Now reading “Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life” by Héctor García and Frances Miralles.
According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—what a French philosopher might call a raison d’être. Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking, though they carry it within them.
Ikigai can be understood as “the happiness of always being busy”
In Japanese, ikigai is written as 生き甲斐, combining 生き, meaning “life,” with 甲斐, or “to be worthwhile.” In turn 甲斐 can be broken down into the characters 甲, “armor,” “number one,” and “to be the first” (to head into battle, taking initiative as a leader), and 斐, which means “beautiful” or “elegant.”