Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by García, Héctor and Miralles, Francesc

Do you ever feel lost, uncertain, or lacking a sense of purpose in life? Have you experienced the pain of personal loss or wondered why some people seem to live longer and happier lives? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may find solace in the pages of “Ikigai,” a bestselling book that has touched the lives of countless readers.

“Ikigai” is a Japanese concept that refers to the driving force or reason behind one’s existence. It involves finding something that you are passionate about and can do it all your life without any external motivation. It provides a sense of fulfillment and joy and gives your life a sense of purpose. So much so you lose track of time while doing it. That is your Ikigai. 

What sets the book “Ikigai” apart from other self-help books is that it is based on research carried out by the authors in the Japanese village of Okinawa, where people live long and happy lives, with many of them living past 100 years old. The authors interviewed the residents of Okinawa and identified habits that were common among centenarians and those approaching that age.

The people of Okinawa village are an example of the positive results that can come from following the habits discussed in “Ikigai”. 

These points are as follows 

Stay Active, don’t retire

Take it Slow

Don’t overeat

Surround yourself with good friends

Get in shape for your next birthday


Reconnect with nature

Give Thanks

Live in the moment

Follow your Ikigai

Through the stories of the people of Okinawa, the book shows us that a healthy lifestyle is not only possible but can also be enjoyable and rewarding. The residents of Okinawa are known for staying active well into their old age, eating a diet rich in whole foods and vegetables, and maintaining strong social connections with friends and family.

The authors also emphasize the importance of discovering one’s ikigai, or reason for being, and aligning our daily actions with our purpose. By doing so, we can find a sense of meaning and fulfillment in our lives, which can have profound benefits for our overall well-being.

The approach of the Okinawa people to the passing away of their loved ones left a profound impression on me. The Japanese people build their houses and temples using wood and bamboo for a reason. The wooden structures serve as a constant reminder that nothing in this world is permanent, and everything has an end. This realization motivates people to live in the present moment and cherish their time with loved ones. The use of natural materials like wood and bamboo reflects the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in impermanence and accepting the transience of life.

The concept of anti-fragility has left a deep impact on me. It refers to the ability of individuals or systems to become stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity. The people of Okinawa have developed several strategies that make them anti-fragile. For example, they have multiple sources of income, and they maintain large social networks of friends and family members. This ensures that they are not overly dependent on any one person or source of income, and they have a strong support system to fall back on in times of need. The people of Okinawa have learned to embrace and adapt to the challenges of life, which has helped them to become more anti-fragile and able to thrive in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, the book “Ikigai” offers a refreshing perspective on how we can find meaning and purpose in our lives. The wisdom of the people of Okinawa and other Blue Zones highlights the importance of cultivating a sense of community, healthy habits, and discovering our own unique reason for being. By aligning our daily actions with our ikigai, we can find joy and fulfillment in our lives, and possibly even extend our longevity. The book’s message is clear: to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life, we must find our passion and pursue it with purpose. So, let’s take inspiration from the people of Okinawa and start living a life filled with ikigai!

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