Can you Find Ikigai in Your Morning Cup of Coffee?
Nescafe would like you to think so.
This inspiring and touching video of ikigai examples sponsored by Nescafe highlights how ikigai is unique to the individual and involves the pursuit of something one cares about with a strong connection of service to others, be they family, friends, students, customers, employers or animals.
Ikigai Examples - People Living Lives of Service
In Okinawa, it is believed that residents live longer and happier lives because they know their reason for waking up.
Here in Okinawa there is a term, Ikiagi. Ikigai means “the reason you wake up for in the morning”.
There are times when I want to throw my alarm clock far away (at the wall), but I’ll resist and instead give myself a kick up the ass to get up and start running.
The Dance Teacher:
My reason to get up in the morning is to watch my students improve at my dance school.
The Horse Trainer:
My ikigai is taking on the responsibility I have for the horses I look after and the people I have contact with.
When I see that my customers are happy, I am happy.
I do not have any siblings but I have many grandchildren. Seeing them and having them visit is what ikigai is for me.
To be the World Champion, not just form me, but for my team - that is my ikigai.
Having your family and friends supporting you, and wanting to support them back - having that means there is no struggle, and then study and working hard for your future is never tiring (with ikigai). There is no struggle. Life is not about (the challenges of) your current situation. I wake up to enjoy and every day.
In Okinawa, happiness, being happy every day is ikigai.
Note: Despite what the video portrays ikigai is not a concept indigenous to Okinawa.
Also, did you notice how none of these examples fit the Western "Ikigai Venn Diagram" model?
The Joy of Little Things - Your Morning Cup of Coffee
In the book, The Little Book of Ikigai, author Ken Mogi states that the joy of little things as one of five pillars of ikigai, with the idea that the small things that give you pleasure can be or contribute to your sense of ikigai.
In the context of your morning coffee, Ken writes
"..it is customary in Japan to have something sweet first thing in the morning, traditionally with green tea, although increasingly this is being replaced with coffee or black tea. It certainly makes sense. No matter where you are in the world, if you make a habit of having your favorite things soon after you get up (for example, chocolate and coffee), dopamine will be released in your brain, reinforcing the actions (getting up) prior to receipt of your award (chocolate and coffee)."
So a cup of Nescafe could contribute to your ikigai, but I would recommend you drink loose leaf green tea instead - an amazing ikigai kickstarter!
Make the Joy of Little Things Work For You
Make the joy of little things work for you, then you can also start your ikigai in the morning - Ken Mogi