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Ten Ways To Find Your Ikigai.








Ten Ways To Find Your Ikigai

By Anji Connell I 5.4.2021


Do what you love, and pursue your passion. Embrace ikigai, not as a trend but a time-honored philosophy – that's here to stay.


The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." - Washington Burnap.”

If you find pleasure and satisfaction in what you do,you have already discovered your ikigai; if not, read on.


Ikigai pronounced (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning "alive" or "life," and gai, meaning "benefit" or "worth." In English, it translates to "having a purpose" and is associated with the feeling of self-fulfillment earned by pursuing a meaningful life. It's similar to the French term "raison d'etre" or "reason for being." It's thought that ikigai helps you live longer and with more direction. Ikigai is what gets you up every morning and keeps you going.

Residents of the small town Kyotango in Kyoto have three times the average residents over the age of 100. Studies have found they all have high amounts of DHEA, that many believe may be the miracle "longevity hormone," and they all have in common: a hobby they are passionate about and practice every day. Interestingly Okinawa, the southernmost island off mainland Japan, is another hotbed of ikigai, with one of the highest ratios of centenarians. The island's residents are active, non-retiring, and purpose-driven. Interestingly the Japanese don't have a word for retirement. Hector Garcia, the author of several books on ikigai, believes that it is now widespread in young people looking for more meaning in their lives. We all know someone who has found their ikigai, who radiates happiness and serenity.


Hong Konger Elsa Jean de Dieu is an excellent example of someone doing what she loves - running, and biking like the wind over the hills and beaches of Hong Kong when she's not creating art to enhance our city. Through her Share A Smile project #Shareasmilehk Elsa along with her team has been spreading joy through our COVID times covering our streets with smiling face posters.

Elsa Jean de Dieu: Bedu Mural Hong Kong

And our very own graphic designer and photographer Tommy Fung whose project, “My Surreal Life in Hong Kong” creates surreal and funny situations using Photoshop that lift our spirits.

Tommy Fung: My Surreal Life in Hong Kong

The 10 Rules of Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life.

  • Stay active; don't retire.

  • Take it slow.

  • Don't overfill your stomach.

  • Surround yourself with good friends.

  • Get in shape for your next birthday.

  • Smile.

  • Reconnect with nature.

  • Give thanks.

  • Live in the moment.

  • Follow your


In summary, do what you love, and pursue your passion. Embrace ikigai, not as a trend but a time-honored philosophy – that's here to stay.


Elsa Jean de Dieu: Share A Smile #shareasmilehk

Elsa Jean de Dieu: Share A Smile Hong Kong #shareasmilehk



IMAGE CREDITS: Elsa Jean de Deau | Tommy Fung