Book Review: Ikigai


A must-read for everyone who struggles to find meaning or purpose in their life.

‘Ikigai’ is a Japanese word, which roughly translates to ‘the happiness of always being busy’. Japanese centenarians believe that everybody has an ikigai, a reason to jump out of bed each morning. The only obstacle is finding it. Our ikigai revolves is the core of four things- what we love, what we can make money off, what the world needs, and what you are good at.

The authors, Héctor García and Francesc Miralles focused on giving examples from both the Eastern and Western parts of the world; showing that even different cultures have some similarities.

The book also focuses on simple, everyday habits that we can change in order to live a happier, longer, and more fulfilling life- eating habits, exercises, and hobbies that have led people to live for 110+ years. It teaches us that we need to be aware of and in control of our life.

“There is a tension between what is good for someone and what they want to do. This is because people, especially older people, like to do things as they’ve always done them. The problem is that when the brain develops ingrained habits, it doesn’t need to think anymore. Things get done very quickly and efficiently on automatic pilot, often in a very advantageous way. This creates a tendency to stick to routines, and the only way of breaking these is to confront the brain with new information.”

Our ikigai is different for each and every one of us. The only thing similar is our search for meaning.
by Yukta Baid


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