Start your journey to happiness

By: Anna Rolleston

Happiness is a journey. We all have times when life becomes a drag, and at those times it is really important to remember that happiness isn't something that happens accidentally. We create happiness ourselves.

In Japanese culture the concept of ‘ikigai’, or purpose, is central to happiness and we’d do well to consider what ikigai means to us here in Aotearoa.

Ikigai is about discovering why you are here in this life. Knowing why you are here brings satisfaction and meaning to life, which is especially helpful at times when life is dragging you down.

In a practical sense, figuring out your purpose doesn't have to be some mind blowing “save-the-world” declaration, but simply about finding what makes your heart sing.

We recommend as part of any wellness programme that a person writes down a list of things that make them happy.

The list can include things you have never done before, or it can include things that you might have done as a child but your adult life has taken away from you.

The list can be small things, like connecting with nature on a regular basis, or bigger things, like sharing experiences to help others. Your list is your list.

The things on the list define how you can achieve ikigai. If your list is long, choose one or two things to implement first. Remember, happiness is a journey, joy comes from the
doing as much as the end result. The cool thing about ikigai is that there is no end result in many cases.

It is the doing that brings the joy.

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