2020: Finding my Ikigai

We all have expectations at the beginning of the year. We also plan a lot and achieve precious little in the days to come. However, most of our plans are around health, travel and ambition. Most of it is around finding happiness in what we do in our lives.

I recently picked up “Ikigai- The Japanese Secret to a Long & Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. Unlike many self-help books I found this as a refreshing look at how we look at our personal lives and deeper meaning in our lives.

The idea of how one can find a center around various sets of life fascinated me. This can be transient- from professional to our passions to what we pursue in our free time. But then how does one find true meaning in what we do as communicators? Here are some of the key takeaways for me. Of course you will find yours as different:

Takumi – Takumi essentially means artisan. Japanese culture just like many cultures have artisans who are focused on creative or craftmanship. Companies like Toyota value such craftsmen and their art. Communicators are also like artisans. As a communicator, our joy comes from writing meaningful articles, being respected for our skills in branding and workmanship around events as we position organisation internally and externally. 

The book quotes legendary actor, Bruce Lee’s quotable quote “ You must be shapeless, formless, like water”. Ikigai explains this further and breaking it down to simpler format of this quote as a daily practice and how we should function and adapt into free-flowing forms akin to water. 

In professions, if people can follow and do what they love and excel in it they become unstoppable. In India, if you observe sportspersons like Leander Peas, Mary Kom, Pankaj Advani and MS Dhoni, you will find that they all find their respective Ikigai in their respective fields. 

The book further elaborates on how one can master longevity by following a diet, exercising right and finding better resilience as we go through life.

Our passions, mission, profession and vocation are all important elements which will help us lead meaningful lives not just in 2020 but every year throughout our lives. Here’s hoping as communicators we remain centered in our Ikigai.

Sanaj Natarajan
Sanaj Natarajan is a Corporate Communications Leader with experience in Capital Goods and Technology industry. In a career spanning over 14 years as a communicator, he has worked on campaigns around External Communications, Investor relations and Greenfield and Brownfield sites.
Sanaj loves to read on current affairs, technology magazines and travel to different places and absorb cultures and relish various cuisines. In his free time, he dabbles in video production, film making and running marathons.

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