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I stumbled upon these lines as I flipped through the pages of a Japanese book named, 'Ikigai'. Intrigued, I bought it and devoured the book in one shot, for it was riveting and brimful of insights we rarely come across. 

'Ikigai' is a Japanese term which means - 'A reason to jump out of bed each morning'. We all are born with our personal 'ikigai' - a meaningful purpose which, literally, doesn't let us sleep, and drive us towards a passionate life. Deep within, we have an inexhaustible longing to achieve 'something'. The trouble is: most of us are not aware of that 'something', and wander off aimlessly from one pursuit to another with a depressing sense of hollowness inside us that tells us, 'This is not what I really want to do'. 

The truth is: no matter how lost we are, we can always find our personal 'ikigai' that allow us to lose all our sense of time.
Confused? Let me expound it by an example:

When you Flow, Time stops

Have you ever seen a sculptor in the process of sculpting out statues? The sculptor, while working, is so immersed in carving minute details on the statues that he becomes quite oblivious to his surroundings, his thoughts and emotions are completely in the 'now', in the 'present' moment. Nothing else matters to him other than the undivided attention he gives to the project at hand. 
In other words, the sculptor is in 'flow'. And so are other artists and professionals - writers, singers, dancers, actors, chefs, etc - who are aware of their personal 'ikigai'. They know what makes them 'flow' and what makes all their sense of time vanish. They enjoy the process so profoundly that time simply cease to exist for them, instilling in them a deep sense of contentment. They do what they love for hours at a stretch and yet they don't feel that much time has passed. Albert Einstein cleverly captured the essence of flow when he said, 'When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it's only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it is two hours. That's relativity.' 

 

Just think is there any activity you have done in the past, maybe in your childhood or teen years, that you thoroughly enjoyed? The process of 'doing' that activity must have thrown you in an incredibly immersive experience that gave you a rush of happiness you could seldom experience. Your personal 'ikigai' is hidden in that activity that caused you to 'flow'. Once you have identified your 'ikigai', you can surely figure out how well you can use that 'ikigai', that 'purpose' to bring out the best in you.

 

And once you begin to 'flow' joyfully in the process, time will stop and your growth will start.
 


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Category Students, Other Articles by - CA Saurav Somani 



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