7 Japanese Concepts That Can Improve Your Life

7 Japanese Concepts That Can Improve Your Life

Happiness can come from many sources.

And life lessons can come from many more.

Constantly learning about life and happiness, from wherever you can and whenever you can, is one way to get and to stay as happy as possible as much as possible.

I’ve always found it fascinating to look to other cultures, and this article, focusing on 7 Japanese concepts, may well be worth looking at for those keen to live better and enjoy happier …

via The Art of Manliness

Like many American boys who grew up in the 1980s, I loved The Karate Kid. For months when I was five years old, I demanded that my family call me “Daniel-san” instead of Brett.

Besides instilling in me a desire to crane-kick everyone, The Karate Kid also implanted a nascent interest in Japanese culture. When I was five, I remember cobbling together a small Shinto shrine out of construction paper, popsicle sticks, and Elmer’s glue so I could have a setup similar to Mr. Miyagi’s dojo in my bedroom. It’s funny to think about a five-year-old church-going kid living in the middle of Oklahoma creating a Shinto shrine for himself. 

My appreciation for Japanese culture has deepened since then and continues today. One of the things I love about the Japanese is that, like the ancient Greeks, they can take complex ideas or concepts and sum them up in a single word or phrase. These phrases can serve as reminders of how to live a flourishing life. I’ve filed away some of these Japanese concepts over the years and incorporated them into my life. 

Here are seven of my favorites:

Kaizen: Seeking Continuous Improvement

Kaizen is a Japanese term that means “continuous improvement.” It’s the idea of making small, incremental changes over time to improve your life and achieve your goals. The Japanese believe that even small changes, made consistently, can accrue significant compound interest.

We’ve written in detail about the history of kaizen and how to implement it in your life here. It’s one of our most popular articles. 

Here’s the gist: Try getting just 1% better every day. If you can make tiny improvements over months, years, and decades, you can move mountains. 

Ikigai: Finding Your Purpose

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to “a reason for being.” It’s the idea of finding one’s purpose in life and aligning it with one’s passions, skills, and values. The Japanese believe finding and pursuing your ikigai is the key to a long and happy life. 

Ikigai is similar to the Hindu idea of dharma, which we’ve written about previously, or Nietzche’s idea of “becoming who you are.”

We’ve got lots of articles and podcasts on this subject. Here are a few of my favorites that can help you discover your ikigai …

… keep reading the full & original article HERE