Self-improvement is not a one-step process, nor is it something that can be done all by yourself. While the decision to better your life comes down to you, you need to find sources of outside inspiration first. In Japan, there are a variety of practices that are meant to nourish the soul for a more peaceful existence. These four Japanese concepts can bring a new sense of joy to your life.
Ikigai started in Okinawa, a Japanese island. It essentially means a kind of inspiration that causes practitioners to wake up every day, knowing that they have something to live for. Your Ikigai could be a loved one, a hobby, or just the promise of a new day. Whatever it is, you can use it to make your life better by holding it close to your heart and cherishing it as something that can make your days brighter no matter what.
Anyone who has worked in manufacturing knows just how strenuous it can be to get everyone on the same page to ensure an atmosphere of harmony. With Kaizen, employees work together as one to show how collaboration is at the heart of success. Kaizen works particularly well in manufacturing businesses, but it can also be adapted for increased productivity and improved results in other fields.
Many philosophers believe there can only be happiness in the present moment. If you’re not able to embrace the moment as you’re experiencing it, you’re going to have trouble finding anything beyond fleeting happiness. Zanshin can be done anywhere at any time. You just need to become aware of what you’re doing and your surroundings. By bringing yourself fully into whatever you’re doing, you can unlock pleasures that you may have not previously known existed.
Have you ever taken a walk in nature and felt like your problems were being slowly stripped away from you? Shirin-yoku, also known as “forest bathing” takes that concept and turns into a sort of magnificent therapy. By finding refuge among the trees, you can feel a sort of inner stillness inside of you, provided you let it in, of course.
There’s no trick or catch to any of these methods. They are, just as they appear, guides to help you cherish your days. By incorporating these concepts into your life, you can help to free yourself from all sorts of unnecessary pains.
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