Retire From Your Profession, Not Your Passion: The Ikigai Theory

Creating a space where individuals can retire happy, live a longer and more fulfilled life while fostering the opportunity to re-connect with themselves and others is at the forefront of everything we aim to achieve.

At Elements Living, every facet from design to experience has been carefully considered. The Elements Team has adopted holistic philosophies that promote fulfilment and nurture curious minds. We ensure that enough opportunities are presented to those who live at the village so that they can not only retire happy, but discover new passions, pursue something different and achieve purpose beyond their career or previous vocation.

At Elements Retirement Living, we continue to follow the ikigai framework. Ikigai is a “reason for being”, finding a purpose and satisfaction in life. Our residents may be retired from their profession, but they have not retired from their passion or stopped jumping out of bed in the morning. It is through adopting the ikigai way of life that our residents live a long and happy life, stay young while growing older.

This mantra is the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. It motivates you to find what gets you out of bed every morning and keeps you going. In Japanese, ‘Iki’ translates to ‘life’, and ‘gai’ is a word used to describe value. Ikigai is a long-envied ideology that has gained great respect due to the long-life expectancy of the Japanese race. Ikigai is the practice of using purpose to find happiness in life.

Research done in Kyoto, 2017 found that a group of elderly Japanese men and women in their late 90s and early 100s all practiced a hobby that they were greatly passionate about every day. What was interesting is that each man and women showed an astounding increase of DHEA, a steroid hormone from the adrenal glands which has long been believed to be the “longevity hormone”. Throughout this research, the only thing these people had in common in their routines was that they all practiced a hobby every day that was truly fulfilling. Although there is no concrete evidence that practicing a hobby will boost your DHEA, this research concluded that having something that keeps you focused, engaged, and provides satisfaction may boost your youth hormones and lead to a longer and more fulfilling life.

What is Ikigai?

In 2001, a clinical psychologist by the name of Akihiro Hasegawa published a research article that mentioned the word ‘gai’ stemming from the word ‘kai’, which means shell in Japanese. The word ikigai originated in the Heian period of 794 to 1185. Throughout this period, shells were regarded a very precious resource.

Gai is considered the answer to finding value and purpose in life. The concept of ikigai is the common ground between the four leading qualities that effect your life purpose. These attributes include what you are good at, your profession or what you can be paid for, what the world needs, and what you love.


How to Pursue Ikigai

Finding your Ikigai is not necessarily easy. It will be challenging, yet with time it will lead to mastery and self-growth. Ikigai is about choice, pursuing activity or engaging in relationships that feed your mind and soul. This might be focused on a hobby, trade, a cause, or particular people. Ikigai is all about improving your own wellbeing. This means that when practiced properly, it will improve relationships and promote good health. It will give you the drive and motivation to continue through life as you find happiness and purpose.

At Elements Living, opportunity to find ikigai is everywhere. It is in the network of wonderful people, nature that surround the village, activities to participate in, education to further develop learning in a brand-new field or trade. We ensure that our residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding purpose, keeping their minds curious and retiring happy.

We are deeply committed to helping you make the most of your third age. Make the move to Elements Retirement Living in 2021 and find your ikigai and happiness in retirement.

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