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 it is indeed necessary to have a meaningful purpose in life, 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 in search of 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 a number of 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 above the age of 100) and give us the tools to find our own Ikigai.

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

The book suggests finding something that you can do till the end of your life and keeps you merrily engaged. As the Japanese say active life is the prerequisite of healthy long life.

Couple of 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 thing they follow is not retiring at certain age. They fill their day with many meaningful activities. They have more than one work to do, which keeps them occupy, help them remain physically and mentally fit.
  • It also helps in generating more source of income. Like many of them have their own gardens where they grow vegetables and as much as they love the activity, it also generates additional income.

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

  • They believe in filling their belly 80% and not stuff themselves like most people do. This habit has been advocated by many dietitian, and a good deal of research has proved this one habit for great 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 interest. Belonging to a group of any kind gives one security and increases longevity.
  • You may become part of reading group, outdoor adventure group, sports group, church group or part of volunteer group in service of any kind. Having somewhere to belong is a great boost in longevity and overall well-being.

4. Stress

  • Many people look older than they actually are and stress is considered one of the main cause of it. Mindfulness is one of the best cure for stress. There are many ways one can attain mindfulness, meditation is one of them.
  • If you have never done meditation and wants to begin you may consider this 3 minutes Meditation, which will help you set in this journey the right way.

5. Avoid Multitasking

  • As much as we take pride in announcing and showing off how good we are at multitasking. Research shows multitasking harm more than do any good.
  • When we say multitasking we are actually hoping from one activity to other and then back, which takes longer to achieve both tasks and quality of work adversely affects.

6. Busy but not Rushing

  • As there is saying “everybody is in hurry and yet no one reaches on time. Centenarians keep themselves busy most of the time, yet they don’t rush from one thing to other.
  • 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 the state of flow in everything they do. It can be achieved by anyone and book shares few great ideas on achieving that state.

8. Physical Activity

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



9. Resilience

  • They suggest enjoying pleasure of life, yet not be owned by them and be 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 good diet, physical activity, and MOAI it is important to have IKIGAI. This may not be major financial, career, personal goal.
  • This may be something you love to do, find meaning, peace in engaging in it, can do it as long as you live.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book – Hope you like it. Please do 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.

You may download the Ikigai Free e-book here. 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.

Wish you a healthy and meaningful life.


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