The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.
- Genre: Self-help book
- Author: Hector Garcia, Francesc Miralles
- Original Language: English
- Rating: 4.7/5
The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning.
Inspiring and comforting, this book will give you the life – changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It will show you how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nature friendships and throw yourself into your passions.
Bring meaning and joy to every day with ikigai.
About the Authors
Hector Garcia is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. He is the author of several books about Japanese culture, including two worldwide bestsellers. A geek in Japan and ikigai. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan.
Francesc Miralles is an award winning and internationally bestselling author of books about how to live well, together with the novels Love in Small Letters and Wabi-Sabi. Along with Hector Garcia, he was welcomed to Okinawa in Japan, where the inhabitants live for longer than in any other place in the world.
Ikigai: A mysterious word
A mysterious word “ikigai”, which has a lot of meanings like “value of being alive” “the happiness of always being busy” “being happy every day” but the one which resonates with me the most is “the reason for which you wake up every morning“. ikigai is essentially about finding your purpose in life. ikigai is all about how you look at your life and enjoy every bit of it. Accepting who you are, enjoying the present moment and appreciating the small things that gives you happiness.
The book ikigai is based on an island of Okinawa, where there are 24.55 people over the age of 100 for every 100,100 inhabitants – which is far more than the global average. The people living here believe in waking up every day with happiness and enjoying their time with their friends and family.
The concept of ikigai is well explained below:
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.”
The art of staying young while growing old
Japanese people believe that everyone has an ikigai- there is purpose behind whatever you do in life, why do you get up every day and go to work? Japanese people don’t believe in the ideology of “Retirement”, they keep on working their entire life until their health allows.
The 80 percent secret.
One of the most common saying in Japan is “Hara hachi bu” which is repeated before or after eating and means “Fill your belly to 80 percent.” Japanese people believe in eating until their stomach is 80% full. They believe that by over-eating we’re only going to wear our bodies down in the long run.
Little things that add up to a long and happy life.
It is believed that by staying active we can increase our life expectancy but for that we need to make some changes in our day-to-day lives. Keeping your brain active by performing tasks which require logical thinking will help keep your neurons healthy, However it is seen that now-a-days people are anxious over small things and tend to distress over things which are uncomfortable. How do we keep our mind active? Trying out things which are out of our comfort zone. It is very important to have our mind and body both in sync. Getting enough sleep is also very important as it helps in slowing our aging process, improves our immune system and protects us against heart disease. Most important “DON’T SIT IDLE FOR TOO LONG”
“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how”Tweet
Stop identifying others as the cause of your problems
Ask these 3 questions before you jump to conclusions
- What have I received from person X?
- What have I given to person X?
- What problem have I caused person X?
Find Flow in Everything You Do.
Japanese people believe in doing tasks with great flow. Here the word “flow” means to be completely immersed into the task. When we are in a state of “flow” we completely loose track of our time. It helps us to stay creative and connected to our work. Try to do tasks which provide a certain challenge for our mind so that we don’t get bored. Need help to improve your concentration? You can try the “Pomodoro Technique” – In which you do 25 minutes of work and take 5 minutes of rest for each cycle. This technique will help you increase your concentration on your work. This state of flow helps you enjoy the present moment to the fullest.
Concentrate on a single task
With increasing technology, we’re becoming more prone to distractions every now and then as a result our concentration period has drastically reduced. We are adapted to multi-tasking which is coherently affecting our mind because we’re not computers to process information parallelly. Try concentrating on a single task, which will improve your creativity and increase your performance.
If I had to sum up this book within few sentences then I would say that, this book is all about finding your perspective in life, you call it as your vision or your purpose. It will give you techniques about living your life actively, finding happiness in small things and self-care. I personally took few lessons from it and applied on my life by starting to focus on the question WHY? in life. Living in the moment and regularly cutting off myself from the social media and spending time with myself to build a stronger connection with my mind and my body.
Thank you so much for sticking until the end! Please let me know your views in the comment section.