Am I Sacrificing My Ikigai by Listening to My Body?

A story about a mental and physical battle.

Tjahaja
ILLUMINATION

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Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

I’m overwhelmed with my work lately. My work involves reading texts in two languages. And then, I decide if one is naturally readable in my native language, Indonesian.

I enjoy my work of reviewing translations, but it hurts my enjoyment of reading. It drives a reading slump (losing interest in reading) after work hours.

By the time I finish my work, I am too tired to deal with more text. My eyes beg for closure when I’m about to continue the page I started in the morning.

Ikigai

So, every morning, I start a day with reading a book, around 5–10 pages. My friend called reading books my ikigai, my reason to be alive.

Although I’m Javanese, not Japanese, I like the Japanese idea. Ikigai is Japanese wisdom. Everyone has it, but a quest is necessary to find your ikigai.

One way to know your ikigai is to identify what thoughts wake you up every day and make you happy. One example. For my mother, tending her orchids is her ikigai.

So, it’s mental, not physical, like a bowel movement. Our excrement wakes us up without our mental effort.

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Tjahaja
ILLUMINATION

Indonesian translator. Translating from: English, Indonesian, Javanese, Dutch, and Greek. Translating to: Indonesian, Javanese, and English.