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“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles (Book Summary)
By Kyle Kowalski · 26 Comments
This post is a book summary of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life ( Amazon ) by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.
I was hoping this book would be a deep dive into the “how” of ikigai. However, it’s more of an introduction to a variety of different topics including: the Blue Zones , logotherapy , longevity, flow, tai chi, yoga, resilience, and more. If you’re new to those topics, then this is the book for you!
Quick Summary of the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
- As mentioned above, this book covers many topics related to the “ art of living .”
- The authors define ikigai and the rules of ikigai—they conducted a total of one hundred interviews in Ogimi, Okinawa to try to understand the longevity secrets of centenarians and supercentenarians.
- “What do Japanese artisans, engineers, Zen philosophy, and cuisine have in common? Simplicity and attention to detail.”
- “The authors of this book wish you a long, happy, and purposeful life.”
What is Ikigai?
- In Japanese, ikigai is written by combining the symbols that mean “life” with “to be worthwhile.”
- “Translates roughly as ‘the happiness of always being busy.'” (Note: I believe they mean “busy” in the sense of living a full life vs busy life )
- “There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it.” (Note: Viktor Frankl is the author of Man’s Search for Meaning )
- “Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning . When we spend our days feeling connected to what is meaningful to us, we live more fully; when we lose the connection, we feel despair.”
- “Our ikigai is hidden deep inside each of us, and finding it requires a patient search. According to those born on Okinawa, the island with the most centenarians in the world, our ikigai is the reason we get up in the morning.”
- “Once you discover your ikigai, pursuing it and nurturing it every day will bring meaning to your life.”
- “They have an important purpose in life, or several. They have an ikigai, but they don’t take it too seriously. They are relaxed and enjoy all that they do.”
- “One thing that everyone with a clearly defined ikigai has in common is that they pursue their passion no matter what.”
The 10 Rules of Ikigai
- Stay active; don’t retire.
- Take it slow.
- Don’t fill your stomach.
- Surround yourself with good friends.
- Get in shape for your next birthday.
- Reconnect with nature.
- Give thanks.
- Live in the moment.
- Follow your ikigai.
Ikigai Book Highlights
Stress & Existential Crisis:
- “Many people seem older than they are. Research into the causes of premature aging has shown that stress has a lot to do with it.”
- “The American Institute of Stress investigated this degenerative process and concluded that most health problems are caused by stress.”
- “ Existential crisis , on the other hand, is typical of modern societies in which people do what they are told to do , or what others do, rather than what they want to do. They often try to fill the gap between what is expected of them and what they want for themselves with economic power or physical pleasure, or by numbing their senses.”
- “Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your ‘official’ professional activity has ended.”
- “Many Western forms of therapy focus on controlling or modifying the patient’s emotions. In the West, we tend to believe that what we think influences how we feel, which in turn influences how we act. In contrast, Morita therapy focuses on teaching patients to accept their emotions without trying to control them, since their feelings will change as a result of their actions.”
- “Logotherapy and Morita therapy are both grounded in a personal, unique experience that you can access without therapists or spiritual retreats: the mission of finding your ikigai, your existential fuel. Once you find it, it is only a matter of having the courage and making the effort to stay on the right path.”
- “The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.”
- “In order to achieve this optimal experience, we have to focus on increasing the time we spend on activities that bring us to this state of flow, rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in activities that offer immediate pleasure.”
- “ Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.”
- “Japanese people often apply themselves to even the most basic tasks with an intensity that borders on obsession.”
- “Our ability to turn routine tasks into moments of microflow, into something we enjoy, is key to our being happy, since we all have to do such tasks.”
- “Artists, for example, who carry the torch of their ikigai instead of retiring, have this power. Art, in all its forms, is an ikigai that can bring happiness and purpose to our days. Enjoying or creating beauty is free, and something all human beings have access to.”
- “Artists know how important it is to protect their space, control their environment, and be free of distractions if they want to flow with their ikigai.”
- “Many such artists might seem misanthropic or reclusive, but what they are really doing is protecting the time that brings them happiness, sometimes at the expense of other aspects of their lives. They are outliers who apply the principles of flow to their lives to an extreme.”
- 1. To be in a distraction-free environment
- 2. To have control over what we are doing at every moment
- “We realized right away that time seems to have stopped there, as though the entire town were living in an endless here and now .”
- “Many Japanese people never really retire—they keep doing what they love for as long as their health allows.”
- “The Japanese are skilled at bringing nature and technology together: not man versus nature, but rather a union of the two.”
- “Okinawans live by the principle of ichariba chode , a local expression that means ‘treat everyone like a brother, even if you’ve never met them before.'”
- Celebrations seem to be an essential part of life in Ogimi.
Slow Living :
- “Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, ‘Walk slowly and you’ll go far.’ When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.”
- “Looking back, our days in Ogimi were intense but relaxed—sort of like the lifestyle of the locals, who always seemed to be busy with important tasks but who, upon closer inspection, did everything with a sense of calm. They were always pursuing their ikigai, but they were never in a rush.”
- “They are always busy , but they occupy themselves with tasks that allow them to relax. We didn’t see a single old grandpa sitting on a bench doing nothing.”
- “The restaurant is right by the sea and seems like something from the planet Tatooine, from Star Wars. The menu boasts in large letters that it serves ‘ slow food ‘ prepared with organic vegetables grown in the town.”
Secrets of the Centenarians & Supercentenarians:
- Don’t worry
- Cultivate good habits
- Nurture your friendships every day
- Live an unhurried life
- Be optimistic”
- “Eat and sleep, and you’ll live a long time. You have to learn to relax.” — Misao Okawa (117 years old)
- “I’ve never eaten meat in my life.” — María Capovilla (116)
- “Everything’s fine.” — Jeanne Calment (122)
- “Your mind and your body. You keep both busy, you’ll be here a long time.” — Walter Breuning (114)
- “I just haven’t died yet.” — Alexander Imich (111)
- “Food won’t help you live longer…The secret is smiling and having a good time.”
- “My secret to a long life is always saying to myself, ‘ Slow down ,’ and ‘Relax.’ You live much longer if you’re not in a hurry.”
- “The key to staying sharp in old age is in your fingers. From your fingers to your brain, and back again. If you keep your fingers busy, you’ll live to see one hundred.”
- “One hundred percent of the people we interviewed keep a vegetable garden, and most of them also have fields of tea, mangoes, shikuwasa, and so on.”
- “Locals eat a wide variety of foods, especially vegetables. Variety seems to be key. A study of Okinawa’s centenarians showed that they ate 206 different foods, including spices, on a regular basis. They ate an average of eighteen different foods each day, a striking contrast to the nutritional poverty of our fast-food culture.”
- “They eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. At least seven types of fruits and vegetables are consumed by Okinawans on a daily basis. The easiest way to check if there is enough variety on your table is to make sure you’re ‘eating the rainbow.’ A table featuring red peppers, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, and eggplant, for example, offers great color and variety. Vegetables, potatoes, legumes, and soy products such as tofu are the staples of an Okinawan’s diet. More than 30 percent of their daily calories comes from vegetables.”
- “Grains are the foundation of their diet. Japanese people eat white rice every day, sometimes adding noodles. Rice is the primary food in Okinawa, as well.”
- “Eat fish an average of three times per week.”
- “Consume fewer calories: an average of 1,785 per day, compared to 2,068 in the rest of Japan. In fact, low caloric intake is common among the five Blue Zones .”
- “Tofu, Miso, Tuna, Carrots, Goya (bitter melon), Kombu (sea kelp), Cabbage, Nori (seaweed), Onion, Soy sprouts, Hechima (cucumber-like gourd), Soybeans (boiled or raw), Sweet potato, Peppers”
- “Okinawans drink more Sanpin-cha—a mix of green tea and jasmine flowers—than any other kind of tea…Okinawans drink an average of three cups of Sanpin-cha every day.”
- “White tea, with its high concentration of polyphenols, may be even more effective against aging. In fact, it is considered to be the natural product with the greatest antioxidant power in the world—to the extent that one cup of white tea might pack the same punch as about a dozen glasses of orange juice.”
Other Memorable Quotes:
- “ We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle
- “To be able to concentrate for a considerable amount of time is essential to difficult achievement.” — Bertrand Russell
- “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Washington Burnap
- “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor Frankl
- “Nana korobi ya oki (Fall seven times, rise eight.)” — Japanese proverb
- “Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they’re almost stupid.” — Gavin Bradley
Have you read the book or found your ikigai? Please share what was most beneficial for you in the comments.
You can check out all of my book summaries here .
You May Also Enjoy:
- Get the new eBook: Ikigai 2.0: A Step-by-Step Guidebook to Finding Life Purpose & Making Money Meaningfully (+ Bonus Workbook)
- How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose: “Awakening Your Ikigai” by Ken Mogi (Book Summary)
- The Truth about Ikigai: Definitions, Diagrams & Myths about the Japanese Life Purpose
- Ikigai 2.0: Evolving the Ikigai Diagram for Life Purpose (& Why and How it Needs to be Redesigned)
- My Ikigai 2.0 — A Detailed Personal Ikigai Example of How to Find Your Life Purpose
About Kyle Kowalski
👋 Hi, I'm Kyle―the human behind Sloww . I'm an ex-marketing executive turned self-education entrepreneur after an existential crisis in 2015. In one sentence: my purpose is synthesizing lifelong learning that catalyzes deeper development . But, I’m not a professor, philosopher, psychologist, sociologist, anthropologist, scientist, mystic, or guru. I’m an interconnector across all those humans and many more—an "independent, inquiring, interdisciplinary integrator" (in other words, it's just me over here, asking questions, crossing disciplines, and making connections). To keep it simple, you can just call me a "synthesizer." Sloww is my synthesis on the art of living for students of life . Read my story.
Sloww participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you purchase a book through an Amazon link, Sloww earns a small percentage at no additional cost to you. This helps fund the costs to support the site and the ad-free experience.
August 22, 2018 at 10:21 AM
Kyle Kowalski, thanks a lot for the post. Really thank you! Much obliged.
August 22, 2018 at 10:50 AM
Sure thing! Glad it was helpful.
November 23, 2018 at 10:51 PM
Live slow, seems to be important.
November 24, 2018 at 12:37 AM
Yes, Kazim! It seems all good things start with slowing down.
January 21, 2019 at 10:17 AM
Ikigai is magical!! It is living life the way you want, at a slower pace and enjoying every moment of it!! Thanks Kyle!
January 25, 2019 at 10:51 AM
I agree, Nirmaladevi! Ikigai has been one of the most life-changing concepts I’ve discovered in the last few years.
December 15, 2019 at 4:09 AM
I too will read it.Thank you.
December 16, 2019 at 10:38 PM
January 8, 2022 at 10:51 PM
I have ikigai book and I am eager to read that hope I like it✨ Thank you so much kyle
August 1, 2020 at 7:24 AM
One more thing I want to add on is that this book also gave us a way to the reality that stay with those thoughts in which you can easily confide in and enjoy your life
August 4, 2020 at 10:51 PM
March 4, 2019 at 9:03 AM
Living in the now! That’s the most important. And cherishing life.
March 6, 2019 at 2:34 PM
Life only happens in the now! Good thoughts, Ranjit. You may like this: A Deep Look at “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle (Book Summary #1)
March 21, 2019 at 10:46 AM
Live a simple life try to see happiness in small things.
March 28, 2019 at 1:41 AM
You got it, Raju!
January 8, 2020 at 6:24 AM
Really good. It helped me a lot. I am going to teach these concepts in my courses (yes that’s My Ikigai) about goal setting and life mission.
January 14, 2020 at 9:47 AM
January 9, 2020 at 6:23 PM
Hi Kyle, I loved this book summary on Ikigai a lot. I have shared it on my LinkedIn page so that other people can know about it too. Hope you don’t mind. Your website is amazing, very meaningful posts and the layout is so simple. I look forward to reading a lot more about the art of living on your other posts. Thank you very much.
January 14, 2020 at 9:48 AM
Awesome, thanks for sharing Keya! The more the merrier. I greatly appreciate the kind words about Sloww 🙂
February 5, 2020 at 1:36 AM
hey kyle, the most amazing thing is that you are replying to everyone since 2018, well i actually need to read this book, so i am going to start it, here i was seeing what is the concept of this book. Thank you
February 5, 2020 at 8:37 AM
Hey Isha! Yes, I’ve always tried to respond to every single comment on all posts since the site launched. Enjoy the book!
October 23, 2020 at 8:54 PM
Hi Kyle, thank you so much for your post. It benefits me a lot. This help in my thesis writing and I will use this with my family.
November 25, 2020 at 12:39 AM
So happy to hear that, Cho Lye Yin!
August 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM
December 4, 2021 at 8:59 AM
I have found the book very interesting and helpful to understand my ‘self’ .
July 29, 2022 at 9:47 PM
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The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
By Héctor García and Francesc Miralles
Category: wellness | philosophy.
Aug 29, 2017 | ISBN 9780143130727 | 5 x 7 --> | ISBN 9780143130727 --> Buy
Aug 29, 2017 | ISBN 9781524704551 | ISBN 9781524704551 --> Buy
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INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • 2 MILLION+ COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE “Workers looking for more fulfilling positions should start by identifying their ikigai.” ― Business Insider “One of the unintended—yet positive—consequences of the [pandemic] is that it is forcing people to reevaluate their jobs, careers, and lives. Use this time wisely, find your personal ikigai, and live your best life.” ― Forbes Find your ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy ) to live longer and bring more meaning and joy to all your days. “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” —Japanese proverb According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai —a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai —where what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs all overlap—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life—the happiness of always being busy. In researching this book, the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds—one of the world’s Blue Zones. Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and—their best-kept secret—how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own ikigai. Because who doesn’t want to find happiness in every day?
Also by Héctor García , Francesc Miralles
About Héctor García
Héctor García and Francesc Miralles are the coauthors of the 1.5-million-copy international bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life… More about Héctor García
About Francesc Miralles
Héctor García and Francesc Miralles are the coauthors of the 1.5-million-copy international bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life… More about Francesc Miralles
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“ Ikigai urges individuals to simplify their lives by pursuing what sparks joy for them. . . . Much in the same way that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up emphasizes ‘choosing what we want to keep, and not what we want to get rid of,’ [ Ikigai ] demonstrates that aging could be an opportunity to keep working , keep smiling, keep active, and keep being social.” — KonMari Newsletter “Want to live longer? Keep super busy. If hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something—and doing it with supreme focus and joy. . . . Pack up those cozy blankets and candles you purchased in last year’s hygge -fueled Ikea spree. Fall’s biggest imported lifestyle trend is ikigai, and it might help you live to 100.” — New York Post “Originating from a country with one of the world’s oldest populations, ikigai is becoming popular outside of Japan as a way to live longer and better. . . . [It] is helping people live longer on Okinawa as it gives them purpose.” — World Economic Forum “The Japanese concept of ikigai (the happiness of being busy) [is] attainable and even an important key to living longer.” — Elle.com “Discovering your ikigai, or passion, can be one of the greatest journeys you will embark on.” — Forbes “Enjoy a cup or two of green tea as you digest this small, charming book.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune “A must-follow lifestyle hack . . . Think feng shui with Venn diagrams—although this time there is no need to move the front door.” — The Guardian “ Ikigai is what allows you to look forward to the future even if you’re miserable right now. . . . It might just help you live a more fulfilling life.” — BBC “A refreshingly simple recipe for happiness.” — Stylist “An attractive and absorbing book.” — The Bookseller “Persuasively shows that small changes can help readers find more joy and purpose in their lives [with] clear, succinct information . . . skillfully compiled . . . into an engaging, easily accessible format with lists, charts, and illustrations.” — Publishers Weekly “ Ikigai gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives. Science-based studies weave beautifully into honest, straight-talking conversation you won’t be able to put down.” — Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation
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IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Summary, Review, Notes
The primary takeaways from this book are how to live a better and happier life while also extending your lifespan.
Héctor Garcia and Francesc Miralles, authors of the book “Ikigai: The Art of Finding Your True North,” provide a definition of the term as well as an exposition of its underlying concepts.
To gain a deeper understanding of this occurrence, researchers in Ogimi, Okinawa, spoke with one hundred of the island’s centenarians and supercentenarians.
What we think about, we bring about. Several research has come to the conclusion that stress is the key component that contributes to an accelerated aging process.
The writers of this book believe that the concept of ikigai is a significant factor in both the extraordinarily high quality of life enjoyed by Japanese people and their exceptionally long-life expectancy.
Book Title— Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Author— Héctor García and Francesc Miralles Date of Reading— February 2023 Rating— 8/10
Table of Contents
What is being said in detail, prologue. ikigai: a mysterious word.
The book’s prologue lays the groundwork for the investigation of ikigai and its significance in Japanese culture.
The author discusses his personal experience of living in Japan and how the culture and manner of life there captivated him.
Although Japan is frequently thought of as a nation of invention and technology, the author emphasizes that it is also a nation with a strong regard for tradition and an emphasis on mindfulness and simplicity.
The author observes that this cultural perspective has produced a special approach to health and wellbeing that places a premium on balance, harmony, and purpose.
CHAPTER 1. Ikigai. The Art of Staying Young While Growing Old
The first chapter of the book introduces the concept of ikigai, which translates as “a reason for being” or “a purpose in life” in Japanese.
Ikigai’s origins and how it has been studied by researchers and philosophers over the years are further explored in the chapter.
While there is no one-size-fits-all definition of ikigai, the author notes that it generally refers to the things that give our lives meaning and purpose, Ikigai has to be something you’re good at, something that you love, something that the world need and something that you can be paid for.
The author explains that while Japan is often associated with technology and innovation, it is also a country with a deep respect for tradition and a focus on simplicity and mindfulness.
He notes that this cultural mindset has led to a unique approach to health and wellness, one that values balance, harmony, and purpose.
The island of Okinawa holds the first place among the world’s Blue Zones where the community practices Moai, which is an informal group of people with common interests that look out for one another, they serve the community.
CHAPTER 2. Antiaging Secrets. Little Things that Add Up to a Long and Happy Life
The author reveals the secrets to living a long life in this chapter:
- Younger body, active mind. Because the mind and body are inextricably linked, having a youthful mind motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle that will slow the aging process. We suffer from a lack of mental exercise because it causes our neurons and neural connections to deteriorate.
- Eliminate long-term stress. The majority of health issues are caused by living in a constant state of stress.
- A little stress is beneficial. Low levels of stress can be beneficial to our health.
- Continue to be active. Sedentary behavior contributes to a variety of diseases; make a few changes to your routine, such as walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing with children or pets, and being mindful.
- Sleep between 9 and 10 hours per night. This is an important antiaging tool because when we sleep, we produce melatonin, a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Having a calm or stoic attitude toward life’s challenges can help us stay young by reducing anxiety and stress and stabilizing behavior.
CHAPTER 3. From Logotherapy to Ikigai. How to Live Longer and Better by Finding Your Purpose
Logotherapy assists you in discovering reasons to live. The author breaks down the procedure into five steps:
- A person feels empty, frustrated, or anxious.
- The therapist demonstrates to him that what he is experiencing is a desire to live a meaningful life.
- The patient discovers the meaning of his life (at that particular point in time).
- The patient chooses whether to accept or reject his fate of his own free will.
- His newfound enthusiasm for life aids him in overcoming obstacles and sorrows.
The author also discusses Morita therapy, which was developed in Japan prior to Logotherapy. In Japan, Shoma Morita developed his own purpose-centered therapy.
Because their feelings will change as a result of their actions, Morita therapy focuses on teaching patients to accept their emotions without trying to control them. Its fundamental principles are as follows:
- Accept your feelings.
- Carry out your responsibilities.
- Determine your life’s purpose.
This relates to Ikigai in that both Logotherapy and Morita therapy are based on a personal, one-of-a-kind experience that you can access without the help of therapists or spiritual retreats: the mission of discovering your ikigai, or existential fuel.
CHAPTER 4. Find Flow in Everything You Do. How to Turn Work and Free Time Into Spaces for Growth
When you give yourself over to anything, you forget about the passage of time. Every second seems like an hour when you’re doing something you really don’t want to do.
Flow refers to the state of engrossment one experiences when performing an activity one enjoys.
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, flow is the experience of bliss, joy, inspiration, and flow that comes from being fully present in the moment.
You need to go into a state of flow, have an “ideal experience” if you wish to live according to ikigai.
The author cites Owen Schaffer, a researcher at DePaul University, who lists “knowing what to do” as one of the conditions necessary to enter a state of flow:
Having the requisite skill to accomplish the task.
- Knowing what to do.
- Knowing how to do it.
- Knowing how well you are doing.
- Knowing where to go (where navigation is involved)
The author provides us with three approaches to this:
- Choose the challenging option (but not too difficult). It’s a challenge since it’s within our capabilities but yet a little bit of a reach. Our desire to persevere to the finish of a struggle is rooted in the pleasure we take in the sensation of mental and physical exertion.
- Know what it is you’re trying to accomplish and make it crystal clear. Whilst your journey may not be without twists and turns, keep in mind that you will reach your destination far sooner and more effectively than if you had followed a predetermined course.
- Focus on what you’re doing. While it may seem logical to perform multiple jobs at once in order to save time, studies have shown that this is actually not the case.
It is also stated that our ability to transform mundane work into moments of microflow, into something we enjoy, is critical to our happiness, because we all have to complete such tasks.
You can locate your Ikigai by engaging in pursuits that put you in a state of flow.
CHAPTER 5. Master of Longevity. Words of Wisdom from the Longest-Living People in the World
The author interviewed supercentenarians—people who live to be 110 years old or more—in Okinawa, which has its own chapter.
Misao Okawa (117), Mara Capovilla (116), Jeanne Calment (122), Walter Breuning (114), and Alexander Imich (111) are among the interviewees.
García also draws inspiration from elderly people who continue to carry the ikigai torch rather than retiring.
CHAPTER 6. Lessons from Japan’s Centenarians. Traditions and Proverbs for Happiness and Longevity
In this chapter, the author recounts his visit to Ogimi, Okinawa’s capital, also known as the Village of Longevity, to interview the community’s oldest members.
They noticed the lack of traffic as soon as they arrived. Houses were strewn about the mountain and seascape.
Ogimi residents have a vibrant social life centered on community centers. Volunteering is essential because everyone can contribute and feel like they are a part of the community.
Celebrations and spirituality are an important part of village life and contribute to the happiness of the residents.
The locals live an intense but relaxed lifestyle; they appeared to be preoccupied with important tasks but went about their business calmly.
The following were the most significant statements derived from the interviews:
- Don’t be concerned
- Develop good habits
- Maintain your friendships on a daily basis.
- Live an unhurried life
- Be optimistic
CHAPTER 7. The Ikigai Diet. What the World’s Longest-Living People Eat and Drink
Okinawa was one of the most devastated areas of Japan during WWII.
As a result of not only battlefield conflicts, but also hunger and a lack of resources after the war. However, as Okinawans recovered from the devastation, they became some of the country’s longest-living citizens.
The following are the fundamentals of the Okinawa diet:
- Consume a wide variety of foods, particularly vegetables.
- Every day, consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Grains are the foundation of the diet; consume white rice on a daily basis.
- Rarely eat sugar, and if you do, use cane sugar.
They also follow the Japanese rule of Hara hachi bu, also known as the 80% rule. When you realize you’re almost full but could eat a little more, just stop! You can make it easier by skipping dessert, reducing portion size, or fasting one or two days per week.
Okinawans consume a variety of natural antioxidants, including tofu, miso, tuna, carrots, kombu, nori, and soy sprouts.
Okinawans drink Sanpin-cha, which is a mix of green tea and jasmine flowers, and they also drink the juice of shikuwasa, which is a citrus fruit that is used not only for juices but also in traditional dishes.
CHAPTER 8. Gentle Movements, Longer Life. Exercises from the East that Promote Health and Longevity
People who move around the most are the ones who live the longest, not the ones who work out the most. The people who live in Ogimi are very active. They walk a lot, get up early , and work in their gardens.
If you live in a city, it may be hard to move every day in a natural and healthy way because we tend to sit more. There are many Eastern practices that we can do at home to bring balance to our bodies, minds, and souls:
- Radio taiso
- Sun salutation
- Tai chi Qigong Shiatsu
- Mindfulness of breath
CHAPTER 9. Resilience and Wabi-Sabi. How to Face Life’s Challenges Without Letting Stress and Worry Age You
Ikigai teaches you to pursue your dreams no matter what and to keep trying even when things don’t go according to plan.
This is toughness. To deal with life’s ups and downs, proper mental, physical, and emotional resilience training is necessary.
The strength of resilient people comes from their adaptability; they are skilled at making adjustments in the face of change and setbacks.
They focus on the variables they can influence and don’t worry about the variables they cannot.
Buddhism and Stoicism can help you develop emotional fortitude. Moreover, meditation can be beneficial since it allows us to become conscious of our emotions and desires and so liberate ourselves from them.
By doing this, we can teach our thoughts to resist feelings of rage, envy, or resentment.
Knowing which moment to live in is another essential skill for developing resilience.
The moment is all there is, and it is the only thing we have control over, as both Buddhism and Stoicism provide as a reminder.
Never should we lose sight of the fact that everything we own and everyone we care about will go at some point.
Never forget that everything we own and everyone we love may one day vanish but resist the need to be gloomy about it.
Knowing that everything is temporary should not be depressing; rather, it should inspire us to cherish the here and now and people around us.
A Japanese idea known as wabi-sabi demonstrates the beauty of the world’s impermanence, changeability, and transience.
We should look for beauty in things that are defective or incomplete rather than trying to find it in things that are flawless. Ichi-go ichi-e, which roughly translates as “This moment exists only now and won’t come again,” is a complimentary Japanese idea.
And finally, antifragility. Antifragility goes beyond resilience; whereas the former can withstand shocks and remain unchanged, the latter improves.
By doing the following three things, we can become antifragile:
- Make redundant positions. Rely on multiple sources of income.
- Make cautious bets in some situations while taking numerous tiny risks in others. Spend money on
- Do away with the things that weaken you. Improve your habits.
We should not fear hardship in order to develop resilience in our life because each setback presents a chance for improvement.
If we adopt an antifragile mindset, we’ll figure out a method to become stronger with each setback, improving our way of life and being resilient centering on our ikigai.
EPILOGUE. Ikigai: The Art of Living
The author shares the work of Mitsuo Aida, one of the most important calligraphers and haikuists of the 20th century, as an example of a person that dedicated her life to the ikigai of communicating emotions with seventeen-syllable poems, using shodo calligraphy brush.
Our ikigai is unique to each individual, but we all share the common goal of searching for meaning. Modern life can make it easy to lose this connection, with distractions like money and success.
To find our ikigai, we should follow our intuition and curiosity, doing things that bring us joy and fulfillment, whether big or small.
There is no perfect strategy, but we should not worry too much about finding it. Ultimately, we should stay busy doing what we love, surrounded by people who love us.
In short, these are the ten rules of Ikigai:
- Stay active, don’t retire.
- Take it slow.
- Don’t fill your stomach.
- Surround yourself with good friends .
- Get in shape for your next birthday.
- Reconnect with nature.
- Give thanks.
- Live in the moment.
- Follow your ikigai.
Most Important Keywords, Sentences, Quotes
“Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking, though they carry it within them.”
“Having a youthful mind also drives you toward a healthy lifestyle that will slow the aging process.”
“As such, though challenges are good for keeping mind and body active, we should adjust our high-stress lifestyles in order to avoid the premature aging of our bodies.”
“Achieving mindfulness involves a gradual process of training, but with a bit of practice we can learn to focus our mind completely, which reduces stress and helps us live longer.”
“Existential frustration arises when our life is without purpose, or when that purpose is skewed.”
“Morita therapy is not meant to eliminate symptoms; instead it teaches us to accept our desires, anxieties, fears, and worries, and let them go.”
CHAPTER 4. Find Flow in Everything You Do. How to Turn Work and Free Time Into Spaces for Growth
“What makes us enjoy doing something so much that we forget about whatever worries we might have while we do it? When are we happiest? These questions can help us discover our ikigai.”
“When we flow, we are focused on a concrete task without any distractions.”
“The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.”
“A peaceful life in the countryside seems pretty common among people who have watched a century pass.”
“If you want to stay busy even when there’s no need to work, there has to be an ikigai on your horizon, a purpose that guides you throughout your life and pushes you to make things of beauty and utility for the community and yourself.”
“They have an important purpose in life, or several. They have an ikigai, but they don’t take it too seriously. They are relaxed and enjoy all that they do.”
“They are always busy, but they occupy themselves with tasks that allow them to relax.”
“The easiest way to check if there is enough variety on your table is to make sure you’re “eating the rainbow”.”
“When you notice you’re almost full but could have a little more . . . just stop eating!”
“You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour every day or run marathons. As Japanese centenarians show us, all you need is to add movement to your day.”
CHAPTER 9. Resilience and Wabi-Sabi. How to Face Life’s Challenges Without Letting Stress and Worry Age You
“Proper training for our mind, body, and emotional resilience is essential for confronting life’s ups and downs.”
“The more resilient we are, the easier it will be to pick ourselves up and get back to what gives meaning to our lives.”
“Worrying about things that are beyond our control accomplishes nothing.”
Book Review (Personal Opinion):
The Ikigai book is a great resource for anyone seeking to know how to live a fulfilled, long, and serene life. The wording is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
It causes us to actively seek solutions to life’s most fundamental issues. It aids in expanding one’s worldview and discovering one’s ultimate calling.
The Japanese concepts presented in this book were interesting to me, however the book just scratched the surface of its subjects. In most cases, this is just common sense.
If the authors had focused more on the “how” of ikigai, I would have been more satisfied.
The book tries to cover a lot of ground, thus it spends too much time on the introduction to a lot of various things that don’t need to be introduced, like the steps to perform a sun salutation or some fundamental tai chi moves.
Whilst it could have benefited from more emphasis dedicated to the concept of ikigai as its central theme, this book is very uplifting and useful for letting its reader take a step back, slow down, and reflect on the meaning of life.
Rating : 8/10
This Book Is For:
- People who want to live a long and happy life.
- People who are looking for their purpose in life
- People who want to face life’s challenges with a stress-free mindset.
If You Want to Learn More
Here is an interview with author Héctor García on how he finds (and honors) his life purpose, his Ikigai. Finding and retaining Ikigai, an interview with Héctor García .
How I’ve Implemented The Ideas From The Book
I took some time to reflect on what I truly enjoyed doing and what made me feel alive. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had always had a passion for writing. With newfound clarity and motivation, I decided to start writing.
One Small Actionable Step You Can Do
One small step you can take to start applying the principles of Ikigai in your life is to begin incorporating mindfulness and reflection into your daily routine.
Take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, what brings you joy, and what you are passionate about. This can be done through journaling, meditation, or simply taking a moment to pause and reflect.
By regularly reflecting on your values, passions, and purpose, you can begin to develop a deeper understanding of what drives you and what gives your life meaning.
This self-awareness can help you make more intentional choices and align your actions with your values and purpose.
Over time, this can lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in your life.
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The 10 rules of 'Ikigai,' from authors of the Japanese ‘secret’ for ‘a long and happy life’
One of the most popular books about longevity is " Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life ," written by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.
Ikigai loosely translates to "the happiness of always being busy," and is centered around a person's true purpose in life. Finding your ikigai is said to make life more meaningful.
In Okinawa, Japan, a blue zone with the highest concentration of centenarians in the world, ikigai is a common theme, according to García and Miralles who interviewed some of the world's oldest people.
A Japanese proverb states: "Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years." And García and Miralles encourage you to stay active by immersing yourself in your ikigai .
Here are the 10 rules that they've found have made living in your purpose more seamless.
The 10 rules of ikigai
- Stay active; don't retire. Many of the world's longest-lived people work well into their 80's and 90's or don't retire. Take for instance, Jayne Burns, a 100-year-old woman who works at a craft store in Ohio; Burns jokingly said her only birthday wish after turning 100 was "to keep working."
- Take it slow. It may feel normal to rush through things and be in a hurry, but that can actually have negative effects on the quality of your life, according to García and Miralles. Instead, they recommend taking your time and seeing how it adds more meaning to your life.
- Don't fill your stomach. Often, centenarians that the authors spoke to suggested eating only 80% of what's on your plate. "The extra side dish, the snack we eat when we know in our hearts we don't really need it, the apple pie after lunch—all these will give us pleasure in the short term, but not having them will make us happier in the long term."
- Surround yourself with good friends. Having great relationships in your life has been linked to happiness and longevity, according to an 85-year Harvard study . Centenarians in Okinawa, whom García and Miralles interviewed, prioritized spending time together at community centers in their village and often competed in friendly sports games.
- Get in shape for your next birthday. Exercise is a huge component that contributes to longevity. Even if strenuous exercises aren't your thing, there are five-minute movements like radio taiso that the oldest residents of Okinawa do daily.
- Smile. "It's good to recognize the things that aren't so great, but we should never forget what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities," wrote García and Miralles.
- Reconnect with nature. Find time to breathe in some fresh air and take a walk, even if you live in a city. Spending time in nature may seem like a waste of time, but it can boost your productivity, enhance your mood and improve your memory .
- Give thanks. Gratitude is a great way to remind yourself of all of the best things in your life. Take some time to share your appreciation for your loving family, wonderful friends or even yourself.
- Live in the moment. "Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering," wrote García and Miralles.
- Follow your ikigai. Discover what your passion is and let it drive you. Having an ikigai adds purpose to your life and can lead to more happiness.
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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life / The Little Book of Lykke / Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living
Hector garcia puigcerver , francesc miralles , meik wiking ...more.
First published January 1, 2018
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The Ikigai book | Reasons to read, summary, and much more!
Do you like reading self-help books to gain insights into the best ways of leading a happy and peaceful life if yes, then the book ‘ikigai: the japanese secret to a long and happy life’ should be on your must-read list. read on to know why reading the ikigai book can prove to be a great idea., table of contents, the ikigai way of life, summary of the ikigai book, 1. it will help you find your purpose, 2. it encourages introspection, 3. it tells the secret of happiness, 4. it gives an intuitive approach to health, 5. it helps you regain your positivity, insightful ikigai book quotes, ikigai book reviews, key takeaways.
Today, you can find some of life’s most valuable lessons in self-help books . ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesco Miralles is one of the best self-help books today. This international bestseller is all about helping you find your Ikigai. The Japanese word “Ikigai” means ‘a reason to live’. It describes a place of balance where your needs, ambitions, desires, and satisfaction meets. This book says that finding one’s Ikigai is actually very simple. It helps you figure out your own Ikigai and change your life. Here is everything you need to know about the Ikigai book.
The Ikigai book introduces you to various topics related to the art of living, such as the blue zones, longevity, logotherapy, flow, yoga, tai chi, and resilience. It defines what Ikigai is and its rules. The book says that living a long and full life is under your control to an extent. Your habits and life choices can make a significant difference from an early age.
The authors of this book conducted 100 interviews in Ogimi, Okinawa (the world’s longest-living community) to gain an in-depth understanding of the longevity secrets of centenarians and supercentenarians. Each chapter delivers a well-researched account of Okinawans’ lifestyle, attitude, mindset, diet, and routine. The authors argue that your Ikigai keeps your body fighting and living longer.
5 reasons to read the Ikigai book
The Ikigai book can help you gain positivity and enthusiasm. It has the power to change the way you live your life. So, here are some of the major reasons you should read ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’.
One of the first things the Ikigai book asks you to do is find your most immediate purpose for this time. Whether it is buying a house, finding a new job, or even something as small as learning to cook, your big or small goals keep you going. It is essential to acknowledge all your dreams, no matter how insignificant they may seem. When it comes to your physical and mental health, even the smallest of your goals is just as essential as the long-term ones. Once you take a breath to consider your little everyday goals, you will see how your small actions can contribute to the ultimate goal of living a longer and happier life.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget to experience the moment we are living in properly. The Ikigai book encourages readers to reflect on their enjoyable activities, the moments when they were happy, and the present. We forget to enjoy the present moment in our hurry to earn more money or get the daily chores done. Whether you are worried about the future or anxious about something that happened in the past, never forget to live in the present. Taking the time to figure out where you are in life and how you’ve gotten there can benefit your mental health.
The Ikigai book tells you that the true secret of happiness lies in simplicity. While many think that busy, luxurious, and social media-imposed lives are needed to stay happy, all you need is a simple life. To lead a happy, peaceful, healthy, and long life, you just require a calm state of mind and a sense of togetherness. If you learn how to seek joy in even the most ordinary daily activities, then you’ll be full of energy and zest even at an old age.
The Ikigai book says that Okinawans’ lifestyle does not include running daily, counting calories, or taking supplements. They exercise regularly by moving their bodies instead of engaging in intense workout sessions. They try to stay active through activities like community work, gardening, dancing, and eating healthy. It tells you to remain intuitively vibrant without putting too much pressure or restrictions on yourself. Instead of being stressed out about not being able to work out enough, just try to have some fun with your exercise.
The Ikigai book helps you become more positive from within. It motivates you to feel at peace with yourself and your life. It enables you to focus on your peace of mind and will to live. Positivity comes from within once you have your purpose in your sights, a healthy lifestyle, and the correct perspective.
The Ikigai book is full of inspirational and insightful quotes. Some of the best ones you can find include-
- “Our Ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.”
- “There is no future, no past. There is only the present.”
- “Essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
- “The keys to longevity are diet, exercise, finding a purpose in life (an Ikigai), and forming strong social ties.”
- “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
The book ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’ has received outstanding reviews from several readers. Some of the reviews are-
- ‘I read it and it’s bewitched me ever since. I’m spellbound.’ – Chris Evans (Actor)
- ‘Ikigai gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives. Warm, patient, and kind, this book pulls you gently along your own journey rather than pushing you from behind.’ – Neil Pasricha (Bestselling Author)
- ‘A refreshingly simple recipe for happiness.’ – The Stylist
- Ikigai Significance: The blog emphasizes the concept of Ikigai, which means “a reason to live,” and its role in finding one’s purpose for a longer and happier life.
- Mindfulness and Enjoying the Present: The book encourages introspection and savoring the present moment, urging readers to find happiness in simple everyday activities.
- Simplicity for Happiness: True happiness, as per the Ikigai book, is found in a simple life and a calm state of mind, rather than in a busy or luxurious lifestyle.
- Holistic Health Approach: The book promotes a holistic approach to health, inspired by the lifestyle of Okinawans, which includes intuitive physical activity, a balanced diet, and a stress-free attitude towards exercise.
The Ikigai book is an excellent guide to leading a happy, long, and peaceful life. It helps you gain a deeper perspective in life and figure out your greater purpose. It contains the secret of health and longevity. So, if you are looking for something new to read, this book can turn out to be an excellent choice.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. For more self-help book recommendations, reach out to us or drop a comment below!
Liked this Blog? Read more: Top 8 motivational speeches students should listen to
Q1. What are the rules of Ikigai?
Answer- There are 10 rules of Ikigai-
- Stay active and don’t retire
- Don’t fill your stomach
- Take it slow
- Surround yourself with good friends
- Get in shape for your next birthday
- Reconnect with nature
- Live in the moment
- Give thanks
- Follow your Ikigai
Q2. Does the book contain any quotes directly from Okinawa’s centenarians and supercentenarians?
Answer- Here are some of the quotes by Okinawa’s centenarians and supercentenarians-
- “ Eat and sleep, and you’ll live a long time. You have to learn to relax .” – Misao Okawa (Age- 117)
- “Your mind and your body. You keep both busy, you’ll be here a long time.” – Walter Breuning (Age- 114)
- “Everything’s fine.” – J eanne Calment (Age- 122)
Q3. What is Morita therapy?
Answer- The Ikigai book also covers a little about Morita therapy. The usual forms of therapy focus on modifying or controlling your emotions. It is based on the idea that what we think affects how we feel and act. On the other hand, Morita therapy teaches you to accept your emotions instead of trying to control them, and your feelings will automatically change according to your actions.
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The book deals with various aspects of life. A good book. Gives food for thought.
Thank you. I make a presentation on this book. Thanks a lot for help me to do my presentation.
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Ikigai by by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles is book which talks about finding your purpose and then following it with all heart to live a happy and satisfying life. The authors take us in this search along with them and make us understand how people of Japan have been living a long and a happy life.
Are you worried about leading a happy and satisfying life? Or, do you often worry if you are living the true purpose of your life? Or, are you stuck in a job that is not your passion?
If you are looking for the answers, this summary of the book Ikigai is just for you as we are going to address all these queries a few moments from now.
Today we will discuss the book “Ikigai” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles .
Ikigai is a Japanese secret concept that tells you about longevity and happiness. This book tells us how by following the Japanese concept of Ikigai, you can make your life long and happy.
It is a fact that people living on Okinawa Island, Japan, live the longest and happiest life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world’s highest life expectancy record is in their name, but what is their secret?
Its secret is Ikigai, which is a Japanese concept. It means the joy of being busy.
Ikigai is a Japanese word that means – the reason for being, a reason to be alive. Purpose of life. The reason for your coming into the world.
The Japanese believe that every person has at least one Ikigai, which they get after understanding themselves. Ikigai is hard to find.
People’s whole lives go out looking for it. You will be surprised to know that you also have an Ikigai.
Reasons for reading Ikigai
The authors say about Ikigai that this is a concept of our Ikigai, which helps make the body strong so that we can live longer.
Once you feel like you have no clear purpose for living, no matter how healthy your other daily habits may be, your life span can be seriously shortened.
And research has shown that there is a hack in life. Having a goal can prevent the development of genes associated with inflammation in the body, as well as slow down the process of cell death.
Along with this, the authors of this book give us the following reasons:
1. It shows the purpose
It could be as little as finding a better job or looking to buy a home, cooking a special, or passing an exam. But it helps us to be active. Because our goals, no matter how big or small, keep us going, which allows us to be active and happy.
But to start anything, first of all, knowing about it and deciding the purpose is essential, as it is crucial to allocate the time to start health, wealth, or business.
The author tells his story and says that when he became aware of his big goal, he started getting peace and happiness in every small and big work related to it, and every action made him feel that his life would be happy, which is true today.
It also gave peace to his mind that he is living a purposeful and meaningful life. Even though he sometimes got minor failures, focusing on the goal was essential to his happiness.
2. It inspires happiness
We often miss some of the most critical moments we like or need to be in our busy lives. But Ikigai advises that instead of being grateful for them, we should focus more on living those moments the next time we get the chance.
This book gives you tips to imagine in your mind your happy activities, your best moments, present moments and how it looks, and how good you feel in them.
Because we seldom notice that, instead of how well we can do in the present, we keep worrying about the future.
Therefore, taking time out and think about where I am in life, where I want to reach, and the necessary things to do to help human happiness and peace of mind both in the present and future.
3. Happiness lies in simplicity
The people of Japan like simplicity. Many people have made significant inventions, written books, researched, and achieved great success, but they give importance to simplicity in life.
They believe the spirit of being together, an active daily routine, matters for a peaceful, healthy, happy, and long life. Apart from this, the Okinawa residents of Japan also give a mark of kindness.
4. It promotes health awareness
The book Ikigai makes us aware of how to be healthy; it tells us to constantly move the body to be active and to keep it at the moment; you can walk or walk in your row in the office or do your desired activity.
5. It helps in increasing positivity
Apart from this, this book also helps us to stay positive while teaching our desired work and positive thinking.
Find your Ikigai
Here are the 12 steps suggested to find your Ikigai about whom we will talk in detail. Understand every step very carefully because every step can change your life completely.
Step 1: What is the meaning of life?
What is the meaning of your life? This question haunts all of us at some point or the other. Could you take a look at it? If you find the purpose of your life. That purpose of life we are looking for.
So understand, one will find a reason to wake up in the morning and sleep peacefully at night. A purpose that can be the reason for your happiness throughout your life. Ikigai helps to find this thing.
To find your Ikigai this way, you should ask yourself these four questions:
Question 1: What is love?
This question is probably the easiest. For this, think about what work you like best, which gives you energy, which you enjoy doing. In doing this, you stay energized and energized. This can be anything. Like – painting, singing, cooking, teaching, reading, traveling, or Youtube like me, etc. Any work that attracts you a lot. This could be your office work. Family work can happen. This can be your interest.
Question 2: What are you good at?
What work are you good at? In which work are you an expert? What skills do you have? In which you are already good naturally, or you have an interest in doing and learning it.
It can be different for each one. Therefore, find such a thing in which even if you have a little bit of natural skill, even if there is no perfection, then it will come slowly while doing it.
Question 3: Do you get paid for this?
If you talk only about love and good, then you can like to do anything. But it is optional that for this thing, you should be paid. Maybe you love cleaning the house. But for this thing, no one will pay you. So find some work that the world also needs so that they will pay you in return.
Question 4: What does the world need?
For this, you see, whether the people you like need anything. So what does the world need from these so that their problem can be solved? So that you can solve people’s problems through your favorite work and improve your lifestyle by earning money.
Step 2: Knowing Ikigai and knowing the circle
1. Know the Passion
What is expected is called your passion between the first and the second circle. That is, do whatever work you like, in which you are good too. That is called your passion.
2. Professional Circle
Circle between the second and third circles; what is expected is your profession. That is, the work you are good at.
3. Vocation Circle
Between the third circle and the fourth circle, what is expected is your vocation. That is, for whatever work, you can get money. In the same position, if the world even needs it, it can become your vocation.
4. Mission Circle
Between the fourth circle and the first circle, which is expected, is where your mission lies. That is what the world needed. You loved doing the same thing. So that becomes your mission, and both benefit.
In this way, if there is some work you like to do in your life, you are also better at that work than others, then you can get money also. And according to you, people need that work in the world too. So much work is called in Japanese – Ikigai.
To live a happy and fulfilling life, you’ll have to find your Ikigai. And when you see your Ikigai in your life, only then can you live a fulfilling life; otherwise, always in life, something will remain incomplete. And for all this, with all sincerity, you have to find answers to these four questions.
Step 3: How to find your Ikigai?
First of all, make a big square. Then, divide it into four equal square parts.
Write in the first square: I love this work and am also an expert in it. You write all those things in it which you love to do and are an expert in them.
Write in the second square: I like this job but don’t know how to do it well. That is such work that you love very much. But they don’t let you do it. But your heart does too much to make that work.
Write in the third square: Just not my cup of tea. But they have to be done. That is, doing things you don’t like to do. But it has to be done under compulsion. If you don’t like programming, it has to be done to stay in the job and earn money.
Write in the fourth square: Just not my cup of tea. I can’t even do well. What are things that you don’t even like? You are not even his expert. Still, you have to do it under compulsion, like you have to clean your room.
After writing these, you see that in what activities do you spend most of your time? How much time do you spend doing those things?
Which you are good at and you also like. How long do you spend doing something you don’t like? The author recommends doing this because most people spend more time doing work they do not like. That’s why they can’t get their passion. And there is a feeling of incompleteness in life.
Meaning that such people spend more time in the bottom two squares. But to find your passion, you should devote more time to the above two works.
You should spend more time on the above tasks without quitting your job. In these tasks, please focus on the ones you like the most and enjoy doing them too. By which later on, you can earn money too.
And have faith that you will find your Ikigai if you look for it honestly.
Step 4: Four Secrets of long, happy life and healthy living
Some particular habits are included in the life of the people of Okinawa, Japan. Because of this, they live a long, happy, fulfilling, and quality life.
The people of Japan believe that stress and depression are the enemies of longevity. Therefore, stress should always be avoided to lead a happy life.
2. Food and drink
People of Japan never eat full stomach; they always eat only 80% of their hunger. For this, when you eat food, stop eating immediately as soon as your stomach is about to fill. Initially, you may not know when you have eaten 80% of your food, but you will learn as you do it slowly.
In a recent study, it has been found that the people of Okinawa consume an average of 1800 to 1900 calories per day; apart from that:
- The people of Japan eat an average of 18 different types of foods every day.
- Take five servings of fruits and vegetables daily containing different colored capsicum, carrot, spinach, cabbage, potato, legume, and soybean.
- 30% of the calories of the people of Japan come from vegetables only.
- Wheat is the foundation of Japanese people; they eat white rice daily.
- Fish is eaten three times a week.
- Salt is eaten on an average ranging from 7 grams to 12 grams.
- Apart from this, Japanese people also consume green tea and white tea.
3. Doing one thing at a time
Whatever work you do, having focus brings flow to your work so that you can do that work very quickly and without getting tired.
Therefore, always choose the work you have to research; you will have to work hard, and your mind will always have to think so that your focus remains.
We feel that doing more than one thing at a time saves time and can finish more work in less time, but the scientific evidence of doing this is just the opposite.
Research has proved that people who do more than one work at a time finish the work late and are not productive at all while doing that work.
That’s why we should do only one thing simultaneously with complete focus.
Step 5: Ikigai retirement and health lessons
Did you know there is no word like retirement in Japanese? The people of Japan never retire from their work; they keep on working their whole life.
On the other hand, if we talk about other countries, people need early retirement. They should get rid of their work by any means which happens because they do not love their work.
When you do any work forcibly or just for money, then you are not happy with that work. The company you work for also does not get more value from you.
Therefore, to live a long and happy life, you should love your work; then, you will never think of retirement because your happiness will now be in your work and not sitting at home and rusting your body.
If you sit for too long, you will get old sooner. Sitting for a long time may give you physical comfort, but it will damage your cells, and cause food imbalance, hypertension, and even cause cancer.
And to avoid this, you should add these few habits in your daily life:
- Walk for at least 21 minutes daily
- Do not use a lift or elevator
- Participate in social activities so you do not sit in front of the TV for a long time.
- Replace your junk food, and packaged food with good food
- Get good quality sleep, and take 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Do not sleep more than this
- Play with your children or your pet
- In the beginning, you can also set a timer so that you remember that it is time to walk,
- You can also use the app from Google, which gives you the task of walking daily.
Step 6: Focus on Work
It is essential to have focus while doing whatever work you do. Having focus brings flow to your work so that you can do that work very efficiently and without getting tired.
To bring focus and flow to the work, you should follow the mentioned things:
1. Choose the hard work
As we discussed earlier, always choose the work that you have to do research on. You will have to work hard, and your mind should always be thinking so that your focus remains.
Keep in mind that do not choose any such work which is out of your ability and it is so difficult for you to do it that after a few days, you stop doing it. Don’t even do what is easy for you as you will feel bored. Stop doing it.
2. Clear objective
Before starting any work, you should have a clear objective of doing it, what you have to do, when to do it, and why to do it. You should know all these things in advance. There should be a deadline so that you can finish it on time and not postpone it further.
3. Only one task
And as we have known earlier, only one thing at a time.
Step 7: 10 Short rules of success through Ikigai
- Surround yourself with good friends
- Live life at a slow pace
- Do not fill your stomach entirely while eating.
- Make your body in shape
- Be in the present
- Always smile
- Be active, don’t retire
- Connect with nature
- Learn to be grateful
- Find and follow your Ikigai
Step 8: Okinawa elder’s advice
Elders have a lot of wisdom to share with the world from their years of experience. Those of us young can sometimes pretend we know everything, but we should learn essential things about life from generations senior to us, who know better than us.
And at the same time, focus on enjoying life with what you have rather than what’s going wrong or isn’t.
A great way to do this is to connect with everyone around you, even strangers. And that’s what the old-timers in Okinawa suggest: smile and talk openly to everyone you meet.
The friendly attitude that develops from this will help you develop friendships with many people throughout your life.
Okinawa elders also recommend building such loving relationships and maintaining those relationships.
To learn more about making friends, please read the summary of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The link is just down below:
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Step 9: Keep moving throughout the day
Okinawa residents suggest you are not required to play a sport or run to be healthy. For this, you can decide on any running work according to your convenience.
Because speed can inhibit consistency from the start, Okinawans try to keep their forms of running exercise simple. Jogging around, days in the garden, or singing for fun are just a few simple ways they go through the bar.
Keeps up the pace. Apart from this, Radio Tasso, a Japanese radio show, has helped Okinawas to exercise for years. It plays tunes in a big station in Japan, and people listen to the directions to exercise.
To maintain body and mind movement, you should also get up in the office for some time and walk in your row or office.
Step 10: Japanese people’s secret to living a long life
Japanese elders share these five secrets to living a long life:
1. They Don’t worry
The secret to a long life is not to worry. And to keep your heart young, don’t let it grow old. Open your heart to people with a friendly smile on your face.
If you smile and open your heart, your grandchildren and everyone else will want to see you. The best way to avoid worrying is to get out and socialize.
Older people in Japan often do this. That’s why they have been able to live so long. According to them, you need to be happy instead of worrying about living a long life.
Spending time with others without causing trouble to anyone and having fun is all that matters.
2. Cultivate good habits
Good habits matter the most for long life. In today’s time, getting up late has become the most significant bad habit.
Your body is not active, due to which your body becomes tired. So, first of all, make a habit of getting up early and doing some work in the morning , which will make your body agile.
Do something that relaxes you. You can run or walk after getting up early in the morning.
You can also do some work at home, like yoga, watering plants, or planting new plants. After this, come home and make breakfast with your hands.
Use green vegetables in your breakfast. Just find your Ikigai no matter what you’re doing. The key to staying sharp in old age is at your fingertips. If you keep your fingers busy, you can live for 100 years.
Remember that if you do not work after getting up in the morning, your body becomes weak. After this, pray to God for your good health and good life.
And do these things consistently every day. Keep in mind – eating vegetables helps you live longer. You need to do three things to live a long time:
- Exercise to be healthy
- Spend time with people.
3. Nurture your friendships every day
Keeping in touch with your friends, keeps adding another year to your life. Because your friends are those people who make you feel happy and memorable.
And being with friends is the most pleasurable thing in life. The people you love are the secret to a long life. To understand the importance of this thing and spend time with friends.
Chatting, drinking tea, and singing with your neighbors are the best things in life. Go to new places with your friends; it will make you happier. The secret of a long life is mixing with people and moving from place to place.
4. Live an incomplete life
For long life, focus on doing ‘slow’ and ’at ease.’ If you are not in a hurry, you will live longer. Many old men in Japan share this secret to live longer.
They wake up early, exercise, and have a good breakfast. And when they get tired after all this, they meet their friends.
Doing many different things every day prolongs your life. Nowadays, people are very busy due to their busy schedules, and sometimes they also become overwhelmed with their work.
But doing so can never increase your life. Therefore, when crushed, focus on one task at a time. By doing this, you can also complete your current work correctly. Remember, the secret to a long life is to go to bed early, rise early and go for a walk.
If you live in peace, enjoy small things, and meet your friends, no one can stop you from living more.
5. Be optimistic
Tell yourself every day, ‘Today will be a day full of health and energy. Live it to the fullest.’ Of course, no matter how old or weak you may feel, tell yourself I still have much to do.
And laugh out loud while saying this. Laughter is the most important thing. Wherever you go, laugh there; it will put you and the person living with you in a good mood.
And you will get the motivation to work. The mood in which you spend your time matters a lot. If you look at the statistics, people who are sad, unhappy, or angry die before people who laugh more and be happy.
So make laughing your priority. Consider yourself lucky to be in this life. Say thank you, and help others; it will give you a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. To live longer is in your hands; embrace it.
Step 11: Logotherapy to Ikigai
People are not happy due to a lack of purpose in their lives. Due to a lack of meaning in life, life does not seem meaningful.
And it becomes the reason for your sadness, which makes it impossible to be happy for a long time. Even many people give up hope and try suicide, which is a big problem. You can use the logotherapy technique mentioned in the book to overcome this problem.
Logotherapy… What is it?
Logotherapy inspires patients to consciously search for their life’s purpose to confront their neurosis. Their search to fulfill their destiny leads them to mental blocks of the past, breaking and overcoming all obstacles that stand in the way.
The process of logotherapy steps can be best understood in these five steps:
- The person feels empty, hopeless, or anxious.
- The therapist shows him that he desires to have a meaningful life.
- By which the patient comes to know his life’s purpose at that particular time.
- He decides to accept or reject his destiny with which his whole life is connected.
- And when the patient finds this new passion. This new passion of his helps him to overcome obstacles and sorrows.
If the person needs help doing this, logotherapy helps him by visualizing the picture. He needs guidance in the search for his life’s purpose and overcoming troubles to move toward his purpose. According to logotherapy, discovering one’s life purpose helps the individual fill that gap.
Step 12: Important lessons
Life lessons from the book:
- An intelligent person should not avoid the pleasures of life but should always be aware that dependence on them can make him a slave to satisfaction. That’s why you should make it a habit to be happy from the heart instead of being prepared for those pleasures which vanish in no time.
- The present is everything that exists, and it is the only powerful thing we can control and through which we can control our today and future life.
- The things we love are like the leaves of a tree. They can fall at any time with the gust of wind. Everything we have, and the ones we love, will eventually disappear. So we have to be aware to be happy with it without being pessimistic about it. We should be happy in the present, which helps us avoid much pain during loss.
- There is no exact plan to connect with our Ikigai. So don’t worry too much about finding it. Just be engaged in what you love while surrounded by people who love you.
- We don’t make meaning of our life; we find it by doing the work we love, so we do the work passionately.
- Each one of us has a unique reason to be alive. Find it and live life to fulfill the purpose of life.
Daily healthy habits:
- Japanese stop eating when their stomach is 80% full.
- Stress is a proven killer. While challenges in life are suitable for keeping the mind and body active, we should focus on solving the fundamental challenges and avoid the rest.
- Take rest. Start slow and keep doing it. Eat well and sleep. Everything is fine. Life is a marathon, not a 100m sprint.
- Keep your mind and body busy.
- People with a clear purpose never retire and stay with their passion till their last breath.
- Smile and meet people.
- Work hard, but on your Ikigai. Work as little as you can on the rest.
- Just get started, and start with the most accessible and most comfortable steps. Keep improving it with time and information.
- Eat everything in a little. Diversity is key. Eat a variety of foods, especially vegetables.
- Apart from this, the people of Okinawas rarely eat sugar. But no sweets or chocolates or negligible, so diseases like sugar are rarely heard in Japan. So to avoid sugar and stay healthy, you should also use this method.
- Eat lots of citrus fruits. They contain chemicals that prevent cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
So, friends, this is the secret of Japanese people’s happiness and healthy living, which is called Ikigai. We learned that more time, energy, and attention should be given to working passionately, adding value to people’s lives with the work you want so that you also work on your passion and people’s problems should be solved. And one should live for it by making a clear goal in life.
I hope you have learned about passion, happiness, and health. Now adopt them in your life and become successful by doing your passionate work.
Ikigai Book Review
So, I hope that you liked the summary of the book “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles. I found this book to be a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration.
“Ikigai” is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to “a reason for being.” It’s the idea that a fulfilling and happy life comes from discovering and pursuing one’s true passion and purpose. This book takes you on a journey through the lives of the inhabitants of Okinawa, a small Japanese island known for its high concentration of centenarians, people who live well into their 100s.
The authors, García and Miralles, expertly weave together a narrative that is both engaging and informative, combining interviews, personal anecdotes, and scientific research. What I found particularly captivating was how they managed to uncover the secrets of the Okinawans’ longevity and happiness, and how these lessons can be applied to our own lives.
One of the key lessons I took away from the book was the importance of having a clear purpose in life. In Okinawa, people are encouraged to discover their “ikigai” early on and dedicate their lives to it. This resonated with me deeply, as I realized that I too needed to find my own “ikigai” and live a more purpose-driven life.
The book also emphasizes the importance of balance in life. Okinawans manage to strike a perfect balance between work, leisure, and social connections. This holistic approach to living was refreshing, as I often find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, neglecting important aspects of my well-being.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the practical advice the authors provided for applying the concept of “ikigai” to our own lives. They propose simple yet powerful strategies like fostering a sense of community, staying active, and eating healthily. These are ideas that may seem obvious, but the way García and Miralles present them makes you see their importance with newfound clarity.
The prose is easy to read and engaging, making the book a pleasure to read. The authors’ passion for the subject matter is apparent throughout, and their genuine enthusiasm for the Okinawan way of life is contagious.
In conclusion, “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” has had a profound impact on the way I view life and happiness. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking inspiration, wisdom, or simply a fresh perspective on living a more fulfilling life. It’s a journey that will surely stay with me for years to come.
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173 thoughts on “ikigai by héctor garcía & francesc miralles”.
Day—9–ikigai is complete
Day 9. This book teaches us the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” explores the concept of Ikigai, which is the Japanese philosophy of finding one’s purpose in life. It provides insights and practical tips on how to identify and pursue your Ikigai, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Day 9 book Ikigai This book summary helped me a lot to find the purpose of my life. Stay happy and healthy be happy.thankuuu Amit sir for amazing book summary.
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