Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”, but in English it’s commonly translated with the french word “raison d’être”. According to Japanese culture, we all have an Ikigai… finding it is a deep and often long process that can only be done by oneself. And the process of finding it is fundamental because when it is found, it leads to satisfaction and the sense of life.
I am not really into Japanese culture. But the other day, when my friend Mariona showed me this concept, I quickly understood that if one can combine passion, mission, vocation and profession, it makes sense to think that he or she will reach considerable states of fulfillment.
There is a lot of information about this concept, including a talk at TED. I invite you to do some research or at least think about it. And I wish you luck, and wish it also for myself, so that we can all be able to find our place in the world! Let’s get down to business and find the Ikigai!
Diving can definitely be a personal challenge. Scuba diving takes you underwater, a completely new context where you will have to learn again to feel relaxed and calm. Breathing under the water and feeling the weightlessness is a wonder, but it requires some patience and getting used to calm down in a new context. Also, the more relaxed you are, the more slow your breathing will be and the lower the air consumption. Therefore, you can enjoy more time underwater.
Especially during diving courses, but also in any dive, the communication skills of the diving instructor are key to create a climate of confidence.
To be a good diving instructor, it is recommended that you should:
Provide relevant information and not lie: having all the information, both of the good points and of the possible weaknesses or risks, help to manage the expectations and to solve possible challenges during an immersion. Having the right expectations about the experience you are going to live generates confidence and helps you find a good way to react agains any difficult situation.
Use a clear language: we need to convey the messages using clear and direct language to make it understandable. And we have to adapt it to the audience we have: it is not the same to talk with experienced divers, with people who are learning, individuals who put themselves in water for the first time, children…
Reinforce nonverbal language: it is important that we control how we behave and communicate physically, so that it is aligned with our verbal message. We have to be calm, feel safe and show it to our audience.
Show empathy: we have to place ourselves in our interlocutor’s mind and show understanding of their mood and emotions.
Be humble and recognize that we do not know everything: we may be asked complicated questions or issues that we do not dominate. There is no need to invent the answer or presume certain knowledge we do not have. I don’t see any problem to say that the question can not be answered at the moment but it will be investigated to try to provide an adequate response as soon as possible.
Give constructive feedback: there are likely to be skills or knowledge that need to be improved by the client. And obviously, by the instructor. Nobody is perfect Therefore, it is important to discuss about it and find ways to improve it. And it’s good to emphasize possible solutions to achieve a continuous improvement instead of feeling guilty or pointing somebody as the cause of a problem.
One of the things that fascinate me most about diving and its teaching is the power of the gaze. We live in an accelerated society, where everyone looks to himself and in general, we have only few relaxed moments and not so much interpersonal contact. We do not look enough to eachother.
Looking at the eyes of a person, known or unknown, is sometimes difficult. The eyes are a great element of expression of emotions and mood. But often we are not able to hold our eyes on people, because we have the fear of showing too much about ourselves.
When we dive and are under water, one can not speak. And, even though any educational system in the world of scuba diving has its own signs to be able to speak with the hands, the eyes are a great source of information. Under water, especially during training, we look at our eyes. And through the observation of the eyes, the instructors can understand the overall state of the person: we can detect very good things, such as joy, excitement and enthusiasm; or things that alert us to give a tranquilizing response, such as fear, stress or anxiety.
Acting responsibly to respond to a look is a very enriching task that helps me to empathize and recognize the state of people in the water, which has a direct impact on improving this personal ability also outside the water. And the best of all is that this can also help you! Come to dive with me and check it out!
Watch an official video about the PADI Open Water Diver course, the most popular course to start the adventure of the underwater world.
The video explains the experience of a random diver who starts her adventure on her holidays, a very common way to make a first step into diving. She explains how good is the Open Water Diver course to meet people with a similar approach to life although they might come from different countries, backgrounds or ages.
Within the course, she gets used to the diving equipment and becomes more and more comfortable with it, gaining the confidence needed to be able to experience breathing underwater. As you can see, the Open Water Diver course is based on step-by-step practice and repetition to incorporate in an easy way all the learning points and requirements. The PADI system is made to make things easy.
With this course, you will discover a totally different world and will be surrounded by things you’ve never seen before. As she explains in the video, open yourself to experience new things and be surprised by the way things move underwater. It’s a great experience quite similar to weightlessness!
Are you ready to discover this new environment? It’s only in your hands to find a dive center or a diving instructor and enter this new world of diving. I’m sure you’ll not regret!