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In the last blog we talked about simply living the life you wanted to live, right?
Sounds simple enough, it’s your idea, right?
Oh, but nothing is that simple- even our “fun” has to be serious…, you know,
“We are going to have so much “blanking” fun, that we’ll need “blanking” plastic surgery to “blanking” remove the “blanking” smiles from our “blanking” faces!” – Chevy Chase “Vacation”
Or we’ll die trying! LOL!
Perhaps if we really tuck in and really take care of these bodies, someday they will be good enough, and alive enough that we can finally get around to living!
Sadly, that body you dedicated your life to and sacrificed so much for, will eventually betray you, and do so in many, many ways, and many, many times until the ultimate betrayal…, enter the Grim Reaper!
Honestly, the best longevity elixir is to simply live and pursue that which a person derives enjoyment and pleasure from.
If you get a chance, there is an interesting series on Netflix about the Blue Zones, and these people who live to be 100 or more, and I mean live to be 100 or more, have not somehow made it.
If you get a chance, check it out no one is serious, no one is hooked to electronics, no one is going to grunt…, push…, grunt, through…, grunt…, hernia, hernia, hernia!
They simply live, and live simply because there really is no reason not to!
All these studies and tests and exams and science, science, science, and what does a person really have to show for it?
Something the Roman Stoics warned of a thousand years ago,
“Don’t buy tomorrow’s worries, today!”
And here we are, killing ourselves to align with a bunch of arbitrary numbers in the hope of tomorrow.
The Okanowians have a concept that I think is absolutely amazing, and one can find Ted Talks on the subject if they would like, but it is called,
Ikigai is also described in Dan Buettner’s Live to 100: The Secrets of the Blue Zones.
Translated, Ikigai means your reason for living, why you wake up each morning if you get what I am saying.
Perhaps the best way to think of ikigai would be determining one’s own beingness, that which an individual knows himself to be, and pursuing those actions that create one’s own bliss- whether for the moment or over the course of a lifetime.
The French have a term, Raison d’ Etre which also means one’s reason or purpose for living.
Many years ago Chuck Noll, the Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers would call a player into his office who simply could not play anymore, and tell them,
“It might be time to get on with your life’s work.”
His opinion was that being privileged to play a kid’s game into your 20s or 30s was probably not a person’s life work, or perhaps it shouldn’t be.
I love this thought.
But here is something that one should keep in mind, all of this, “life’s purpose, life’s work and reason for living,” should NOT be considered as a single destiny, so to speak. It doesn’t even have to pertain to one’s vocation or work.
It can be, but this is oftentimes too daunting, as if a person has only one chance to get it right, or else consider his life a waste of time.
It can simply be that thing that one looks forward to during the day- lunch with a friend, time with family, hitting the gym, or making some iced tea and sitting in the garden reading and eating a magnificent chocolate chip cookie!
It can change, and you can change each day- enough of locking into this one shot at glory crap all of the time.
I think with all of these electronic metrics that one monitors himself with, that is exactly what he is trying to do- create an arbitrary perfection in a world that is anything but perfect.
Often when dealing with patients who seem to have a chronic condition, I will ask them,
“What do you hope to accomplish with the time you have left?”
This is not a question of terminus, but rather nothing lasts forever- I was once a kid, and I am no longer, I once attended high school, and played football, but I do no longer, I once worked in the steel mills, but not any longer…. You get the idea.
I’m still alive, but like everyone else, I am moving on, and so while in this place called now, what would I like to accomplish today, over time, or in a lifetime?
This needn’t be my life’s ambition, perhaps I would like to get my wife’s garden ready for flowers, or ride my motorcycle…, this is what I would like to do now- not what I have to do, or should do- yes, things need to be handled as well, but one cannot forget to do that which charges his batteries, lest they run flat.
Most might spend a lifetime doing what they are supposed to do, and for reasons that might not be their own, and never get on with their life’s work.
Yeah, I know…, someday, and soon!
What I would like to do is invite you to take some time for yourself, and research this Okinawan concept of ikigai, and let me know what you think.
Typically, I write about these things and I’m not sure if our readers/listeners are actually checking these recommendations out, or just find satisfaction with my explanation.
What could be so bad about discovering one’s passion and letting it drive them?
Just live! It is that simple.
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