IKIGAI: A Japanese secret to a long and happy life

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We all want to be happy but the majority of us have no idea what to do. Should we focus on making more money? should we focus on pursuing our passions? should we give up all of our materials possessions and become a monk in the mountains? everyone seems to have a different take on it, so this book Ikigai will show you a proven formula that has actually been around for hundreds and hundreds of years of formula for happiness. See the Japanese have a concept called Ikigai, which roughly translates into a reason for being and in order for you to be happy you need to spend your time doing something with Ikigai.

Book Information

  • Title: Ikigai: A Japanese secret to a long and happy life
  • Author: Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
  • Publisher: Random House UK, 2017
  • Length: 220 pages
  • Height: 184 mm
  • Weight: 247 g
  • Genre: Self help book.

Summary about IKIGAI

 you need to have a purpose for being here but this a easier said than done because, there are four components that you need to check off in order to achieve Ikigai, without all four you will never truly be happy. 

The first component: Is that it needs to be something that you love, we all have things that makes us feel good, things that make us stop thinking for short periods of time to just be present and aware of what’s happening right now in front of us, the most technical people will call this flow state, but the majority of us call it love that’s why so many of us enjoy the arts, drawings, dancing, singing, reading because it takes us into the state of bliss where we feel good and are focused on the task in front of us, that’s why some of us fall in love with one another because being with that person allows us to forget about all the other problems in our lives at least momentarily, we know in our gut, when we truly to do something it’s a feeling that we humans all share.

The second component: It is a little bit more tricky, it needs to be something that the world needs, see we have been hardwired to feel good, when we know that we are needed in a community, back in the days when we were hunters and gatherers this was easy everyone played an important part, the cook was just as important as the hunter, the builder was just as important as the caretaker, back then whenever you put in work you could see the immediate positive effects, your efforts had on others but this isn’t the case now a days, most of us work in offices being given small roles in a massive company, where even if we work our butts off, it’s hard to see the positive effects our work has on the rest of the world, it feels like our work isn’t really helping anyone, it feels like if we quit our job one day no one would change, you need to find something that the world needs, something that you can do that will create a visible positive effect on those around you.

The third component: Ikigai is that it needs to be something that you can get paid well for, what puts a roof over your head food in your mouth and clothes on your body without enough of it you are gonna spend the majority of your time stressed out of your mind wondering how you are going to get by and its not enough to just be making some money, you need to be getting paid well enough to live a comfortable life, so it really depends on where you live for example you could live like a king off of $30,000 a year in some countries, but in a place like New York city that would barely be enough to cover your rent, if you are not making enough money to live without stress then you will never achieve happiness.

The fourth component: The final component that you need to have in order to achieve Ikigai is that it needs to be something that you are good at, now this doesn’t mean that you need to be born with talent, this actually means that you are able to put in the time and effort in order to get better at the skill, lets take a example, you want to become a motivational speaker, when you first get started you are terrible, you have stage fear, you should stand or a lot you forget what you are supposed to say, but over time as you practice more and more you start to overcome these obstacles, you start getting applause from the audience, that’s what it means to be good at something not to be good from the get go but to be able to overcome obstacles and improve at this skill, this overcoming of obstacles creates a very fulfilling feeling inside of you which is why it’s such a crucial component of Ikigai.

Now the interesting thing about this Japanese formula Ikigai is the you can tell where you are in life and what you need to work on by looking at components you have so far, if all you have is something that you love and are good at then you have what is called a “passion”, people who fall into this category are all aspiring singers and artists, the main thing stopping you from being happy is the fact that you are not getting paid enough for your skills nobody seems to notice your talent, if you find yourself in this category then you need to focus on marketing yourself so that you can start getting paid well. On the other hand if you have something that you love and you can see how the world needs it then you have whats called a “Mission”, a lot of people who fall into this category are the amateur bloggers and activists who talk about things like saving the planet or going vegan, these are people who want to see positive change in the world, but unfortunately they aren’t good enough at public speaking or writing to actually be able to convince people to join their cause, if you are in this category then you need to focus on getting better at your craft figuring out how to convince people instead of just stating your opinion loudly. Now if you are someone who has something you get paid well for and are good at then you have what most people in the world have which is “profession”, that boring 9 to 5 job that pays the bills, what’s stopping you from happiness is the fact that you don’t love your work or see how any of this can actually make a difference in the world, if you find yourself in this category then you need to try out new things and figure out, what it is that you truly love doing and finally if you get paid well and its something that you know can help the world then you have what’s called a “vocation”, a good example of a vocation are professors, they get paid decently well and their job does have positive effect on the world right they are raising the future generation but they often fall into the bad habit of teaching the same things every single year which stalls their improvement, if you find yourself in this category the main thing you need to make sure you have is that you are constantly getting better at your job, constantly challenging yourself to improve, remember in order to be truly happy with your life, you need to achieve Ikigai. You need to be spending your time doing something that you love that you can get better at that pays well and that the world needs without all four, you will always feel like you are missing something inside of you.

Lessons or takeaways from IKIGAI

  • Always stay active, don’t get retired
  • Take it slow
  • Don’t fill your stomach
  • Always have a smile on your face
  • Live in the moment
  • Always be thankful and give thanks 
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Surround yourself with good friends and people 
  • Get in shape for your next birthday
  • Follow your Ikigai.

Quotes from IKIGAI

  • Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.
  • Keep going; don’t change your path
  • The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.
  • Metabolism slows down 90% after 30% minutes of sitting.
  • This moment exists only now and won’t come again.
  • He who has a why to live for, can live with any how.
  • Present is all that exists, and it is the only thing we can control.
  • Try to get go of the quest for perfection and instead accept the beauty that lies in all of life’s imperfections. 
  • Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years
  • We don’t create our feelings they simply come to us, and we have to accept them. The trick is, to welcome them.

About Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Hector Garcia: Hector Garcia is a citizen of japan, but he was born in Spain and worked in CERN in Switzerland. He is the author of several books about Japanese culture, including two worldwide bestsellers, A geek in Japan and Ikigai. He was a former software engineer, he developed voice recognition software and the technology for young silicon valley companies to enter the Japanese market.

Francesc Miralles: Francesc Miralles was born in Barcelona and he studied journalism, English literature and German philology. He is a famous lecturer and award winning author of best selling books in the areas of health and spirituality. He was also a Catalan writer, essayist, translator and a musician, his novel Love in lower case has been translated into 28 languages.


This book is one of the best Self help book and a perfect life guide for happiness, This book deals about the Japanese secret to live a happy and successful life and it has 10 best rules to follow. This book is 100% recommendable, We personally recommend you to read this book to know the secret of living a happy and successful life. The rating for this book is (4.4/5).