Lotus flower on water symbolizing harmony

Harmony enhances your purpose in life (ikigai)

posted in: Ikigai | 0

Living with yourself means to fully accept yourself and your purpose in life, i.e. your ikigai. It means that you are at peace with who you are and live accordingly to your principles and beliefs despite the various struggles and setbacks life throws at you. Living in harmony enhances your purpose in life, your ikigai.

Mindful of the present and comfortable with enjoying the small things in life, living in harmony enables you to focus on the positive aspects in life and gives you the clarity you need to release yourself from negativity. It helps you to become a happier person.

After all, you are a culmination of your thoughts. And those thoughts dictate the actions you take. Those actions further produce outcomes that are in line with your thoughts, thus reinforcing the beliefs you had. In this sense, your thoughts and actions are circular, repeating and feeding off of each other. In other words, live in harmony.

Therefore, it is wise to focus on cultivating a positive mindset that will serve you well and support your ikigai. 

The harmony of a Japanese rock garden
Image by skeeze

Harmonious mindset

Start by being true to who you are and believing in your ikigai. There is no way you can sustain true happiness and live a meaningful life if you do not accept yourself and the things that bring joy to not only your own life, but the lives around you as well.

Imagine trying to continue a facade for the sake of others, or living in such a way that limits your happiness or true calling. It would not last. You are the only one to live your life and there is no significant alternative to that.

Having the courage to fully accept yourself creates a secure sense of being that cannot be upset easily. It creates harmony within you that promotes positive affirmations and allows you to harness the energy that takes you to higher levels of purpose. It is not always easy to do this, but understand that it is essential to your being.

Once a firm foundation is laid, you can begin to focus on qualitative growth that pushes you to learn more. As you develop new skills and techniques that enable you to expand your range, your mission will evolve and you will mature rapidly.

Such harmony gives birth to flow and a state of mindfulness that puts you in tune with your ikigai. You become more aware of your senses and surroundings. Opportunities begin to open before you and you begin to understand not only what needs to be accomplished, but also how you can get there. Your psychological health and motivation towards becoming more healthy physically will only get strong as will your relationships with others.

Social harmony

Living in sustainable harmony with yourself also means to live peacefully in a symbiotic relationship with the community around you. If either is out of place it becomes difficult to live a purposeful and meaningful life as the two are inseparable and dependent on one another.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.
~Marcus Aurelius.
A dove flying symbolizing peace and harmony
Image by cocoparisienne

Peaceful harmony

In Japan, where the concept of ikigai or one’s purpose in life was born, this harmony is commonly known as “wa” which in English simply translates to “harmony,” though its meaning implies greater sustainability. 

It is peace within oneself and one’s relationships within the community in which everyone is respected and the value of harmony is not disrupted. In other words, one cannot simply live out of sync with others regardless of personal preferences, passion or talent.

Wa The Japanese kanji for peace or harmony


(わ wa)
Harmony

Because of that, it is easy to see why “wa” or harmony is undoubtedly one of the key factors to living a purposeful life and maintaining amiability with others. It is, therefore, an essential element to your ikigai.

Be generous

Sustainable harmony in your community can begin by connecting with family, friends, and neighbors. Reach out to them and share your observations and passions with them. Be generous and caring, compassionate, and honest. Spend quality time with them to listen and learn.

Be proactive

With the advent of the internet and social media, you can reach out to the world right from your desk. At this very moment, if you wanted to, you could connect with someone on the other side of the planet either through live chat, online groups, and forums, or just a social post. There are hundreds of thousands of places online where like-minded friends gather and feed off of each other’s passion. Ideas are shared and new beginnings are started. Start reaching out to explore your interests.

On a side note, be careful not to inadvertently disrupt your harmony or the harmony of others. The bonds of trust begin with the acceptance of others just as it begins with the acceptance of oneself. You need a fair amount of respect, compassion, and empathy to listen to differences to your own without upsetting the “wa”. Even when, or rather, specifically when others are not.

When you think a discussion is headed towards disagreement, do your best to understand what they are saying and why. Not that it will change you, though it may, but rather that it doesn’t. In other words, stay in harmony.

Couple showing their love for each other
Image by StockSnap

Give and take

Consider the old adage, “give and take.” Note that it doesn’t say, “take and give.”

Maintaining harmony is not just a “you and I” commitment. It is a commitment that extends beyond relationships and has a lasting impact, which, if fortunate, snowballs into something much bigger than ourselves, a legacy if you will.

A truly purposeful life means that your actions live on much longer than you anticipate. Such actions come in the form of volunteering, becoming a coach or a mentor, donating money, or simply lending a helping hand. Often such actions are humbly accepted and repaid in an expression of heartfelt gratitude. Incidentally, such generosity is always remembered.

Picture of many faces
Image by Gerd Altmann

Build harmony around you

When living in a state of sustained harmony with yourself and the people around you, there is a general sense of well-being and happiness.

Over time your thoughts become actions. Creativity and the free exchange of ideas and beliefs are encouraged and reciprocated by those around you.

You will find yourself giving more. In return, you’ll receive a priceless amount of comfort and satisfaction in your life. Then you will know that you are living a life of harmony, a life of ikigai.

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