Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Is it so you can exercise the privilege of spending 8 hours in a cubicle?
I didn’t think so.
In Okinawa, it’s call the ikigai. In Costa Rica, it’s the plan de vida. It’s your sense of purpose–the reason you get out of bed in the morning. In these cultures, having a strong ikigai can be directly correlated to a statistically extreme lifespan*. All around the world, the plan de vida is the single factor most likely to cause someone to feel they have lived a fulfilled life.
Do you know your ikigai?
For some people, their plan de vida is to successfully raise their children, then their grandchildren. For others, it is charity. Some folks are serial entrepreneurs, always looking for the next deal, the next business. For still others, it is a collection or an urge to travel. There are even some whose sole reason for getting out of bed(other than potty breaks) is work.
The last category is most common with teachers, soldiers, and police. The problem with wrapping so much of your identity up in your profession is retirement. What do you do when your ikigai–your reason to wake up–goes away? In Okinawa, teachers and police tend to have very short retirements because they lose their reason to for living.
What is your plan de vida, your passion? What drives you to keep going? Do you live to write, or to raise your children? Do you
Your reasons can, and should, change over time. You can’t live for raising your children years after they have grown up and moved away. Finding this one factor in your life can be the thing that leaves you on your deathbed looking back with a smile instead of regret.
What is your plan de vida?