IKIGAI – The Great Japanese Secret | Book Summary

Have you ever thought what if a long life, a feeling of purpose, and deep enjoyment were all derived from the same source?

Well, the answer lies in a very amazing Japanese concept called Ikigai.

The Japanese have practiced Ikigai, or “reason to live,” for millennia. Iki means “to live,” while gai means reason. It enables them to live longer and happier lives.

Ikigai is the center of Okinawa‘s health and prosperity. Okinawa is a Japanese island south of the mainland that is home to some of the world’s longest-living people.

Men live an average of 84 years. and women till the age of 90. There is also a large proportion of persons who are 100 years old or older. Great thing is that they are regarded as healthy in terms of their emotional, physical, and intellectual well-being even at that age.

This is because their lives are shaped by Ikigai. As a result, they have a purpose for living.

ikigai book summary

From this book Ikigai written by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles, You’ll also learn how to live a long, full, and happy life by discovering your Ikigai following these precious life lessons.

1- Ikigai Meaning – Find and Follow Your Ikigai (purpose)

ikigai book summary
  • Finding your ikigai will allow you to slow down, focus and enjoy life even more. Finding your life’s purpose will also help you live a longer and meaningful life.
  • Having a purpose to get out of bed in the morning, which implies you have a reason to live. Ikigai is the ideology that will keep you aware about yourself.
  • To identify your reason or purpose, consider the following four questions:
    • What do I love?
    • What am I good at?
    • What does the world need from me?
    • What can I get paid for?
  • Without a ikigai, you’ll wander through life, clinging to material possessions, past memories, or other people. You’ll proceed from one objective to the next, one daily job to the next but will never be happy.

2-Go slow

ikigai book summary
  • A slower-paced living entails taking the time to enjoy your life moments rather than hurrying all the time.
  • Being slow means taking the time to enjoy whatever you’re doing, to appreciate things around you, and to enjoy life with a relaxed mind.
  • Celebrate everything, even the minor pleasures of life.
  • There are a variety of methods to make yourself calm and present in the moment. Simply try practising mindfulness, yoga, or getting some exercise, all of which are beneficial.
  • Even simple breathing exercise allow you to relax and pay closer attention to your body and mind.

3- Immersing yourself in flow state

ikigai book summary
  • Japanese professionals are known for their focus and concentration on their jobs, as well as their meticulous attention to detail.
  • Flow state is defined as a profound state of delight and focus that shuts out all other concerns, even time itself.
  • Such a state will improve your pleasure of life and, as a result, your happiness and longevity. There is no history or future, only the now.
  • The most effective approach to get flow is to select a work that is tough but not overly difficult.
  • We are inclined to become bored if the rules for accomplishing a task or attaining a goal are too simple in comparison to our skill set.
  • If we give ourselves a task that is too tough, we will not be able to accomplish it and will probably definitely quit up.
  • Finding a happy medium is excellent. You should look for assignments that are within your capabilities but nonetheless demanding. We want to face obstacles because we love the sense of achievement that comes from pushing oneself.

4-Keep moving

ikigai book summary
  • Elderly Okinawans walk around neibhourhoods, work in their gardens, and even perform on karaoke stages. They don’t believe in retirement.
  • You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every day or run marathons to be healthy. All you need to do is add some movement to your day.
  • Practicing any Eastern discipline, such as Yoga, Qigong, or Tai Chi, is a wonderful approach to achieve body-mind harmony.
  • Make time to walk, spend time in nature, make friends and be happy.

5-Listen to the old-timers

ikigai book summary
  • Worry as little as possible. Instead, appreciate what you have.
  • Make it a practise to welcome everyone, even strangers, with a smile and an open heart. In this way, you will retain a large number of friendships throughout your life.
  • Getting up early will provide you extra hours of peace in the morning to drink your tea, clean your house, and care your plants.
  • Okinawans think that growing their own veggies and cooking their own meals is one of the major reasons for their long and healthy life.
  • One of the secrets to long life is to enjoy yourself and smile as much as you can.
  • Gratitude also has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. It fades away tension. You might be thankful for your friends, family, material possessions, or health.

Conclusion

Eating well and getting enough exercise is important for living a long, happy, and healthy life, but longevity extends beyond such easy everyday activities.

You may focus your energies and lengthen your life on Earth by choosing a mission that motivates you every day to wake up.