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

Ikigai by by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles is book which talks about finding your purpose and then following it with all heart to live a happy and

 Are you struggling to find happiness and fulfillment in life? Do you find yourself questioning whether you are living a purposeful life? Perhaps you are stuck in a job that doesn't bring you passion.

If you are seeking answers to these questions, then this summary is for you. Today, we will be discussing the book "Ikigai" written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.

Ikigai is a secret concept from Japan that reveals the key to longevity and happiness in life. This book explains how by embracing the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai, you can lead a longer and happier life.

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

It is a well-known fact that the people of Okinawa Island in Japan live the longest and happiest lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) even recognizes them for having the highest life expectancy in the world. But what is their secret? The answer is Ikigai, a Japanese concept that translates to "the joy of always being busy." Ikigai represents the purpose and meaning of your life.

Ikigai is a term in Japanese that refers to one's reason for being, purpose in life, or the reason for one's existence. According to the Japanese, everyone has at least one ikigai, which can only be discovered by understanding oneself. Finding one's ikigai is a challenging task, and many people spend their entire lives searching for it. It may come as a surprise, but you too have an ikigai.

Reasons for reading Ikigai

The authors of the book "Ikigai" explain that the concept of Ikigai can strengthen the body and contribute to a longer life. Without a clear purpose, one's lifespan can be shortened, regardless of good habits. Research has also shown that having a goal in life can prevent the development of genes that promote inflammation in the body and slow down the aging of cells.

Furthermore, the authors provide additional reasons to support the importance of Ikigai, including:

1. It shows the purpose

To live a fulfilling life, it is important to have a clear purpose. This purpose can be as small as achieving a personal goal or as big as a life-long mission. Having a purpose motivates us to stay active and leads to happiness. It is essential to understand the purpose of our life and allocate time towards achieving it, just as we prioritize our health, wealth, or starting a business.

The author shares his personal experience of discovering his big goal and how it brought peace and happiness to every aspect of his life. He found that by focusing on his goal, even small tasks became meaningful, and he felt fulfilled knowing that he was leading a purposeful life. Although he faced setbacks along the way, his determination to concentrate on his goal played a significant role in his overall happiness.

2. It inspires happiness 

In our busy lives, it's easy to overlook important moments and miss out on things we enjoy or need to do. Rather than simply urging us to be grateful for those missed opportunities, Ikigai emphasizes the importance of actively living those moments when we have the chance.

The book explains how to imagine our happiest activities and moments, how they look and feel, and how we can enjoy them to the fullest. Often, we fail to recognize how well we can live in the present, and instead, worry about the future. By taking the time to reflect on where we are in life, where we want to be, and what's important to us, we can attain happiness and peace of mind both now and in the future.

3. Happiness lies in simplicity

The Japanese people appreciate simplicity in life. Despite making great inventions, writing books, conducting research, and achieving remarkable success, they value simplicity. They believe that the spirit of togetherness and an active daily routine are essential for a peaceful, healthy, happy, and long life. Moreover, the people of Okinawa in Japan also prioritize kindness in their way of life.

4. It promotes health awareness

The book Ikigai emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle by constantly keeping the body active and present in the moment. It suggests simple activities such as walking or doing desired physical activities like yoga, gardening, or swimming to keep the body moving. Even simple things like taking breaks and stretching during work can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health.

5. It helps in increasing positivity 

Additionally, this book also assists in cultivating a positive mindset while pursuing our aspirations and practicing optimistic thinking.

Find your Ikigai

Here are the 12 steps suggested to find your Ikigai. It is important to understand each step carefully, as each step can have a significant impact on your life.

Step 1: What is the meaning of life?

To discover your Ikigai, you should ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need from you?
  4. What can you be paid for?

The intersection of these four questions can lead you to your Ikigai, your reason for being. By understanding your passions, skills, and the needs of the world around you, you can find a purpose that brings you joy and fulfillment.

Step 2: Knowing Ikigai and knowing the circle

The second step in finding your Ikigai is to understand the concept of Ikigai and the circle. The circle is a diagram that helps you visualize the relationship between your passion, mission, vocation, and profession. It is the intersection of these four elements that leads to the discovery of your Ikigai.

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

Your passion is what you love doing, what brings you joy and fulfillment. Your mission is your purpose, the reason why you exist in this world. Your vocation is what you are good at, what you can get paid for. Your profession is what the world needs, what you can do to make a difference.

The circle helps you find the balance between these four elements. It is important to note that the circle is not a static concept, but a dynamic one. Your Ikigai may change over time as your passions, skills, and purpose evolve.

By understanding the concept of Ikigai and the circle, you can start to explore the intersection of your passion, mission, vocation, and profession to find your Ikigai.

Step 3: How to find your Ikigai?

Step 3 of finding your Ikigai involves exploring yourself and understanding your interests, talents, and passions. This step requires you to reflect on your past experiences and identify the things that have brought you joy and satisfaction.

You can start by creating a list of the things that you love to do and the things that you are good at. Think about the skills you have acquired over the years and the activities that you enjoy doing the most.

It is also important to identify the things that you don't enjoy doing and the skills you don't possess. By doing this, you can focus on the things that you are passionate about and avoid wasting your time and energy on things that don't bring you joy.

Once you have a list of your interests, talents, and passions, you can start to identify the areas where they intersect. This intersection is your Ikigai, the place where your passion, talent, and purpose come together.

It's important to note that finding your Ikigai is a process and may take time. Be patient and keep exploring until you find what truly resonates with you.

1. Stress

The people of Japan believe that stress and depression are the enemies of longevity. That's why stress should always be kept away to live a happy life.

2. Food and drink

The people of Japan follow a unique and healthy diet that contributes to their long and healthy life. One of their secrets is that they never eat until they are completely full; they stop eating when they are about 80% full. At first, it may be difficult to know when you have reached 80% fullness, but with practice, you can learn to identify this point.

According to a recent study, people from Okinawa consume an average of 1800-1900 calories per day.

  • Additionally, the Japanese people typically eat around 18 different types of foods every day,
  • including five servings of fruits and vegetables that are rich in different colors like capsicum, carrot, spinach, cabbage, potato, legume, and soybean.
  • Thirty percent of their calories come from vegetables, and white rice is a staple in their diet.
  • Fish is eaten three times a week, and
  • they consume an average of 7-12 grams of salt per day.
  • Additionally, they drink green tea and white tea regularly.

3.One job at a time

It is crucial to maintain focus while performing any task. When you have focus, it brings a flow to your work, making it easier to accomplish without getting exhausted. Therefore, always choose work that requires research, hard work, and requires constant thinking to maintain your focus.

We tend to believe that multitasking saves time and helps to complete more tasks in less time. However, scientific research suggests the opposite. It has been proven that people who multitask take more time to complete their work and are not productive while doing so.

Therefore, it is essential to focus on one task at a time to achieve productivity and efficiency.

Step 5: Ikigai retirement and health lessons

Did you know that there is no word for "retirement" in the Japanese language? The Japanese people never really retire from their work; they keep themselves engaged in something or the other throughout their lives. On the other hand, in other countries, people often seek early retirement as they do not love their work.

When you force yourself to work or just work for money, you can never be happy in that job, and the company you work for may not value your efforts. Therefore, to live a long and happy life, you must love your work. Once you love your work, you will never think about retirement because your happiness will be in your work, not in sitting at home and doing nothing.

Sitting for long periods of time can also make you age quickly. Although sitting may provide physical comfort, it can damage your cells, leading to health issues such as imbalanced diet, hypertension, and even cancer.

To avoid the negative effects of sitting for too long, there are a few habits that you can add to your daily routine:

  1. Walk for at least 21 minutes daily.
  2. Avoid using the lift or elevator, and take the stairs instead.
  3. Participate in social activities so that you do not sit in front of the TV for too long.
  4. Replace junk food and packaged food with healthier options.
  5. Get good quality sleep, aiming for 7 to 9 hours every night. Do not oversleep.
  6. Play with your kids or pets to get moving.
  7. Consider setting a timer to remind yourself to take a break and walk.
  8. Use apps such as Google's to set daily walking goals.

Step 6: Focus on Work

Step 6 in the Ikigai book is about focusing on work. The book emphasizes the importance of finding work that you love and that brings you joy and fulfillment. When you find work that aligns with your ikigai, it becomes easier to stay focused and motivated.

The book also recommends breaking down your work into smaller tasks, setting clear goals and deadlines, and eliminating distractions. By focusing on one task at a time and avoiding multitasking, you can improve your productivity and get more done in less time.

In addition, it's important to take breaks and recharge your energy throughout the day. This can help you avoid burnout and stay motivated in the long run. By staying focused on work that aligns with your ikigai and taking care of yourself, you can create a fulfilling and satisfying career.

  1. Choose the hard work
  2. Clear objective
  3. Only one task

Step 7: 10 Short rules of success through Ikigai

Here are the 10 short rules of success through Ikigai:

  1. Stay active and don't retire
  2. Take it slow and don't rush
  3. Don't fill your stomach, stop eating at 80%
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday
  6. Smile and acknowledge others
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks to your ancestors and those before you
  9. Live in the moment, forget the past and don't worry about the future
  10. Follow your Ikigai

Step 8: Okinawa Elder's Advice

In this step, the book "Ikigai" shares the advice of an elder from Okinawa, one of the Blue Zones known for their longevity and healthy lifestyle. The elder shares the following advice:

  1. Always have a purpose in life.
  2. Keep yourself busy but not stressed.
  3. Don't eat until you are completely full; eat until you are 80% full.
  4. Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, and grains.
  5. Surround yourself with good friends and have a strong social network.
  6. Stay active and keep moving throughout the day.
  7. Take naps and get enough rest.
  8. Find ways to reduce stress and relax.
  9. Live in the moment and enjoy the present.
  10. Be grateful for what you have and appreciate the small things in life.

These simple yet powerful pieces of advice can help anyone live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Step 9: Keep moving throughout the day

Residents of Okinawa recommend that you don't need to play a sport or go for a run to stay healthy. Instead, you can choose any form of physical activity that suits your convenience.

To ensure consistency, Okinawans prefer simple forms of exercise. They jog around, work in their gardens, or sing for fun, among other activities.

In addition to these activities, a Japanese radio show called Radio Taiso has been helping Okinawans exercise for years. The show plays music on a major station in Japan, and people follow along with the exercise instructions.

To maintain physical and mental movement, it's also important to take breaks and walk around your office or workspace.

Step 10: The Secret of Japanese People's Long Life

Japanese elders have shared five secrets to living a long life:

  1. Don't worry: The key to a long life is to not worry and keep your heart young. Open your heart to people with a smile on your face and socialize. Spend time with others and have fun without causing any trouble.
  2. Build good habits: Good habits matter the most for a long life. Wake up early in the morning and do some work that makes your body agile. Do something that gives you peace, like going for a run or doing yoga. Keep your fingers busy and eat green vegetables. Exercise to stay healthy, eat well and spend time with people.
  3. Focus on your friendships every day: Talking to people you love every day is the secret to a long life. Spend time with your friends, chat with your neighbors, and go to new places together.
  4. Live an unfulfilled life: Focus on doing things slowly and comfortably. Don't rush and overwhelm yourself with work. Do one task at a time, sleep early, wake up early, and go for a walk. Live peacefully and enjoy small things.
  5. Be optimistic: Say to yourself every day that you will have a day full of health and energy. Laugh out loud, smile wherever you go, and prioritize laughter. Thank your life every single day and help others. Living long is in your hands, just embrace it.

Step 11: Logotherapy to Ikigai 

Logotherapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on finding meaning and purpose in life as a way to overcome personal challenges and struggles. It was developed by Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist.

Similarly, the concept of Ikigai in Japanese culture also emphasizes finding one's purpose and meaning in life. It is the reason for being, the thing that makes life worth living, and it is often related to one's passions, talents, and values.

Both logotherapy and Ikigai share the belief that having a sense of purpose and meaning in life can help individuals overcome adversity and find happiness. By identifying and pursuing their Ikigai, individuals can find a reason to get up every morning, stay motivated, and live a fulfilling life.

Logotherapy also suggests that individuals can find meaning in their struggles and challenges, and that these experiences can be used to create a sense of purpose in life. Similarly, Ikigai encourages individuals to embrace their failures and learn from them, using them as opportunities to grow and find new directions in life.

Overall, both logotherapy and Ikigai highlight the importance of finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life as a way to overcome obstacles, find happiness, and live a fulfilling life.


In conclusion, the concept of ikigai is about finding one's purpose in life, and it is a unique and personal journey for each individual. It is a combination of what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for. By identifying our ikigai, we can live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

The book of Ikigai offers practical tips and insights from the lives of the world's longest-lived people. Through their experiences, we can learn about the importance of staying active, building strong relationships, and finding joy in everyday life.

It is clear that ikigai is not just a trendy concept but a philosophy that has been embraced by the people of Okinawa, Japan, and has helped them live long and happy lives. By adopting the principles of ikigai, we too can discover our own sense of purpose and lead a more fulfilling life.

Overall, the book of Ikigai is a valuable guide to finding purpose and meaning in life. It teaches us to focus on what is truly important and to make the most of our time on this earth. By living a life guided by our ikigai, we can find happiness and fulfillment in our daily lives and achieve a sense of satisfaction that will last a lifetime.



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Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.: "Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life" by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
"Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life" by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
Ikigai by by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles is book which talks about finding your purpose and then following it with all heart to live a happy and
Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.
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