Ikigai Book Review: Is it Worth Reading?

Are you looking for a book to help you find your purpose in life? If yes, you might have encountered the term ‘Ikigai.’ This Japanese concept has been around for centuries, but it has gained more popularity in recent years.

The book ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’ by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles delves deep into this concept and how it can be applied to our lives. But is it worth reading? This article will explore the book’s content, strengths, and weaknesses and help you decide if it’s worth your time.

The Japanese word “Ikigai” means “a reason for being” or “a reason to wake up in the morning.” The idea of Ikigai has been more well-known worldwide as a potential key to achieving happiness, meaning, and longevity.

Why Read This Review

I have a YouTube channel (Seeken) with over 4 million subscribers. I love reading books and have read hundreds of books that have completely transformed my life. I started my YouTube channel back in 2019, I loved reading, and sharing the knowledge that I gained through them, so I started a YouTube channel and started creating videos about books, reviewing them, and summarizing them.

But now, I am going to review this book in the form of a blog. I have read more than 300 books, and this one also. So, I think that I am perfect for reviewing the book.

Introduction to Ikigai book

The book explores the concept of Ikigai, a Japanese word that translates to “reason for being.” The authors discuss how finding your Ikigai can bring purpose, happiness, and longevity to your life. The book also provides practical tips and advice on discovering your Ikigai and integrating it into your daily life.

Overview of the authors

Héctor García is a Spanish author who has lived in Japan for over a decade. He is a blogger, software engineer, and photographer and has written several books about Japanese culture. Francesc Miralles is a Spanish author and journalist who has written extensively about Japan. Together, they bring a unique perspective on Japanese culture and the concept of Ikigai.

What is Ikigai?

Ikigai, which means “reason for being” or “purpose in life,” is a term used in Japanese. It combines four factors:

  • What do you like doing,
  • What you are excellent at,
  • What the world wants and
  • What you can charge for.

Finding your Ikigai, in the writers’ opinion, can result in a happy and full existence.

The concept of Ikigai in the book

The book explores the concept of Ikigai in-depth and provides practical advice on how to find your own Ikigai. The authors discuss how Ikigai can bring purpose and meaning to your life and provide examples of people who have discovered their Ikigai. They also explain overcoming obstacles and finding your Ikigai even in difficult circumstances.

Pros of reading Ikigai

The book is well-written and easy to understand, with practical advice that can be applied to anyone’s life. It provides a unique perspective on Japanese culture and the concept of Ikigai, which can be refreshing for readers looking for something different.

The book also offers inspiring stories and examples of people who have found their Ikigai, which can motivate readers to discover their own.

Cons of reading Ikigai

Some readers may find the book too simplistic or repetitive, as the authors often reiterate the same concepts throughout the book. The book also focuses on finding one’s Ikigai, which may not apply to everyone. Some readers may find the book too focused on Japanese culture and may not relate to it.

Who Should Read This Book

The book is targeted towards anyone who is looking for purpose and meaning in their life. It can benefit those feeling lost or unfulfilled and looking for a new perspective. The book is also suitable for those interested in Japanese culture and philosophy.

Key Points From The Book

1. The Blue Zones and Longevity

The authors explore the concept of “blue zones” – areas where people live significantly longer than average. Okinawa, Japan, is one such blue zone, and the book focuses on the lifestyle and practices of its residents.

The authors’ interviews with centenarians and supercentenarians in Okinawa uncover the secrets to their longevity. They argue that living a life aligned with one’s Ikigai contributes to a longer, healthier, and happier existence.

2. Logotherapy and the Search for Meaning

The book introduces logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy developed by Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

Logotherapy is based on the belief that the primary motivation for living is the pursuit of meaning. The authors argue that finding your Ikigai and rediscovering your life’s purpose aligns with the principles of logotherapy.

3. Flow: The State of Optimal Experience

Flow, a concept popularized by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is the state of being fully immersed in an activity to the point where you lose track of time and your surroundings. The authors discuss the importance of experiencing flow daily and how it contributes to happiness and longevity.

They provide suggestions on discovering activities that induce a state of flow and emphasize the importance of concentrating on a single task instead of multitasking.

4. Physical and Mental Health Practices

The Ikigai book delves into various practices and disciplines that promote physical and mental well-being. Some practices covered include yoga, tai chi, qigong, and breathing techniques. The authors emphasize the importance of staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to achieve longevity.

5. The Power of Community

One of the key takeaways from the book is the importance of community and social connections in fostering happiness and longevity. The authors highlight the strong sense of community in Okinawa, where residents support and care for one another.

They encourage readers to cultivate meaningful relationships and engage in activities that foster a sense of belonging and purpose.

6. Nutrition and the Okinawan Diet

The book provides insights into the Okinawan diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The authors discuss the role of nutrition in promoting health and longevity and offer recommendations for adopting a similar diet.

7. Resilience and Perseverance

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity and challenges, is another crucial factor in achieving a long and happy life. The book closes with a discussion on building resilience and the importance of perseverance in pursuing your Ikigai.

8. Inspirational Quotes and Personal Stories

Throughout the book, the authors share inspirational quotes and personal stories from the centenarians and supercentenarians of Okinawa. These anecdotes provide valuable insights into the mindset and practices contributing to a long and fulfilling life.

Conclusion – Is it worth reading?

While the Ikigai book has been praised for its insights and inspirational content, some readers may find certain sections repetitive or focused too heavily on anecdotal evidence.

However, the book offers valuable information and guidance for those looking to discover their Ikigai and incorporate the principles of a long and happy life into their daily routines.

I think anyone who wants to be the better version of himself should read the book, it has many powerful lessons and practical tips to follow to find your Ikigai and steps to achieve it.

This book helped me in these fields:

  1. Discover my purpose: The book helped me identify my unique purpose in life, giving me clarity and direction.
  2. Learn from the Japanese culture: Before reading this book, I was unaware of Japanese culture; the book explores the Japanese way of life and culture, which gave me insights into how they find meaning and fulfillment in their lives.
  3. Improving Well-being: The book encouraged me to focus on what I love and enjoy, which can improve my overall well-being and happiness.
  4. Achieve balance: The concept of Ikigai emphasizes finding a balance between what I love, what I am good at, what the world needs, and what I can be paid for. This helped me find a balance between my personal and professional life.
  5. Gain motivation: The book provides inspiring stories of people who have found their Ikigai and the benefits it has brought them, which motivated me to pursue my own purpose.

In the end, yea, I would definitely recommend you read this book.

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