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I hope you’ve all had a chance to learn more about ikigai.

Again, I’m not going to explain what it is, but ikigai is a way that a person can add meaning and purpose to their daily lives, and in time add wonderful, happy years to their lifetime.

Ikigai, to me, is about creating the time, or space to do those things that have meaning and value to the individual. Being able to decide in the here and now, and simply enjoying themselves.

One might consider these the things a person does to recharge his spiritual batteries each day.

Most would love to do this, but…, and it is usually a HUGE BUT…,

I might have told you this old Chinese proverb before, but back in the year 3000 BC, there was a Chinese Emperor whose daughter was very sick.

He called His Court Magician who said that he needed to wrap his daughter in the shirt of a happy man, and she would again be well.

The Emperor’s soldiers spent many weeks trying to find a happy man, but to no avail.

Finally, when all looked lost, a soldier came running into the Court and told the Emperor that he had at last found a happy man.

Overjoyed, the Emperor told him to bring him the man’s shirt so his daughter could be saved.

Exasperated, the soldier told the Emperor that that was the problem, the happy man didn’t own a shirt!

Man, we carry stuff around with us, don’t we?

Almost everything we own is attached to some decision or agreement that holds us prisoners to the past, strangers to present time, and longing for a future where hopefully we might find some happiness and freedom.

If one could somehow break free of that which holds him in the past, he would know in an instant what he would like to do today and be able, possibly each and every day, to follow his bliss if only for a while each day.

Mortgages, taxes, bills, obligations, responsibilities for all of this stuff that one day will all vanish for each of us when the Grim Reaper calls.

Would one really trade their self-determinism, that ability to decide the course of their life, and pursue that which they decide is desirable and pleasurable for a lifetime of servitude to those things that can never love us back, and which will one day all disappear?

Yeah, but…, and I told you it was a huge but…,

Could one look around and inspect his life and the environment he finds himself in and decide what things he might let go of and allow to move on so that he might move on?

Is a house or a car or a job really all that important, especially when you were the one who decided that they were important and decided to go to battle each and every day to hold your prison cell intact?

With this being said, I will invite each of you to study the concept of ikigai, and see if you might be able to find a more meaningful path toward a future of your own choosing, and still keep your shirt!

Take Care,

Dr. Dave

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