Discovering Your Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

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As I read through “Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life” by García, Héctor, and Miralles, Francesc, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm wash over me. The book is an exploration of the Japanese concept of “ikigai,” which translates to “a reason for being” or “a purpose in life.” It’s a concept that has long fascinated me, and this book delves deep into the various ways that the Japanese approach their lives with purpose and meaning.

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Neelam Sharma
Author: García, Héctor and Miralles, Francesc


One of the things that struck me the most about the book was its emphasis on finding joy in the small things. The authors explain that ikigai is not necessarily a grand, overarching purpose in life but rather a series of small, daily pleasures that give one a sense of fulfilment. This is a refreshing perspective in a world that often tells us that we need to achieve big, lofty goals in order to be happy.

The book also touches on the importance of community and social connections in Japanese culture. The authors explain that having strong relationships with family, friends, and neighbours is a key component of living a fulfilling life. This is something that I think many of us in Western cultures could learn from, as we often prioritise individual achievement over community building.

Another interesting aspect of the book was its discussion of the role of work in Japanese culture. The authors explain that, unlike in many Western cultures, work is not necessarily seen as something to be endured in order to earn a paycheck. Instead, the Japanese approach work as a way to contribute to society and find fulfilment in their daily tasks. This is a powerful mindset shift that could benefit many of us who struggle with finding meaning in our jobs.

Ikigai: The Intersection of Passion, Purpose, and Meaning – Inspiring Quotes from García and Miralles’ Book

  1. Ikigai is the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing.
  2. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences.
  3. People who know their ikigai lead more meaningful lives. It’s not about wealth or fame; it’s about finding something that gives you a sense of purpose.
  4. The act of giving, in itself, is rewarding.
  5. Having a fulfilling life is less about what you are doing, and more about how you are doing it.
  6. We need to cultivate patience and resilience, accepting that life will bring us challenges, and that it is up to us to find ways to overcome them.
  7. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (quoted in the book)
  8. Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.

Overall, “Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life” is a thought-provoking read that offers a fresh perspective on what it means to live a fulfilling life. It’s a reminder that happiness can be found in the small moments, in our relationships with others, and in our daily work. If you’re looking for a book that will inspire you to re-examine your priorities and find more meaning in your life, I highly recommend giving this one a read.

Related: Book Review of Ichibun: The Secrets of Japanese by Kosuke Sendo

5 frequently asked questions and their answers about the book “Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles:

What is ikigai, and why is it important?

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to “a reason for being” or “a purpose in life.” It refers to the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. The book argues that discovering and pursuing your ikigai is crucial for a long, happy, and fulfilling life.

What are some practical tips for finding your ikigai?

The authors suggest several exercises for discovering your ikigai, such as reflecting on your passions, strengths, and values, and exploring different ways to contribute to the world. They also emphasize the importance of trying new things, seeking feedback, and being open to change.

How does the book explore the connection between ikigai and longevity?

The book draws on research and interviews with centenarians in Japan to show how living with a sense of purpose and meaning can lead to a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life. The authors also discuss how ikigai can help us cope with challenges and find resilience in difficult times.

What are some criticisms of the book?

Some critics have argued that the book oversimplifies or romanticizes Japanese culture and that the concept of ikigai is not unique to Japan. Others have questioned the authors’ qualifications to write about Japanese culture and have pointed out errors or inaccuracies in their research.

What are some key takeaways from the book?

Some key takeaways from the book include the importance of finding your ikigai, cultivating meaningful relationships, practising gratitude and mindfulness, staying active and engaged, and embracing change as a natural part of life. The book also highlights the value of learning from other cultures and perspectives and of finding joy and purpose in everyday activities.

I hope you liked reading my article Discovering Your Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Let me know some more Japanese literature recommendations in the comments below. Also, stay tuned for the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, travel, fashion, food, tech and gadgets as well as all things bookish.

Ciao People!

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