What makes life worth living? It is ikigai, one’s deepest sense of social commitment, most often to one’s dream, family, work, or religious belief.
And I think the process of not letting our attention get trapped into only looking at problems and potential problems and suffering the process of opening up to the fact that there also are things that are working in there are people who are supporting us in this kind of way is one of the things that keeps us mentally healthy.
Mieko Kamiya could be called the Mother of Ikigai Psychology. She was one of the first researchers to extensively study ikigai. Her seminal book, Ikigai-ni-Tsuite (What Makes Our Life Worth Living) is still considered standard by current-day Japanese researchers, professors, and psychologists, despite it being published in 1966. Unfortunately, her book is yet to be translated into English. Even more unfortunate is that Kamiya died at the ripe young age of 65 in 1979.
Nick: In this episode, I’m speaking to Professor Shintaro Kono and Shin, you’re an associate professor at the University of Alberta in Canada, in the department of kinesiology, sport and recreation. You’re also an expert in leisure behavior science. Thanks for coming on the show. Shin: Thanks Nick for inviting. I’m happy to join here …