The purpose of book Ikigai is to bring the secrets of Japan’s centenarians to you and give you the tools to find your own ikigai. Because those who discover their ikigai have everything they need for a long and Joyful journey through life.
Ikigai : The Japanese Secret to Long and Happy Life Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles
Summary of Book Ikigai By Hector Garcia
Our ikigai is hidden deep inside each of us, and finding it requires a patient search. Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking, though they carry it within them.
Our ikigai is the reason we get up in the morning. Having a clearly defined ikigai brings satisfaction, happiness, and meaning to our lives. The purpose of this book is to help you find yours.
Active Mind, Youthful Body
Author says there is much wisdom in the classic saying “mens sana in corpore sano” (“a sound mind in a sound body”): It reminds us that both mind and body are important, and that the health of one is connected to that of the other. Having a youthful mind also drives you toward a healthy lifestyle that will slow the aging process.
Our neurons start to age while we are still in our twenties. This process is Our neurons start to age while we are still in our twenties. This process is slowed, however, by intellectual activity, curiosity, and a desire to learn. Dealing with new situations, learning something new every day, playing games, and interacting with other people seem to be essential antiaging strategies for the mind.
Nurturing friendships, eating light, getting enough rest, and doing regular, moderate exercise are all part of the equation of good health.
Author says many people seem older than they are. Research into the causes of premature aging has shown that stress has a lot to do with it, because the body wears down much faster during periods of crisis.
These days, people live at a frantic pace and in a nearly constant state of competition. At this fever pitch, stress is a natural response to the information being received by the body as potentially dangerous or problematic.
As such, though challenges are good for keeping mind and body active, we should adjust our high-stress lifestyles in order to avoid the premature aging of our bodies.
A Lot of Sitting will age You
Spending too much time seated at work or at home not only reduces muscular and respiratory fitness but also increases appetite and curbs the desire to participate in activities. Being sedentary can lead to hypertension, imbalanced eating, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even certain kinds of cancer.
Walk to work, or just go on a walk for at least twenty minutes each day.
Play with children or pets, or join a sports team. This not only strengthens the body but also stimulates the mind and boosts self-esteem.
The Ikigai Journey
There is no future, no past. There is only the present. You feel the snow, your skis, your body, and your consciousness united as a single entity. You are completely immersed in the experience, not thinking about or distracted by anything else. Your ego dissolves, and you become part of what you are doing.
Author says when we flow, we are focused on a concrete task without any distractions. Our mind is “in order.” The opposite occurs when we try to do something while our mind is on other things.
There is no magic recipe for finding happiness, for living according to your ikigai, but one key ingredient is the ability to reach this state of flow and, through this state, to have an “optimal experience.”
In order to achieve this optimal experience, we have to focus on increasing the time we spend on activities that bring us to this state of flow, rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in activities that offer immediate pleasure—like eating too much, abusing drugs or alcohol, or stuffing ourselves with chocolate in front of the TV.
Steve Jobs in Japan
Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was a big fan of Japan. Not only did he visit the Sony factories in the 1980s and adopt many of their methods when he founded Apple, he was also captivated by the simplicity and quality of Japanese porcelain in Kyoto.
Ever since his first trip to Japan, Jobs was fascinated and inspired by the country’s artisans, engineers (especially at Sony), philosophy (especially Zen), and cuisine (especially sushi).
Training the mind can get us to a place of flow more quickly. Meditation is one way to exercise our mental muscles.
One of the most common mistakes among people starting to meditate is worrying about doing it “right,” achieving absolute mental silence, or reaching “nirvana.” The most important thing is to focus on the journey.
If we want to get better at reaching a state of flow, meditation is an excellent antidote to our smartphones and their notifications constantly clamoring for our attention.
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept that shows us the beauty of the fleeting, changeable, and imperfect nature of the world around us. Instead of searching for beauty in perfection, we should look for it in things that are flawed, incomplete.
Wabi-sabi teaches us to appreciate the beauty of imperfection as an opportunity for growth.
About the Authors
Hector Garcia : Héctor García is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to japan, where he developed voice recognition software and the technology needed for Silicon Valley start ups to enter the japanese market. He is the creator of the popular blog kirainet.com and the author of A Geek in Japan, a #1 bestseller in Japan.
Francesc Miralles : Francesc Miralles is an award-winning author who has written a number of bestselling self-help and inspirational books. Born in Barcelona, he studied journalism, English literature, and German, and has worked as an editor, a translator, a ghostwriter, and a musician. His novel Love in Lowercase has been translated into twenty languages.