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Book Review: ‘Ikigai’ And Here Are Reasons Why You Should Read It!

Many of us tend to believe that if we earn a lot or if we owned something, we’ll be happier. Our minds are always so focused on materialistic things. I’m not saying that’s wrong but there’s more to happiness than just wealth, success, or possession.

From many views of culture, there is one belief that stands out. Ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy) is a lovely Japanese idea that roughly translates to “cause for being.” It’s a combination of two Japanese words: iki, which means “life,” and kai, which means “impact, result, merit, or profit.” “A purpose to live,” says the combination.

Picture: QAspire

Speaking of Ikigai, here’s one book I came across and it’s worth the read. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life is a moving and well-researched story of the inspiring lives of Japanese supercentenarians (those who have lived over the age of 110) from Okinawa, the world’s longest-living society.

Picture: Plum

The book takes you through Okinawan lives, mindsets, attitudes, diets, and routines, chapter by chapter, urging you to find your own ikigai. Although this is an interpretation, as the term literally means lifetime and everyday life in Japanese, it might be interpreted as one’s reason for being.


Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life is written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.

Picture: Telegraph India

Hector Gracia, a Spaniard by birth, is a writer and aspiring philosopher. He has lived in Japan for the past 18 years. Before relocating to Japan, he worked as a software engineer in Switzerland. Ikigai, A Geek in Japan, and Ichigo Ichie are two of his most well-known works.

Francesc Miralles, an award-winning author of fiction, self-help, and inspirational books, was born in Spain as well. He majored in journalism and minored in English literature and German. He’s worked as an editor, translator, ghostwriter, and musician, among other things. His books Ikigai and Love in Lowercase are well-known.

Not convinced yet, here’s 5 reason why you should be reading this book.

1. It gives you a sense of purpose

Finding one’s most immediate purpose at the time is one of the first tasks Miralles and Garcia encourage their readers to do. It could be something as huge as getting a better job or trying to buy a house, or something as simple as mastering a new recipe or passing an exam. Our goals, no matter how big or small, motivate us to keep going, and we often overlook the simpler ones.

However, for our physical and emotional well-being, rising up earlier or studying more is just as essential as long-term ambitions like starting a business. When the book urged me to take a moment to become conscious of my most modest aims, I felt as though even my smallest activities were contributing to my ultimate goal of living a longer, happier life.

2. Encourage reflection

We often miss witnessing some of the most crucial events in our life because we are rushed, preoccupied, and always busy. Although Ikigai does not instruct its readers to start expressing appreciation or writing down their accomplishments, it does encourage them to be mindful throughout.

The book urges you to think about your favorite pastimes, your happiest memories, the present moment, and what it looks like – because we rarely notice what is going on in the present because we are so preoccupied with worry about the future. Taking the time to reflect on where I was in life and how I’d arrived there was a watershed moment for me, especially in terms of my mental health, and it made everything seem more relevant.

3. Shows happiness lies in simplicity

The old Japanese population with whom the authors spent time conducting research for their book all live basic, plain lives that may appear dull or futile to our Western, social media-imposed standards. Living luxurious life or having great wealth and possession isn’t the only source of happiness. Happiness can always come from even the simplest form.

4. Intuition approach to health

Surprisingly, running till your lungs burn, calculating calories, and taking endless supplements are not part of the Okinawan way of life. They exercise, but rather than undergoing intensive training, they focus on moving their bodies. They are active, but through community service, dancing, and gardening, and they eat healthily, but not restrictively. This is one of the best Ikigai takeouts. It makes you want to do something, but only if your intuition tells you to.

5. Helps regain positivity

It is difficult to stay positive always. We have tonnes of problems surrounding us and all we do is end up whining or sulking about it. And sometimes, we just others that we are happy but fail to realize whether we are actually happy.

This book is responsible for my renewed optimism. As a result, I’m back to being myself. It motivates you, makes you feel at ease with yourself and your life, helps you let go of comparisons and unreasonable expectations, and helps you focus on your will to live and your peace of mind.

Picture: Books Are Our Superpower

This book will provide you the life-changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It is both inspiring and soothing. It will teach you how to let go of urgency, discover your purpose, build friendships, and pursue your hobbies.

Ikigai is very much recommended for those who are dissatisfied by their employment, stressed and busy at work and don’t have time to live their lives, or who don’t have a purpose in life and feel lost, or who are disheartened by failures. Not only that, This book can also help people who live unhealthy lifestyles, such as those who eat junk food, don’t exercise, drink and smoke, and so on. Ikigai can teach anyone the value of living a life with a purpose. Anyone who wishes to live a long, happy, and purposeful life should read this book.

Sources: ExpordsGoodreadsBooks Are Our Superpower

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