Valued Experiences

What experiences make your life worth living?

According to Dr. Shintaro Kono, a leisure expert, and researcher of ikigai, there are four valued experiences we seek when we pursue leisure: enjoyment, effort, stimulation, and comfort.

Nick Kemp explains how these experiences contribute to making our lives worth living.

What experiences make your life worth living?

This is an area for research that Dr. Shintaro Kono of the University of Alberta spent a lot of time on, and Dr. Kono has been a regular guest on my podcast. 

Kono-sensei discovered that there are four valued experiences we seek when we pursue leisure. They are enjoyment, effort, stimulation, and comfort. So we’re seeking activities that provide us with these valued experiences.

So what he discovered or worked out is we seek a balance of these four valued experiences either to one activity or more of pleasure activities. A good example might be rock climbing, that would provide you with the experiences of effort, stimulation, and enjoyment.

Perhaps something like reading would give you, again, enjoyment but probably comfort. So we should seek a range of experiences or leisure activities that provide us with these four valued experiences. 

If you’re really lucky, you might be able to find 3 or 4 in one activity. What’s important is diversifying your leisure activities, so you can experience these 4 valued experiences.

But it’s also important to balance these valued experiences; we don’t want to be doing activities that are overly effortful, too stimulating, and we don’t want to be doing activities that are only enjoyable and comforting.

Also, Kono-sensei discovered that it was important to disengage from these valued experiences and just chill up which is perhaps a form of comfort in and of itself. His research found that we need to disengage and give ourselves some breathing space. 

So if you’re looking for a new hobby or a new leisure activity, you could think about what one activity would provide you with two or more of these valued experiences of effort, enjoyment, stimulation, and comfort.

This is quite an interesting approach to how we can use our leisure time. So let me know what activities provide you with these 4 valued experiences.

IKIGAI-KAN: Feel a Life Worth Living

Ikigai is a greatly misunderstood concept outside of Japan. It’s not a word from Okinawa. It’s not the Japanese secret to longevity. It’s not an entrepreneurial Venn diagram framework.

This evidence-based book clears up the misconceptions of Japan's most misunderstood word and culturally appropriated concept and offers an authentic perspective of the concept in the context of Japanese culture.

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