Senior Living In Japan
Here in the U.S. we grow up with a very specific idea of what a good career looks like—start at an entry-level position, work hard to rise up the ranks of management, and hopefully by our mid-60's be in a comfortable enough position to retire.
Retirement, as best as it can be described, is our tradition of walking away from your life's work so that you can start doing what you wanted to all along—or sometimes just do nothing. We are so enamored with that concept that we'll spend decades working in misery under the pretense that we'll get to spend our golden years living a life of leisure.
Even those of us that claim to love our jobs still keep that finish line in our minds—when I'm older, we think, all this hard work will be worth it.
But in Japan we find a different model for living well in old age. In the video below, Monocle Magazine features some of the many Japanese citizens who now work happily into their 70's and 80's. Or, in the case of Café de l’Ambre owner, Ichiro Sekiguchi, well past 100.
For those raised on that ideal of early retirement, working in old age sounds like the absolute worst thing that could to happen to us. But every single person featured below expresses complete joy about being able to come to work and practice their craft each morning. They feel a sense of purpose, a sense of community, and a desire to push their skills and knowledge every day.
In short, rather than working themselves to death, they're working to feel alive.
It's an example we all should ponder whenever deciding our own version of a "good career". Instead of choosing the fastest route to that upscale beach community or a 40 ft. yacht, perhaps we should be seeking a vocation that we would still find joy in at age 100.