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Baw Book Recommendations – Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

By Rucha Wakharkar

Ikigai - The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Ikigai is a Japanese concept which translates to “purpose or reason for being.” The term originates from two Japanese words, ‘Iki’ meaning life and ‘gai’ meaning value or reason. The meaning sums up the reason for why you live or rather the purpose of your existence.

Traditionally it is a Japanese philosophy that says it isn’t something that one should seek. It is something that should happen. It states the higher purposes of life, to pursue something greater than what you imagined, to have a more meaningful aim to achieve in life.

In simple terms, to do something sentient and real which will add value in your life. One should stop doing things that won’t increase the worth of one’s living five or ten years down the line. For example, suppose there’s a student who is preparing for a master’s degree and rather than studying. In that case, he’s scrolling through Instagram for the day, this time that he has wasted did not add any amount to his present or future, whereas if we see otherwise to a person who is a social media fashion influencer and has been endlessly scrolling Instagram is because it is their passion which would lead to more creative and fun ideas that would add value to his work and will help him grow.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a well-known author and a psychology professor, says, “The purpose of life as far as I can tell… is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.

It’s actually quite simple to understand this. All he meant to say is that boredom or sudden decisions or some incidences which currently feel huge actually might have a much lower impact. Trying to improvise and practice good out of it will create an impact sooner or later. It likewise depends on habits; one just needs a start and a reason for doing something.

The western version of Ikigai is somewhat different from the traditional ones. It displays four main qualities. First, what are you good at, second, what the world needs, third, what you can be paid for, and fourth what you love. This is explained by a Venn diagram.

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

The center where all the four quality circles overlap is Ikigai.

These questions enable one to think about what they can do better than the rest of the world, to look beyond everyone else’s imagination or beyond what the world picturizes, to see things in a way that could be done by you without any complain or boredom, i.e., Follow your passion without stopping, to earn from what you’re best at and explore regions which could lead you closer to your goals.

According to the Venn diagram, passion comes at the intersection of what you love and what you are good at. The mission is the intersection of what you love and what the world needs. At the intersection of what the world needs and what you get paid for is your vocation. Lastly, at the intersection of what you are good at and what you are paid for is your profession.

So, what exactly is the difference between the traditional and western Ikigai?

Well, there isn’t any major difference except for the fact that in today’s era, we describe Ikigai with the help of a Venn diagram. Historically, it was mentioned as a self-pursuit and something to benefit others, whereas, in the modern era, it links social dimensions to personal pursuits. It describes passion, profession, vocation, and mission, which brings a sense of fulfillment in a person.

Ikigai – The Book Reviewed

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life is a book written by Hector Puigcerver, who moved to Japan in the early 2000s and became fascinated with Japanese culture.

He elaborated the philosophical perspective, i.e., the Ikigai diagram, and explained how one could try to determine or find their own Ikigai. One could bring about different changes in their lives by understanding the four spheres of interest based on their personal experiences, knowledge, and understandings of the world. Some things that could be categorized under a sphere could come easily to you, whereas some might take time and self-realization, but ultimately, you’d be able to figure it out.

The diagram is made with a purpose so that you can clarify your thoughts and understand where you stand. It would help you make necessary adjustments in your life and probably will help you find your Ikigai.

Finding your Ikigai is of much importance, and it is simple to do so! Just analyze your day and picture an ideal day that you expect. Search for things that could help you meet your practical and visual day and work accordingly. Repeat the positive things until they help you find your Ikigai and make those little changes a habit.

Finding your Ikigai doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll like everything that’s happening around you or in your career. It means that you’re starting to accept not-so-loving or the not-so-perfect parts of life. This is because you’ve now started to do things in a way you love with all your interest which brings happiness to your life.

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Why Do We At Book A Workshop Recommend This Book?

Apart from the circle of interests and philosophical perspective, the book gives certain real-life lessons which could help you develop yourself into a better version of yourself. It makes you question yourself and your habits. The author elaborates certain concepts with examples which gives a clear understanding of the concept.

We believe it will help you find your happiness and joy in things that left you feeling stressed or sick. It may be in your personal or professional life. It will help you to find a deeper level of meaning in your life and will reason out why and how of anything.

There need not be a huge change in life, but even the slightest positive thing can make a big difference if it improves your work life or personal self.

The author states that the book is gaining more mainstream attraction now because people, especially the younger generation, are looking for a more meaningful life and a better future perspective from today.

At Book A Workshop, you’ll come across certain learnings which might seem known but, when implemented in life, could bring out a definite result. There are various DIY kits available that will help you explore your hobbies and passion. Our blogs and videos are made in a way that will give you an insight into new and interesting content and ideas.

I hope you read and learn more and bring out a positive change in you!

“…embracing the joy of little things, being in the here and now, reflecting on past happy memories, and having a frame of mind that one can build a happy and active life.” – Ikigai Tribe, 2009.

Go find and embrace your Ikigai!

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