

you're a key guy in the culture of

Okinawa a key guy is thought of as a

reason to get up in the morning that is

a reason to enjoy life Okinawans

especially the old ones discovered that

early on and can easily describe the why

behind their daily life they have a

reason for getting up in the morning

which means they have something to live

for a key guy is the philosophy that

blissfully keeps them busy until the end

of their days most of us from other

cultures are confused we follow a path

that society is created for us living by

someone else's standards we do many

things all the time and don't really pay

attention to our own deepest desires

we rarely find out our purpose and

passions in life and even if we do get

close we're all too often afraid to

admit to them and to follow them to find

your reason or purpose ask yourself

these four questions what do I love what

am I good at what does the world need

from me and what can I get paid for as

we all know your personal happiness

relies on much more than simply having a

career and getting a paycheck likewise

only doing things that you love or doing

things you're good at is not enough to

sustain you financially if you don't

know how to turn it into a paying job

hence you're a key guy lies at the

center of four interconnecting circles

each of these elements helps contribute

to your happiness

all for a crucial to your reason for

being finding and embracing your ikigai

is one of the first steps to a long

happy life without it you'll just wonder

through life holding on to material

things memories from the past or other

people you'll jump from one goal to

another from one daily task to the next

and you'll rarely know why you do all

that according to psychology today

individuals who believe their lives of

worth living live longer number two take

it slow Okinawa is known for its

slow-paced life slow living is a

lifestyle emphasizing slower approaches

to aspects of everyday life people here

are passionate about everything they do

however insignificant it might seem they

have an important purpose in life they

have an icky guy but they don't always

take it too seriously

their relaxed and enjoy all that they do

please celebrate all the time even the

little things music song and dance are

essential parts of daily life we live in

a world in which technology is

continually invented that saves us time

we use that time to do more and more

things and so somewhat

counter-intuitively our lives become

more hectic and fast-paced than ever

life moves at such breakneck speed that


to pass us by before we can really stop

to enjoy it however it doesn't have to

be this way a slower paced life means

making time to enjoy your morning's

instead of rushing off to work in a

frenzy it means taking time to enjoy

whatever you're doing to appreciate the

outdoors to actually focus on whomever

you're talking to or spending time with

instead of always being connected to an

iPhone or laptop instead of always

thinking about work tasks and emails

slowing down is a conscious choice and

not always an easy one but it leads to a

greater appreciation for life and a

greater level of happiness number three

don't fill your stomach the mortality

rate from cardiovascular disease in

Okinawa is the lowest in Japan and diet

almost certainly has a lot to do with

this the Okinawa diet includes at least

five servings of fruits and vegetables

each day of at least seven types typical

items include tofu miso bitter melon

seaweed soy sprouts peppers and green

tea they rarely eat sugar and if they do

it's cane sugar the average daily intake

of an Okinawan is only about 1,900

calories significantly less than the

average number of calories consumed by a

typical American especially those who

are middle aged they also eat

practically half as much salt as the

rest of Japan seven grams per day

compared to an average of twelve they

practiced this Confucian teaching called

Hara Hachi Bou which instructs people to

eat only until they're 80% full there's

a significant calorie gap between when

an American says I'm full and an

Okinawan says I'm no longer hungry this

cultural practice of calorie restriction

and mindful eating is part of the reason

that Okinawa has a higher percentage of

centenarians than anywhere else in the

world we too can make changes to our

eating patterns or environment enjoy

food and learn to eat only until we're

80 percent full and put the secret of

Hara Hachi boo into practice for

improved health or for weight

ways to get started include eating

slowly eating faster results in eating

more if we slow down

we'll be mindful and be able to allow

our body to respond to cues which tell

us we're no longer hungry focusing on

food if you're going to eat just eat

this way you'll eat more slowly consume

less and savor the food more use small

vessels if you choose to eat on smaller

plates and use tall narrow glasses your

brain believes it's had more portions

and you're likely to eat significantly

less without even thinking about it

don't believe me look at the size of

your plate next time you're at an

all-you-can-eat buffet and you'll see

there are lot smaller than the ones in

your kitchen cabinet number four

surround yourself with good friends in

small neighborhoods across Okinawa

friends meet for a common purpose

sometimes daily and sometimes a couple

of days a week to gossip experience life

and to share advice and even financial

assistance when needed they call these

groups their moai the term originated

hundreds of years ago as a means for a

villages financial support system

originally now eyes were formed to pool

the resources of an entire village for

projects or Public Works today the idea

has expanded to become more of a social

support network a cultural tradition for

built-in companionship traditionally

groups of about five young children were

paired together and it's then that they

made a commitment to each other for life

as their second family they would meet

regularly with their mouths for both

work and play and to pool resources some

Mau Y's have lasted over 90 years

research shows that friends can affect

your health even more than family and

people with the most friends tend to

outlive those with the fewest by 22

percent keep in mind that this means

real friends not Facebook friends or

Twitter followers the key isn't to try

to have tons of friends because

superficial distant and less than

meaningful relationships will only lead

to feelings of insecurity and loneliness

which will increase your risk of illness

and death

just as much as obesity alcoholism and

smoking the key is to have three or four

really really good friends that care for

you the same way you care for them the

easiest way to develop close friendships

is by thinking about what you can do

that will help the people closest to you

be happier and then do it

number five smile the Okinawans are very

cheerful and there's always a smile on

their face they believe it's good to

recognize the things that aren't so

great but we should never forget what a

privilege it is to be in the here and

now in a world so full of possibilities

one of the secrets of their long life is

smiling and having a good time this

cheerful attitude is not only relaxing

it also helps them to make new friends

there are no bars and only a few

restaurants in ome but those who live

there enjoy a rich social life that

revolves around community centers the

truth is that it takes 46 muscles to

frown and only seventeen to smile when

we smile we're happy or we've heard

something funny it occurs when we see a

person that we love or win a competition

smiling does more than just tell other

people that you're happy besides the

fact that it comes naturally there are

numerous other benefits to smiling

smiling lowers the heart rate and

reduces blood pressure while relaxing

your body a study from London University

College stated that happy cheerful

people are 35% more likely to live

longer smiling can help you make more

money and move up the career ladder it

makes you appear more confident

professional and self-assured those who

smile at their colleagues and customers

are more likely to get promoted be

approached with business ideas or get a


people who smiles seem more trustworthy

and are rated higher in generosity and

extraversion so don't forget to take

your smile with you everywhere you go

number 6 reconnect with nature in

Okinawa virtually everyone keeps a

vegetable garden and most of them also

have fields of tea mangoes chikuwa

and so on they say that anybody who

wants to grow

old healthily needs an icky guy or

reason for living

gardening gives you that something to

get up for every day getting together at

the local market bringing their produce

and sharing their latest creations from

the garden is a big social activity this

helps people feel connected and grounded

a sense of connection to other people is

important but so too is the individual

connection to nature one Harvard

University study showed the people who

were surrounded by lush greenery lived

longer with a lower chance of developing

cancer or respiratory illness over 100

studies have shown that being in nature

living near nature or even viewing

nature in paintings and videos can have

positive impacts on our brains bodies

feelings thought processes and social

interactions in particular viewing

nature seems to be inherently rewarding

producing a cascade of positive emotions

and calming our nervous systems this in

turn helps us to cultivate greater

openness creativity connection

generosity and resilience with more than

half of the world's population living in

cities we've lost touch with nature the

rat race sucks up our time and energy

leaving us feeling stressed anxious or

like we've lost meaning we have midlife

crises travel to find ourselves fight

depression with pills change jobs and

cars but somehow we cannot fill that

void our lives revolve around paying

bills buying things we don't actually

need drinking to feel something and

staring at a computer screen even though

today we don't need to hunt for food or

collect firewood every other day in the

winter there are easy ways to connect

with nature like growing a plant in your

house playing with your pet eating lunch

in the park watching the Sun Rise or set

or going on a trek sleeping under the

stars and so on even if you can't or

don't want to leave your comfortable

urban life get out there and be wild

every now and then if you do that

regularly you'll start to get drawn

towards nature

number seven give thanks the people of

Okinawa give thanks to the smallest of

things they give thanks to their

ancestors to nature for providing the

air and the food to their family and

friends to everything that brightens

their day and makes them feel lucky to

be alive they also have the special Naga

tug of war festival to give thanks for a

good harvest gratitude has produced such

miraculous results for people that

scientists have been seriously studying

the practice of gratefulness and its

physical and psychosocial benefits one

study conducted by the University of

Berkeley California divided participants

into three groups and asked them to

maintain a journal for ten weeks one

group was asked to write a list of ten

things they were grateful for over the

past week the second group was asked to

write a list of ten minor annoyances

over the past week and the third group

was asked to write about 10 things that

impacted their lives in the past week

but with no further direction at the end

of the ten weeks people from the first

group were reported feeling 25 percent

happier than the other groups apart from

increasing your happiness levels the

gratitude also improves our physical

health it lowers our stress levels while

stress causes heart attacks and other

chronic conditions gratitude leads to a

positive outlook and Spurs an optimistic

approach to life optimism in turn

increases immunity boosting cells you

can start being grateful by keeping a

gratitude journal every day pick three

to five things that you're thankful for

and write them down you could be

grateful for your friends family and

material goods your health and various

other blessings in your life when we're

truly thankful and we feel it deep

inside us we're grateful feeling

grateful forces our minds to adopt an

abundance mindset as opposed to a

scarcity based one where you feel you're

lacking something an abundant mindset is

key to our growth and well-being number

eight exercise in Okinawa people over 80

and 90 years old are still highly active

they don't stay at home looking out the

window or wastes time reading the

newspaper they walk a lot do karaoke

with their neighbors get up early in the

morning and as soon as they've had

breakfast or even before head outside to

weed their gardens they don't go to the

gym or exercise intensely but they

almost never stop moving in the course

of their daily routines with regular

access to sunshine and exercise they're

healthier with stronger bones higher

vitamin levels and generally in a

brighter mood the real reason we don't

exercise is our desire to avoid any

experience of discomfort the truth is in

order to stay healthy you don't need to

go to the gym for an hour every day or

run marathons as Japanese centenarians

show us all you need is to add movement

to your day practicing any of these

Eastern disciplines like yoga Qi Gong

and Tai Chi is a great way to seek

harmony between your body and mind so

that you can face the world with

strength joy and serenity these gentle

exercises offer extraordinary health

benefits and are particularly

appropriate for anyone who has a harder

time staying fit number 9

live in the moment Japanese

professionals are renowned for their

perseverance and absorption in their

tasks with a thorough attention to

detail we see this in all kinds of

contexts from the old people of Okinawa

working on their garden to the college

students working the weekend shift in

convenience stores they're always in

their flow flow is the state in which

people are so involved in an activity

that nothing else seems to matter the

experience itself is so enjoyable that

people will do it at great cost for the

sheer sake of doing it

imagine yourself climbing a great

mountain high above the ground you move

very deliberately aware of every

placement of your foot there is no room

for error one lapse in attention can

cost you your life

you focus intently nothing exists but

you and this mountain time seems to slow

down and your mind shifts into a new

space a sense of vibrancy of being alive

connectedness and peace infuse your

being you are in the zone this is the

moment there is no past no future just

now you are in your flow you don't need

a mountain each time to enter into flow

if you often find yourself losing focus

while working on something you consider

important there are several strategies

you can employ to increase your chances

of achieving flow like focusing all of

your attention in the present moment

avoiding multitasking or unplugging from

social media the most effective way of

achieving this flow is by choosing a

task that's difficult but not too

difficult every task sport or job has a

set of rules and we need a set of skills

to follow them if the rules for

completing a task or achieving a purpose

are two basic relative to our skill set

we will most likely get board activities

that are too easy leads to apathy if on

the other hand we assign ourselves a

task that's too difficult we won't have

the skills to complete it and will

almost certainly give up and feel

frustrated the ideal is to find a middle

path something aligned with our

abilities but just enough of a stretch

so we experience it as a challenge

we want to see challenges through to the

end because we enjoy the feeling of

accomplishment associated with pushing

ourselves if you're a graphic designer

learn a new software program for your

next project add a little something

extra something that takes you out of

your comfort zone this will create a

win-win situation for you and your work

we can also use this strategy in

achieving flow in doing some of the most

mundane tasks like laundry for example

washing dishes or paper work Bill Gates

washes the dishes every night he says he

enjoys it that it helps him relax and

clear his mind and that he tries to do

it a little better each day following an

order or set of rules he's made for

himself plates first Fork second and so

on it's one of his daily moments of

micro flow we too can get through these

mundane tasks by trying to do them

better than we did the last time flow is

mysterious it's like a muscle the more

you train it the more you'll flow and

the closer you will be to your icky guy

number 10

never retire it's interesting to note

that in the Okinawan language there

isn't a word for retirement older

Okinawans can readily articulate the

reason why they get up in the morning

they live intentional purposeful lives

they feel needed

they matter they contribute and as a

result they live longer than most their

retirement is not looked upon favorably

since it implies that once you retire

you'll cease to do anything at all

become a burden on society and stop

following your passions the idea is to

keep mind and body active in order to

fill yourself with purpose and a key guy

on a daily basis we think of retirement

as an ultimate destination of

well-earned rest from the battlefield of

a career we think of retirement as a

golden age of holidays golf coffee and

well mostly one form of recreation or

another retirement kills your icky game

we need to stop spending so much time

worrying about making more money and our

eventual retirement and instead we

should be focusing our efforts on making

a great life while we still have the

time so never retire keep learning keep

changing and keep growing we hope you

find your a gigai and live a very long

and happy life

we really hope you enjoyed this video

and if you did please do make sure to

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