The Okinawans call it ikigai. The Nicoyans call it plan de vida. Both roughly translate into “why we wake up in the morning”. In this episode we dive into having a sense of purpose in life and why this is crucial if you want to be strong sharp, healthy and happy at 100.
Listen to the Longevity Series in this order…
- Ep 40 – Longevity Series: How To Be Healthy At 100
- Ep 41 – Longevity Series: Move Naturally
- Ep 42 – Longevity Series: Eat Until 80%
- Ep 43 – Longevity Series: Eat More Plants
- Ep 44 – Longevity Series: Get Your Antioxidants
- Ep 45 – this episode
- Listen to ‘Just Us’
- Watch the ‘Just Us’ music video
- The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
- Ep 7 – The Meaning Of Life (According To Nonna)
- Ep 6 – Sex As An Act Of Service
I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @broadhurstworld on social media, and use the hashtag #broadnewworld, or leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a 5 star review on iTunes I would be very grateful.
Welcome back to Broad New World. I’m your host, Nick Broadhurst, also known as Broadhurst in the music world. And you can catch all of my work including my music, my music videos, every single podcast episode, all my blog posts and my social media on my website, which is www.broadhurst.world.
And if you head to broadhurst.world/Spotify, that will take you straight to my Spotify artist profile. Or you can just search for broadhurst wherever you listen to music and you can check out all of my tunes.
And that song you were listening to is a song called Just Us, and you can check out the full song at broadhurst.world/justus, and I’ll also link to the music video in today’s show notes at broadhurst.world/45.
So before we get started definitely listen to this longevity series in order, starting at broadhurst.world/40. And that’s going to give you an overview of why I decided to do this 10 part longevity series. And it talks about the blue zones of the world, which is really important because I do reference this in each episode.
Then we move on to episode 41, Move Naturally, 42, Eat Until 80%, 43, Eat More Plants, 44, Get Your Antioxidants, and today’s episode is episode number 45, and it is called Know Your Purpose.
And today we are going to be talking about what the Okinawans of Japan call Ikigai. And the Nicoyans of Costa Rica call ‘plan de vida’. And what does this mean? It means ‘why do we wake up in the morning’? This is an episode dedicated to having a sense of purpose.
And what I love about the Okinawan culture is in each village they have what’s called a noro. A noro is a female shaman or priestess who is responsible for maintaining the village hearth and helping to establish new households. And they carry out rituals and ceremonies every day to honor their ancestors and their deities, their gods.
And this is a crucial element because they respect not only those that have passed before them but also they respect people who are old in their culture. Growing old is revered in many of these blue zone longevity cultures. Now if we contrast that with western culture, growing old is generally associated with things like dementia, and a failing body, almost like being treated like a baby. Do you know what I mean?
I don’t know about you but have you ever found yourself talking to an elder, maybe a grandparent, almost like I don’t know, like they are a bit simple? Almost like you need to dumb things down a bit for them. And I think I’m guilty of this and it comes from a good place, but why do we do this?
Why do we ship our elders off to retirement homes? Why don’t we revere them the way they do in other cultures? Why are we so afraid of growing old? It’s just unheard of in these blue zone cultures. They always take care of their elders in their own homes. And it’s something that Melissa and I are planning to do with our own families.
The way that we are purchasing our homes is to set things up so that we can take care of our family and always live with them, to make sure they can have a sense of purpose. My parents for example have 30 acres in the New [inaudible: 03:45] land; it’s a beautiful beautiful property.
My father is 78, and he is incredible, he’s absolutely amazing. In fact he just released his book, which I’m going to talk about, it’s called You Are Not Ready For This. It’s pretty out there; it’s pretty cool though. But my father, Graham, we call him crazy grazy because he’s from a different planet, different dimension, he has this sense of purpose to discover deep within himself dimensions that have been unexplored.
And he, even from a young age, he discovered things like the chakras and all the different energy systems on his own. He didn’t have to read about it, he just discovered it through his own meditations. And now he has 30 acres of property to look after, which he does all on his own. All the gardening, all the mowing, everything, heavy lifting. And at 78 he looks unbelievable.
And my fear is that, I mean, it’s a lot and he finds it hard. But that toil, that keeps him strong and healthy, and it gives him a sense of purpose as much as some days he doesn’t want to do it. And my fear is that when it does get a bit too hard, and if he stops and just does what most people do and move to a unit or something, an apartment or a condo, is that his body and his mind will start to fail him.
So what Melissa and I want to do is set things up so that he never, and my mother as well, never have to leave that home. And that when things get too hard, perhaps we’ll set up a really big organic garden and maybe some chickens and that will become their new sense of purpose. Just growing their own food.
So just little things like this which are really really important to us. It’s one of the reasons we recently bought a home up in that area because we want to be near them. Because to them their family is purpose. So that’s something to think about, is how can we set things up so that we can be there for our parents and our grandparents for their whole life?
Anyway, back to purpose. And this is really interesting, after December 31st, 1999, demographers saw a spike in deaths among elders; so basically these older people in other words, probably willed themselves to stay alive into the new millennium and as soon as it clocked over 2000, they started passing away. But it gave them this clear, measurable, sense of purpose. That’s the power of it.
And I saw this recently with Melissa’s beautiful Nonna. And I speak about her in episode 7, broadhurst.world/7, and that episode was called, The Meaning of Life according to Nonna. And Nonna had immigrated to Australia from Italy around 60 ago, and amazingly she lived in the same house up until the age of 96. But after a few falls she had to be moved to a nursing home, purely for her own safety. And leaving her home of 60 years saw her immediately go downhill. She got depressed, anxious, she couldn’t sleep, and ultimately she passed away about 6 months later.
And that is the power of purpose. A sudden loss of a person’s traditional role can have a measurable effect on mortality. And we see this especially among teachers and policemen who statistically can have quite short lives after they quit working because police and teachers have a very clear, a very defined sense of purpose and a position of authority in the community, a relatively high status. And once they’re retired they lose both those qualities, and can decline rapidly. So it’s something to be very mindful of, if that’s your career.
And it can be as simple; purpose can be as simple as staying in your own home like Nonna and keeping it for your family as a gathering point. Or just watching your grandchildren grow up. For me it’s my music, it’s this podcast, my family, my friends, and all the things I’m yet to create because I’m always dreaming big, I’m always thinking ‘what’s possible’? That’s something I love, it’s having a sense that anything is possible. It really really excites me.
You know, we can create whatever we want, it’s different for everyone because we all have different backgrounds and different circumstances. I totally get that. But you can create whatever you want. Earth is a playground that is always in perfect balance so that you may find your own path and experience what you need to experience in this lifetime in order to grow and evolve.
It doesn’t have to be a great big, huge thing. It could just be as simple as picking up a new skill, like a musical instrument or a language. That can give you a strong sense of purpose. But if you want to go really deep into it, how do we find our purpose? And I want to simplify it for you.
We all have the same purpose and that is to serve others. A life of service is a life fully lived. Now service can look very different for each person. And I believe the feeling people have when they listen to my music, that sense of love and reconnecting with their heart, that is one of the greatest gifts I have to give personally. That’s how I can be of service, and this podcast as well. Sharing everything that I’ve learnt, I’m learning and yet to learn and need to learn is also a way that I’m of service.
So as I spoke about in episode 6, Sex As An Act Of Service. Even something as simple as making love can be an act of service to your loved one. It’s certainly how I view it. Taking care of your children is an act of service. It’s whatever you define it as. Don’t get stuck in comparisonitis. Don’t compare yourself to others; just find what feels true to you. And as long as it really is your ikigai, your plan de vida, something that inspires you deep down, then you know that’s your purpose, you know it when you have it.
And if you can’t articulate it yet, it’s totally cool. Let’s try something. Let’s write out our own mission statement. So to do this, consider a couple of things. Why do you wake up in the morning? If you could wake up and not have to think about money for the rest of your life, what would you do? What is truly important to you? Just consider that. Consider it and write it down, and then share it with a friend or a partner.
So that is episode number 45. It’s a big one because it’s purpose, it’s why we’re here. And all these other things about food and eating until 80% and movement, they’re all important, but purpose my friends is… that’s why we’re here.
So for all the show notes on today’s episode, you can head to broadhurst.world/45. And you can also get a full transcript of the show, if you prefer to read things. And don’t forget, please hit the subscribe button on your podcast app, subscribe to broad new world so that you get all of these longevity series episodes popping up in your new podcast feed.
I don’t want you to miss an episode because I think this stuff is really important and I’m really, I’m just loving doing this. And please head into iTunes or your favorite podcast app and leave me a 5 star review because the more 5 star reviews and the more comments, that means iTunes thinks that this podcast is important and they show it to more people, more people will get to hear it, and that is my ikigai.
And if you can do me a huge favor, share this with one person. Hit the share button, send a text messages to someone, or share it on your social media using the handle @broadhurstworld so I can see it and I can say hello. So thank you again for joining me on broad new world.
And today remember, look up, see the beauty around you, see the beauty within you. Be gentle with yourself, be love, be of service, define your purpose, definite it and do it. Listen to your intuition. Don’t compare yourself to others; feel into what is true for you right now. What is your ikigai? What is your plan de vida? And as always, have a beautiful day. I love you heaps. Ciao!