A mindful life is a purposeful life
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on what is present, i.e. the here and now. Simply, practicing mindfulness helps to develop a good sense of being, self-knowledge, and wisdom that allows you to eliminate or see past superficial preoccupations. It directs your attention to the smaller, sometimes more important things in life. Like a compass, it helps you navigate your journey towards a life of meaningfulness and even enlightenment. It is, therefore, no surprise that many practice mindful meditations to cultivate their purpose in life, also known as ikigai.
Essentially, the Japanese concept of ikigai is following one’s purpose in life. It is a convergence of passion, skills, social well-being and giving. Where these components intersect is where you can find yours.
However, in order to go beyond passion and advance towards a deeper sense of purpose, it is necessary to be in the right frame of mind. Mindful meditation can put you there.
This type of meditation is not a difficult form of mindfulness and it is one you can do literally anywhere. There are two basic types of mindful meditation.
- There is internal mindfulness in which you spend a certain amount of time clearing your mind of clutter. Deliberately you dedicate your thoughts inward towards yourself and how you feel at a given moment.
- There is external mindfulness in which you spend brief moments taking in your surroundings. Your thoughts focus more on what you are doing and how your actions affect those around you. This type of meditation will help you to fully appreciate the moment surrounding you and the experience you are in.
Indeed, both types may take some time to get used to, but through habitual practice, you can become more comfortable. Over time you will surely see the benefits that mindful meditation can have on your life and your ikigai.
Practice mindfulness to develop a profound appreciation for your purpose in life regardless of recognition or rewards.
Life is filled with benchmarks, indicators, and targets. It is all too natural to want gratification or a sense of accomplishment. Think about how often you push yourself in everything you do, sports, business, grad school, weight loss and so on. When you achieve the desired results, only then do you permit yourself to bask in the glory.
Failing to reach them however, can produce a variety of negative feelings or a drop in motivation. Understand however, that this is a false sense of ikigai.
Admittedly, while there is satisfaction in winning the game, it is important to note that ikigai does not necessarily demand such zero-sum behavior. There is never a point where you accomplish it or threshold to achieve. You follow your passion forever because you enjoy it. Never stop, only continue. Ikigai is life. It is forever and always motivating on its own terms.
Mindfulness helps you to release yourself from pursuing superficial results and instills a greater sense of patience. As you become more and more patient and resist the urge for immediate gratification, you allow yourself to focus on what is meaningful.
Moreover, you become more comfortable with the amount of time it takes to develop your skills and become more adept at your craft. Mindfulness presents ways to go even deeper, bringing a heightened sense of satisfaction to what you do in the long run. Over time, your passion and understanding in terms of “why” you do it becomes clearer, as does the “how”. Inevitably, you become more able to develop a more profound appreciation for your ikigai.
Mindfulness, above all, is a form of meditation that has a variety of positive effects on your life.
It is wise to invest in yourself by paying attention to what is going on around you and within you. Should you make a conscious effort to continue practicing and form a habit of being in the here and now. Undoubtedly it may be difficult to start, but surely you will find that it becomes easier over time.
You will begin to see patterns in your behavior, what you are mindful of, and of course, what you are not. You will be able to develop your skills and improve your well-being. Releasing preconceptions and other conditions you cling to will get easier.
So, pay attention to those moments where you find yourself enjoying the moment. Reflect on how the moment makes you feel. Take note of it, then try to repeat it as often as you can. You will soon realize that you are moving towards a much happier life, a life of purpose, a life of ikigai.