I’ve been reading some nonfiction books after a long gap. I started with Pico Iyer’s The Beginner’s Guide to Japan. My interest in the Japanese culture has peaked ever since I started interacting with Japanese cat moms on Instagram a couple of years ago. In fact, I’ve always been keen on learning about other cultures and this book gave me an in-depth look at the ways of the Japanese. I find certain things common to most Asian cultures when it comes to patriarchy and such but every country and region has unique ways of looking at things, at life. That’s why I picked up Ikigai after Iyer’s book, hoping to learn more about the Japanese habits and thought process that promotes happiness, longevity and well being. This second book gave a glimpse into the lives of elderly Japanese in a certain part of the islands. These biologically old individuals shared their ways of staying young/alive by focusing on their purpose amongst other things like a healthy diet and activity.
That put my overthinking mind into overtime as I wondered if I was a hundred percent sure about my purpose in life. Thankfully, the answer was a big yes.
It seems like a coincidence that I had a video chat with someone this morning and we spoke about finding our purpose and not losing focus of it. This friend and I met in Australia in 2006 during our study abroad semester. Neither of us have followed the majority when it comes to following the expected path. When I say ‘expected path’ I mean the career, marriage and babies road. Instead, she has devoted her life to helping the less fortunate human beings and is heading to Ethiopia soon to do more of that. I, on the other hand, have realised time and time again that my love for animals and their love for me is what brings me fulfilment. Purpose cannot be defined the same way for all of us, right?
So these two books have reaffirmed my belief that I’m doing a few things right. Yes, I’m trying to make a habit of focusing on my purpose and I’m attempting to give my best to everything I do — as I read, it’s about perseverance and taking joy in whatever I do and not about being a stressed out workaholic. Like right now, I’m writing this blog post with my attention on it and it’s making me smile because I’m enjoying the writing process 🙂
My reading list until January is mostly Christmas romances and women’s fiction. Then I’ll get back to Pico Iyer and others.