In their book ‘Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’, the authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles describe the concept of Ikigai in a very thorough fashion. Published in 2016 by Penguine Books, this book was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

The concept of Ikigai
Feeling Ikigai, as described in Japanese, usually means the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that follows when people pursue their passions.
Literal meaning is ‘a reason for being’ – something like ‘a reason for being alive; something that makes life worth living. More generally, it may refer to something that brings pleasure or fulfilment.
Our Ikigai is hidden deep inside each of us, and finding it requires a patient search. We do not create the meaning for our life, as Sartre claimed— we discover it. Each one of us has a unique reason for being, which can be adjusted or transformed many times over the years.
Our intuition and curiosity are very powerful internal compasses to help us connect with our Ikigai. Follow those things you enjoy, and get away from or change those you dislike. Be led by your curiosity, and keep busy by doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness. It does not need to be a big things: we might find meaning in being good parents or in helping our neighbors.

The ten rules of Ikigai
1. Stay active; do not retire. Those who give up the things they love doing (and do well) lose their purpose in life.
2. Take it slow. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life.
3. Do not fill your stomach. Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.
4. Surround yourself with good friends.
5. Get in shape – The body needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. In addition, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy.
6. Smile. A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing—it also helps make friends.
7. Reconnect with nature
8. Be thankful to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive.
9. Live in the moment. Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it.
10. Follow your Ikigai. There is passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your Ikigai is yet, your mission is to discover it.

The COVID – 19 Language

Just have a good look at the news we hear, people we speak to and messages we read….we come across some very interesting words and phrases:

Co-vivid Phrases: Use of hitherto lesser known words and phrases, that too quite frequently, such as ‘Lockdown’, ‘Social Distancing’, ‘Flattening the curve’, ‘Quarantine’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine’, ‘Distance Learning / Online Classes’, ‘Pandemic’ and WFH (Work from Home)!

The Spell Bee: We are now so familiar with some of them that we can spell ‘Quarantine’ in a jiffy! We can even spell ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ without any difficulty!

Same Words but ‘New’ Meaning: Some words have assumed new meaning (and opposite of its original meaning!): ‘He is now positive and keep away from him!’ Earlier, we were advised to surround ourselves with positive people!

Unprecedented: Some other words which we often come across are “Unprecedented’ and ‘Crisis’. Many a times these two words are used together!

Risky Words: Guys and gals in Finance and Risk management are frequently churning out words and phrases such as ‘Fiscal Measures’, ‘Monetary Measures’ (Often without realizing the difference between them), BCP (Business Continuity Plan), ‘Deferment’, ‘Zero Cost Repos’ etc.

Beyond Zero: And the world now has moved beyond ‘Zero’ – it is now negative! Negative Interest Rates and Negative prices of Oil Futures!

A brand new Phrase: It was interesting to come across one more phrase ‘ Pandemic Paralysis’ which is the shortcomings of regulators and administration in providing quick responses to emerging challenges!

A matter of envy: These days I am envious of people who have shining baldpates! Earlier I was proud of all the hairs on my crown! With all the Barber Shops shuttered, I wonder whether guys prefer having a ‘hair cut’ at home administered by wife as ‘Wife-cut’ or rather do hara-kiri with ‘Self-cut’! The ‘Kesh’ Management is proving to be a challenge, just like cash Management!

Hot Spots: ‘Self-cooking’ is; perhaps, more inconvenient than ‘Self-cut’ and many of my friends in Doha, Qatar have no option but to enter their kitchen / pantry (which were avoided like ‘Hot Spots’ until now) and try to conjure up something edible! They have found out that sometimes ‘things fail to fail’ and they have something tasty to eat!

Quotes, now back in circulation: Then, there are some forgotten quotes which came back into circulation like “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”‬ ‪- by Vladimir Lenin‬!‬‬‬