All of us seek the fountain of youth. From the ancients’ quests for the philosopher’s stone to the rather modern fixation with Twilight’s vampires and the modern nutritionists’ advice to stock up on our antioxidants. However, in this hyper-connected, solutions-focused milleu, perhaps we can moderate our quest a little by a lesser focus on the ‘how to dos’, ‘what to dos’ but more on the ‘why we do its’.
Some researchers have conducted a study on the ‘blue zones’ (defined as pockets of populations in the world where people generally live to a ripe old age, usually more than 100 years old) – chiefly to find out how they lived to that age. Amongst the many findings is the concept of ‘Ikigai’, a reason for being introduced by the Japanese living in Okinawa. Amongst them, a 100 year old plus karate expert’s Ikigai is to continue to win every karate duel. Another centenarian’s Ikigai, of a decidedly gentler bent, is to continue to look after her great-great-great-granddaughters.
Hence more than just learning to eat more antioxidants and calorie-restrictions to add the length of the years of our lives, why not just embrace this concept to find out what your purpose of life is?
From some perspectives, a life well lived is better than a life well extended. Rather than add years to your life why not add life into your years?
For some additional readings, I really recommend Deepak Chopra’s ‘Grow Younger, Live Longer’ and ‘The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I here for?’ by Rick Warren. You can also watch more of the ‘Blue Zone’ study here: you can watch here: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100?language=en