Today, many, many years later (me being dramatic), I woke up at 5:00 clock in the morning. I did my liberation kriya and yoga and went back to sleep again. Not my fault okay, it’s monsoon season in India right now, and the mornings are so chilly. I can’t think of anything other than my bed and a warm, cozy blanket to cover myself up.…CONTINUE READING
Feeling like a koala, I wrapped myself around that blanket. Like I could sleep forever in this position. But that didn’t last long. My mom kept nagging me. I love her for bringing me a warm cup of tea, but when she asked me to wake up and start studying for my finals, the koala in me disagreed.
I finished my tea lying down and went back to sleep. Right now, when I am writing this, it’s 10:33 am. The weather is still so cold. I am sitting at a desk, trying so hard to avoid my bed.
When I finally woke up, I had a little discussion with my mother. She told me to learn something from Japanese people. They are so hardworking and their life expectancy is so much more than Indians. (indirectly calling me lazy) She praised them a lot. Now, the curious cat in me awakened, and I just had to research the Japanese lifestyle.
When I did that, I found numerous interesting practices that the Japanese people follow for a happier and healthier life.
The first one is very famous. I have heard about it and even tried it to find my purpose. It’s none other than, IKIGAI.
iki means life and gai means value or worth. It will help you find a reason to wake up in the morning.
In simplest terms, ikigai means finding something that is the combination of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
Finding your ikigai is the foundation of living a life that aligns with your passions, strengths, and the needs of the world. It will help you find a balance between your work, relationships, and personal development.
Another is Wabi-Sabi. It’s a practice that allows you to embrace imperfections.
It teaches you the value of simplicity and minimalism. How uncluttered spaces are beautiful and peaceful. When I read this, my messy room, especially the cupboard filled with unfolded clothes, stared at me with sheer disappointment.
Wabi-Sabi says that flaws, imperfections, asymmetry, and irregularities add character and uniqueness to everything around us. It teaches you to stay connected to nature and accept things exactly as they are, rather than striving for an idealized version.
What a great thought, isn’t it? But I know those fictional characters from American teenage shows will not agree with me or this practice.
Now, the third one is, Hara Hachi Bu. This practice tells you to eat in moderation. Maybe that’s the reason why Japanese people don’t suffer from obesity.
Hara Hachi bu tells you to “Eat until you are 80% full”.
It emphasizes the concept of mindful eating to promote better digestion, prevent overeating, and maintain a healthy weight. If you follow this simple practice of Hara Hachi Bu, you are automatically preparing your body for longevity and good health.
Stop eating before you are completely full to allow the body more time to process and digest the food. You will have an improved metabolism, reduced risk of obesity-related diseases, and a greater sense of overall well-being when you are not continuously overloading your digestive system.
Last, but not least, is the practice of Kaizen.
It is the practice of continuous improvement.
It is a philosophy that focuses on taking small, manageable steps toward improvement. These small changes will accumulate over time to create significant progress through the power of compounding.
Kaizen teaches you patience and persistence. You will realize that success is not a one-time effort but a continuous process of refinement. This wisdom will help you commit to your goals and become a better version of yourself.
Your mindset will become solution-oriented, and you will always try to create a culture of engagement and innovation.
You can think of Kaizen as a growth mindset.
When you practice being in a growth mindset, you will automatically aim for improvement and betterment.
After learning about these practices, I must say, the Japanese are indeed very hardworking, mindful, and healthy individuals.
To remind ourselves of the beauty of Japan and its practices, I asked ChatGPT to write 6 lines that rhymes.
In Japan’s embrace, health blooms bright,
Diligence fuels both day and night.
Kaizen’s touch refines the way,
Balanced lives in each display.
Hara Hachi Bu, a mindful art,
Work and wellness, never apart.
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