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The Saturday Book Review: Ikigai -The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
Title : Ikigai -The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
Author : Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles
Publisher: Peguin/Random House UK
TNA Rating: *****
In a World dissected, bisected, by stress, anxiety, diseases, body decay, the Japanese Secret to a long and a happy life comes as an inspiring and comforting relief. Ikigai, the Japanese Magic mantra.
According to the Japanese, everyone has a Ikigai. Our Ikigai is the reason we get up in the morning ‘Those who discover their Ikigai, have everything they need for a long and a joyful journey through life’.
Search for the meaning of life, and questions like ‘ is the point just to live longer, or should i seek a higher purpose ?Why do some people know what they want and have a passion for life, while others languish in confusion? brought, together, two authors, who had never met or interacted before.
Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles set about the task exploring the terrain, brought them to Japan on the Island of Okinawa, tracing the trajectory of Ikigai- a buzzword in Japan, but never talked about or written about in the Western fields of Psychology, personal development.
To their amazement, they found that among the inhabitants on the Island of Okinanwa for every 1,00,000 population there were around 24.55 people who were over the age of 100.Far more than the global average. Was Ikigai the reason for these Centenarians?
In the author's words
"We decided to go study the secrets of the Japanese centenarians in person.After a year of preliminary research we arrived in the village-where residents speak an ancient dialect and practice an animist religion that features long haired forest sprites called bunagaya- with our cameras andrecording devices in hand.
As soon as we arrived we could sense the incredible friendliness of its residents, who laughed and joked incessantly amid lush green hills fed by crystalline waters. As we conducted our interview with the eldest residents of the town, we realized that something far more powerful than just these natural resources was at work; an uncommon joy flows from its inhabitants and guides them through the long and pleasurable journey of their lives."
The lessons and the experience have all been recorded and researched by the team of authors and their findings are noteworthy and a tool for all those looking for a life of fulfilment.
From finding a flow in everything you do “ Don't look at any kind of screen for the first hour you’re awake and the last hour before you sleep... Designate one day of the week as a day of Technological fasting..” to other observations , the climb towards your Ikigai is fascinating.
Don't Worry-the secret to a long life is not to worry. And to keep your heart young- don't let it grow old. Cultivate Good Habits-I feel joy every morning waking up at six and opening the curtains to look out at my garden.....i love the sight of them –it relaxes me.After an hour in the garden i go back inside and make breakfast.
Nurture your friendships every day, Live an unhurried life, and be an optimist “My secret to a long life is always saying to myself, ’Slow down’ and ‘Relax’. You live much longer if you’re not it a hurry”. The authors have painstakingly attempted , with success to disrobe Ikigai within each one us , so that each one of us have everything needed for a long and a joyful and fulfilling journey through life
So, lets re-ignite the Ikigai in each one of us....a fascinating journey of exploration and discovery.
(The author of this book review is a Lucknow-based businessman, Chairman, MSME Confederation of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise UP and Co-Chairman PHD Chambers of Commerce and the Founder Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians.)
This Book Is Available @ Universal Booksellers