In search of ikigai

“The Oxford English Dictionary defines ikigai as “a motivating force; something or someone that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living”. More generally it may refer to something that brings pleasure or fulfilment.”[1]

It is a person’s own decision what occupations to pursue as part of their search for ikigai, because each of us is different and nobody is in a position to prescribe what will suit another.

What fulfils you? What gives you a deep reward emotionally, mentally, spiritually?  Having a strong sense of purpose in life does not have to be grandiose; it may simply be being a mother or a grandfather, or helping others.

In the book Scars, Adhesions and the Biotensegral Body[2], I explore telomeres, their role in longevity and Bruce Lipton’s discussion of these non-coding extensions at the end of DNA.[3]  It has been shown that the enzyme telomerase adds length to the telomeres and that this length is linked to cellular longevity. Lipton suggests that, amongst other epigenetic factors, our state of mind is a major contribution to stimulating telomerase production and that ‘not having any purpose in life can be read as “I don’t have any reason to be here”; this, he suggests, is why so many people die shortly after retiring as they feel less useful, and that feeling inhibits telomerase production.’[4] In his video The Healing Power of Gratitude, he explains this and how we can, by changing our attitude, adopting a sense of gratitude for our lives, and finding a purpose in life, live for longer.[5]

So, from this point of view, finding a reason to live that makes you feel fulfilled is the answer to a long and happy life; ikigai would stimulate your telomerase production which would lead to longevity!

[1] Wikipedia – [accessed 27.9.21]

[2] Scars, Adhesions and the Biotensegral Body, chapter 8. Pub: Handspring Publishing, Edinburgh

[3] Lipton, B. The biology of belief, p.102. London UK; Hay House.

[4] As footnote 2.

[5][5] [Accessed 30.9.21]

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