Ikigai Summary8 min read

Ikigai Cover Pic

One-Sentence Summary

Having a “higher purpose” (or “Ikigai”), which is what motivates you to keep going even when things become tough, following a healthy lifestyle, and not giving up on life are all things that have been shown to increase longevity and improve quality of life.

Favorite Quote From The Author

Life is not a problem to be solved. Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you

Hector Garcia Puigcerver, Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Quick Summary

We’ve had this book on our list for far too long without getting around to reading it, so we thought we’d help you out by writing a concise synopsis to help you brush up on the essentials before diving in.

Are you interested in extending your life expectancy? Why not a joyful one? What if both were attainable to you? Finding meaning and happiness in life is the key to living a long and healthy life. Most of us see these goals as unattainable utopias.

Finding your life’s calling might be difficult. You do not know what you’re good at or how you can use your talents to help others. We’re taught over and over again to follow our hearts. While this is true, there is something more to think about.

This book will provide you with the tools you need to discover your ikigai and make positive changes in your life. You were born for a reason, and your unique set of experiences, knowledge, interests, and aspirations has prepared you for a certain role in the world. Now all you need to do is track it down. Discovering your Ikigai and following simple health guidelines are the keys to a long, healthy, and happy life. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s what the vast majority of people desire?

Flow is Ikigai

What Is Ikigai?

The Japanese term ikigai means “life for a reason,” and it comes from the words iki (meaning “life”) and gai (meaning “fulfillment of aspirations and expectations”). The pronunciation of ikigai is Ick-ee-guy. Finding one’s Ikigai, or one’s reason for living is the secret to a long and healthy life. Ikigai drives us; it can be said that it is our true motivation in life. It gives our live’s purpose and allows us to offer others the best of who we are right up to the end. Your job is to figure out what your ikigai is if you don’t already know it.

In contrast, people in other cultures are expected to adhere to societal norms. We give up our independence and pursue other people’s goals to fit society’s expectations. Because of this, most people never discover their true calling in life.

Now, Ikigai is not just restricted to the Japanese. There’s a French term for this the same – raison d’être. No matter what you name it, we all must take the time to figure out what drives us. As we begin each day, it is essential to think about what we are passionate about and what motivates us. This might be a job, a sport, or a pastime.

Your ikigai (or several ikigai’s) may be in different areas of your life, but whatever you choose to focus on should be your driving force. Keep in mind that your life’s work should combine your hobby with your career. It’s important to balance following your passion with fulfilling your genuine calling and making a living. No matter your occupation or passion, you should never stop doing what gives you ikigai.

Okinawa & Ikigai – The Relation

3 Points Puzzle Infographic Graph 1 1
Okinawans’ Secret Recipe For A Joyful Life

The most significant concentration of centenarians in the world may be found on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is also the book’s point of departure for exploring the roots of ikigai. When we’re in a good mood, our bodies respond positively. This book credits “ikigai” as the driving force behind the Japanese people’s unusually long lifespans and their vigorous, joyful way of life, particularly in Okinawa. To be clear, ikigai is another Japanese word, not something originating in Okinawa.

And why do the Okinawans have such a high number of centenarians? Well, it is very simple. Having a deep commitment to one’s loved ones is perhaps their biggest secret. They keep up a strong social network known as a “moai“, a circle of friends that lasts a lifetime and provides help in old age.

In addition to ikigai and moai, there is also “Hara Hachi BuThe hara hachi bu principle recommends stopping eating when you’re 80% full. When you eat until you’re almost full, but not quite, you’re ingesting fewer calories than you need.

The concept of hara hachi bu is simpler and easier to implement into daily life than the concepts of ikigai and moai. Hara hachi bu, when combined with ikigai and moai, extracts the essence from everyday life.

Ten Rules Of Ikigai

This is the conclusive part of the book, where he shares ten principles of ikigai that he developed from the insights of these centenarians. Follow these rules as a guide to creating a fulfilling existence in peace with other people and the natural environment, which has been shown to increase longevity and improve health among Okinawa’s older population.

10 Rules of Ikigai
Ikigai Chart Of Golden Rules
  1. Don’t retire. Here, we discuss the importance of recognizing that our lives have meaning long after our careers have ended. It’s up to us to decide what we’re going to do with our time so that we may feel like it’s serving a greater purpose.
  2. Don’t hurry. This dictum, “haste causes waste,” is spot on. Being in a rush suggests you are pressed for time and hence not in control of the situation. Taking things slowly allows you to focus on the present, exercise self-control, and fulfill your desires.
  3. Eat well, and don’t overeat. As discussed above, the Hara hachi bu concept that the Okinawans follow, Aims for an 80 percent satiety level.
  4. Have friends around you. The worth we find in our life is derived from the time and effort we put into our connections with other people, which is where we find our ikigai. Good friends are there to share in the joy of happy times and the solace of difficult ones.
  5. Keep moving. Keeping yourself on the go saves you from being stuck. It helps you keep going even when you’re confronted with distractions.
  6. Keep smiling. Smiling has several physiological and psychological advantages, including an increase in the feel-good hormones cortisol and endorphins.
  7. Get in touch with nature. Individuals’ mental and physical health has been shown to improve when they spend time in green spaces. Get away from the concrete jungle and spend some time in symbiosis with nature to restore your soul.
  8. Be thankful. You should be grateful for anything that makes you happy and helps you realize how blessed you are to be alive. When times are good, be grateful and graceful when times are hard.
  9. Remain mentally present. Put an end to dwelling on your past mistakes and future worries. You only have today. Enjoy it to the fullest. Get creative and make it memorable.
  10. Follow your unique talent and passion. There is something you were born to do that will give your days purpose and motivate you to give your all to others right up to the end. The pursuit of both the minute and the monumental goals will get us closer to our ultimate purpose.

Conclusive Summary

This novel, Ikigai, demonstrates that the best things in life are often the simplest. The idea of ikigai is phenomenal and can potentially change countless people’s lives. Finding your life’s purpose is important whether you’re feeling trapped in a rut, hoping to extend your lifespan, or settling into a healthy routine and devoting yourself to worthwhile activities.

It’s a thankless job to strive for perfection since what one person sees as flawless could be seen by another as just adequate. Instead, discover your ikigai and revel in the uniqueness of being human.

This book is a must-read, in our opinion. It’s not the boring nonfiction you’re probably used to, but it’s still a pleasant change of pace. Find your ikigai by reading it.


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