Five Japanese concepts that will transform your life

Happiness is something that everyone strives for in one way or another. Finding it can be hard, but sometimes all it takes is some perspective; perspective of what truly matters and where energy should be spent. These five traditional Japanese concepts will change your way of thinking. Take your time, read, reflect and embrace a…

Klara Gaskell-Brown Avatar

Happiness is something that everyone strives for in one way or another. Finding it can be hard, but sometimes all it takes is some perspective; perspective of what truly matters and where energy should be spent. These five traditional Japanese concepts will change your way of thinking. Take your time, read, reflect and embrace a happier and healthier mindset to life. 

1. Ikigai: A reason for being

Ikigai is about finding your reason for being. Discover your purpose in life, find the reason why you wake up every morning. According to the concept, everyone has something they are truly passionate about and brings them joy. When discovering and pursuing that passion, you will have a fulfilling and happy life.

2. Shikata ga nai: Let go of that you cannot change 

Shikata ga nai roughly translates to “there is nothing to be done”, which basically has the same meaning as the English expression “it is what it is”. Acceptance and letting go are the central parts of this concept. Recognize that some things are beyond your control, and accept it. The best course of action is to focus on the things you can change and let go and move on from the things you cannot.

3. Wabi-sabi: Find peace in imperfection

Wabi-sabi is about finding beauty and peace in imperfection. Be aligned with the fact that nothing is perfect, including yourself and others. It’s the imperfections that make us unique, so find the joy in that instead of striving for perfection.

4. Obaitori: Don’t compare yourself to others

Obaitori is a concept that stresses the importance of not comparing yourself with others. The idea of Obaitori comes from the four trees that bloom in the spring; cherry blossoms, peach, apricot and plum. Every tree blooms in its own time, which can be applied to us as well. Every person grows at their own pace, everyone has a different timeline and unique path. Therefore, focus on your own progress instead of comparing yourself to others.

5. Kaizen: Always seek to improve 

Kaizen means continuous improvement in Japanese, which basically means that you always should aspire to improve in all areas of your life. Small steps or changes for the betterment of your life will eventually sum up in a big impact and change over time. 

With that said, keep these concepts in mind the next time you feel overwhelmed or lost. The key to being truly happy might not be that far away…

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