Indulge Time Pass: Ikigai coach Rajiv Bajaj reveals the questions we must ask ourselves amid this slowdown
TEDx star speaker and Ikigai coach Rajiv Bajaj believes that our quarantines could do a lot more for us if we’d let it. “These are the times which will determine who we truly are,” he said during a recent Indulge Timepass session moderated by Kaveri Bamzai. The doctrine of Ikigai has taken the world by storm in the last decade, especially as authors and lifestyle gurus from across the world have become fascinated with the people who birthed the philosophy.
Ikigai originates in the Japanese island of Okinawa, the village with the Guiness World Record of longevity which hosts the world’s longest-living people who supposedly hold the key to a more fulfilled life. Interestingly, Bajaj has spent quite a bit of time with Okinawans to explore their stance on Ikigai further.
“English is a poor language to understand what ikigai is, because it’s an entire philosophy. But if I were to break it down, it comes down to the flow of life. How do you pass your time? What is your reason for being? We need to come out of this quarantine stronger, wiser and happier. So, we need to ask ourselves now more than ever, can we be happy with ourselves, with our immediate family who we are locked in a room with? Have we found the tools to be happier?” he tells Bamzai.
Figuring out one’s Ikigai is quite simplistic, but to know your Ikigai you must be aware of some essential things about yourself. For Bajaj, wellness as a subject and as a practise has been an Ikigai. “My Ikigai has been figuring out that both my wife and I are really passionate about wellness and total wellbeing, so we are coming out with our platform omnilife. The research involving that platform is also part of my Ikigai, since the first point of discussion in Omnilife is what constitutes a life lived well, like what you eat, how you de-stress, are you sleeping enough?” reveals Bajaj.
Ikigai is about finding your reason to live, but as Bamzai reveals during the course of the session, the philosophy stands on four pillars. It is essentially a convergence of four things, mission, passion, profession and vocation. “I ask myself if Sachin Tendulkar followed his ikigai. I think the answer would be yes. Sachin drew energy from people, his fans, he played for them. When you become a source of happiness for others, it is an Ikigai. So, just a slight change in your attitude can make a world of difference,” informs Bajaj.
The Ikigai coach also thinks that no matter how we are spending our time amid the quarantine, we will come out of this stronger, wiser and happier. Bajaj, who has been spending a lot of time with his wife and children amid the lockdown revealed that he had never seen such an intensive level of community-building like he is witnessing now. But can we channel our passion and pastime into something productive? Bajaj believes this moment of pause can only help us get a better sense of our commitments.
“I have a great example. I told my staff that they could either stay here or go back home because they won’t be able to see their family for maybe 2-3 months. My gardener told me, ‘I'll stay here because if I go away my kids, that are my plants will die’. So, that is his commitment to his purpose, his Ikigai. And he’s not doing it for money, because I know he can survive on his own, we would have still paid him, but he wanted to be here for his plants. So it’s the commitment we take back from this, how we help our company rebuild itself, that matters at the end of the day,” says the coach.
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