A Year of Words

Read any good books lately? I love this question. It’s more interesting than “What are you binge watching lately?” It’s through these lovely creatures I call books that I learn new words, new methods, and even bring old methods back to life. Each day for this year I want to focus on these new words as they pertain to our health journey. A year of words…one word a day.

The first word is Ikigai. It’s an Okinawan word pronounced “icky guy.” And it means “the reason you get up in the morning.” The first time I saw this word it was while I was reading the book The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. Ikigai is the word used by Okinawan people in place of the word retirement, which does not exist in their language.

It’s common knowledge now that people in Okinawa live longer than any other people on earth. It’s because they don’t retire. They keep working. They keep moving. They keep doing what they do. They have a purpose. They don’t save up their earnings to sit and wait for death. They keep doing. Okinawans have a reason to wake up in the morning. They have a purpose. It’s that thing they do that drives them!

Some reasons to get up in the morning could be because you have little ones and they depend on you. Taking care of others is a high purpose. Throughout every stage of life our Ikigai will change. It might also change if we have a big goal we want to achieve.

Pasricha’s book gives the instructions on how to make an Ikigai card. I’ve made this card but I’ve put 12 lines for each month to coincide with my goals for that month.

Ikigai relates to health.

Having a purpose or reason you get up in the morning is the best way to start your day. It helps your mind to engage and helps you focus on being healthy because you have a purpose in life. You know that opposite feeling if you’ve ever lost a job or gone through a difficult time in your life. You just want to wallow under the covers and not even peak your head out…this is the start of a deep depression.

Ikigai helps you from falling into a depression, it gives you a cause or reason to be engaged in your life.

Words are precious in life. Some words don’t mean what you think they do. Some words when translated from other languages have an entirely different meaning. Words can make us or break us. It’s up to us to choose our words wisely so we uplift each other and motivate each other to do better and be better. I hope this year of words uplifts, motivates, and change your life as they are changing mine.

Do you have Ikigai?