Daily Recco, April 15: Ikigai is a guide to relishing life

The book shows the way to turning our work and free time into spaces for growth.

 |  2-minute read |   15-04-2021
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Being busy might give you a sense that you are losing out on life but being busy is what could be ensuring your life is long and joyful. Busy, not running helter-skelter, but busy with a purpose. The Japanese call it Ikigai. Ikigai is a concept that broadly translated into ‘a reason for being’.

If you want to learn about the concept and turn on the keys to a long and happy life, read Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. Ikigai can be your guide to finding the reason for your being. This is no mumbo-jumbo about going out and giving to the world or finding your spiritual being. The book offers the way to exist with yourself in peace, which then obviously extends to existing in peace with all else.

ikigai_041521113405.jpgIkigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, Penguin, pages 192

A Japanese proverb says, “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.”

This doesn’t you have to be up and running all the time. It only means you can turn both your work and free time into spaces for growth. The book tells you how to get there. The book tells you how supercentenarians, people who live to 110 years and more, got there and did not get tired of life. There are only about 300-400 supercentarians in the world. Garcia and Miralles bring to us the experiences of these supercentarians straight from them.

“Eat and sleep, and you’ll live a long time. You have to learn to relax,” says one. “I’ve never eaten meant in my life,” says another. “If you keep your mind and body busy, you’ll live around a long time,” says yet another.

From food and drinks, to walking, to making friends, Ikigai lays out the ingredients for a good life but the book is no self-help book. Ikigai offers a scientific and sociological explanation to a concept which has helped Japanese people exist in peace with a sense of purpose and achieving success in striking the right work-life balance.

Grab the book and give it a slow read - a few pages a day. The content needs to absorbed and not just understood.

Also read: Angela’s Ashes shows what happens when pathos meets humour

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