Ikigai Book Review I The Secret to a Long Life

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Book – Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life (Review)

Author – Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles

Genre – Self-help Book

Published in – 2016

Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years. – Japanese proverb.

As the proverb says, having a meaningful purpose in life is necessary, which helps you wake up in the morning and engage productively throughout the day.

Ikigai roughly means “the happiness of always being busy.” Ikigai is having a purpose in life, a reason for being, a reason to get up in the morning and go along with the day happily.

According to the Japanese, everyone has Ikigai within them; some have found it, and the rest are searching for it.

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. 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 several bestselling self-help and inspirational books. His novel Love in Lowercase has been translated into twenty languages.

About the Book

Ikigai is the Japanese concept of looking for meaning/purpose in life. The book brings the secret of Japan’s centenarians (People over 100) and gives us the tools to find our own Ikigai.

Both Authors have spent enough time researching and been in Japan interviewing centenarians and observing ways of life, especially in a village called Ogimi on Okinawa Island, also known as the Village of Longevity.

The book suggests finding something you can do until your life’s end and keeps you merrily engaged. As the Japanese say, an active life is the prerequisite for a healthy, long life.

Key Points on Longevity as per Centenarians

The keys to longevity are diet, exercise, and finding a purpose in life (Ikigai).

1. Whatever You Do, Don’t Retire

  • One of the things they follow is not retiring at a certain age. They fill their day with many meaningful activities. They have more than one work to do, which keeps them occupied and helps them remain physically and mentally fit.
  • It also helps in generating more sources of income. Many of them have gardens where they grow vegetables, and as much as they love the activity, it generates additional revenue.

2. Hara Hachi Bu (Meaning Fill your belly to 80 percent)

  • They believe in filling their belly 80% and not stuffing themselves like most people do. Many dietitians have advocated this habit, and much research has proved this one habit for excellent health.
  • I once read this in Reader’s Digest book: “It matters more how you eat and how much you eat rather than what you eat when it comes to health.”

3. Moai

  • Having a circle of people with common interests. Belonging to a group of any kind gives one security and increases longevity.
  • You may become part of a reading group, outdoor adventure group, sports group, church group, or part of a volunteer group in service of any kind. Having somewhere to belong is an excellent boost in longevity and overall well-being.

4. Stress

  • Many people look older than they are, and stress is considered one of the leading causes of it. Mindfulness is one of the best cure for anxiety. One can attain mindfulness in many ways; Meditation is one of them.

5. Avoid Multitasking

  • As much as we take pride in announcing and showing off how good we are at Multitasking. Research shows Multitasking harms more than any good.
  • When we say Multitasking, we hope to go from one activity to another and back, which takes longer to achieve both tasks and the quality of work.

6. Busy but not Rushing

  • As it is said, “Everybody is in a hurry, and yet no one reaches on time. Centenarians usually keep themselves busy, yet they don’t rush from one thing to another.
  • Doing many things every day. Always staying busy, but doing one thing at a time, without getting overwhelmed.”

7. State of flow

  • They learn to get in a state of flow in everything they do. Anyone can achieve it, and the book shares a few great ideas on achieving that state.

8. Physical Activity

  • They suggest adding movement to your day; you’ll see the difference. Most people in Japan, despite their busy lives, participate in Radio Taiso, a light exercise of 5 to 10 minutes that helps move their body and get the benefits of exercise.
  • You may check out two small Radio Taiso exercise videos. As simple as this may look, try it for a week and see the difference; this could be a good beginning if you are not exercising.



9. Resilience

  • They suggest enjoying the pleasure of life, yet not being owned by them and being prepared for those pleasures to disappear.
  • According to Stoicism, our pleasures and desires are not the problem. We can enjoy them as long as they don’t take control of us.


  • Find your Ikigai in life. Apart from a good diet, physical activity, and MOAI, it is essential to have IKIGAI. This may not be a significant financial, career, or personal goal.
  • You may love to do this, find meaning and peace in engaging in it, and can do it as long as you live.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book – I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change.


I highly recommend this book. It will help you ask relevant questions in finding your Ikigai and pursue it diligently. It will help you change your lifestyle to be more content without turning your life upside down at once.

If you like this book, you may also like The Science of Being Well.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment below. I would love to hear from you.

I wish you a healthy and meaningful life.


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