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“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life”: A BOOK REVIEW



By Rahul Gupta


The book cover has a very soothing theme. In the right corner, it has the cherry blossom tree which symbolises human life, transience and nobleness. The Japanese love to celebrate and cherish the cherry blossoms, they do ‘flower watching’ parties known as hanami. This tells us how much they value the environment and nature.

Prologue – This book covers many topics related to the “art of living.” The authors define ikigai and the rules of ikigai—they conducted a total of one hundred interviews in Ogimi, Okinawa to understand the longevity secrets of centenarians and supercentenarians.

What is IKIGAI?

In Japanese, ikigai is written by combining the symbols that mean “life” with “to be worthwhile.” Everyone has an IKIGAI and with a little help, you can find your ikigai. The book gives us a few rules that if followed will help us  find our IKIGAI.

The Book highlights are as follows:

Stress & Existential Crisis: “Many people seem older than they are. Research into the causes of premature ageing has shown that stress has a lot to do with it.

Morita Therapy: Morita therapy focuses on teaching patients to accept their emotions without trying to control them since their feelings will change as a result of their actions.”

Flow: “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.

Slow Living: “Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to the quality of life. As the old saying goes, ‘Walk slowly and you’ll go far.’ When we leave urgency behind, life and time will take on new meaning. ”

Some of the memorable quotes from the book are: .

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

“Happiness is always determined by your heart.”

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”

The conclusion that we can derive from this book is that Ikigai is about finding joy in whatever we do, finding a balance amongst the hectic daily routine is what we need to focus on. There is no other life- a concept as direct and definite as this one. With Ikigai, you can find your purpose and live life full of joy.

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