Author: Hector Garcia, Francesc Miralles
Genre: Nonfiction, Self help
It was not difficult to bump into Ikigai. At one point, this was the first book I would look at in every book store I visited. The word “Ikigai” became much discussed and appeared in a lot of articles. The book name jumped out at me from any list of must-read books that I came across. The final trigger point, when I knew I have to buy the book, was when my Japanese language teacher was teaching us hiragana (one of the three Japanese scripts) and wrote “Ikigai” in Hiragana for us to read it.
Three Reasons why I wanted to read Ikigai
Firstly, I am intrigued by the goldmine of wisdom and knowledge that different cultures around the world have to offer. There’s always something to learn from people different than us.
Secondly, being really health conscious I am always on the lookout for getting enlightened about best practices to follow for a healthy and balanced life.
Lastly, the book talks about the Japanese concept of Ikigai. Who doesn’t obsess about knowing what their Ikigai is, that one skill that we can earn from, which we also enjoy doing and at the same time that adds value to the world. This book seemed promising to help me discover my calling.
IKIGAI: BOOK REVIEW
Wouldn’t Ikigai book review be unfinished without talking about what this Japanese word means? Ikigai means a reason for being, a sense of purpose, a realization of what one expects and hopes for or the soul purpose. The book more than meets the expectations in helping one show the way to uncovering one’s Ikigai! It discusses some very fascinating concepts of achieving a state of flow, wabi-sabi or the impermanence of the world around us, and living in the moment. The anecdotes shared throughout are inspiring and add credence to the principles discussed in the book. The best part about Ikigai is that every concept is accompanied by how, why and what.
All the multi-taskers out there, take pride in juggling between activities? Well, that might not be the best practice, after all. And the book presents a plausible rationale behind it.
The overall vibes of the book are very easy and nice. Without sounding preachy or dominating, the authors present 10 tenets to implement in life to discover your Ikigai. These principles constitute most of the aspects of life, and lead the way to overall well being: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
Having said that, I feel the authors’ firsthand experiences of the Japanese culture and interviews with the Okinawa natives in the book looked unfinished. Though there is no lack of narrations of encounter with the Japanese culture and people, just that they appeared a bit superficial and in lesser detail.
LESSONS LEARNT FROM IKIGAI
I was hoping that after reading the book, I will precisely know what my Ikigai is, but that didn’t happen. I am still pretty clueless. However, by following the lessons learned in the book, I have a greater conviction that I will discern what my calling is. I acquired a lot of ideas that I plan to implement in my life, like spend time doing activities that lead to mental and physical well being, keep it simple, continuously work on interests, stay away from squandering time and eat well. Also, do more of what I love! Start small, but start right away.
The book has also alleviated my apprehensions about not knowing my calling. You know, that feeling when you do things (daily chores, jobs) day in and day out, without having much liking for it. Ikigai has assisted me on that plane. I’ll take the small steps towards finding my ikigai but at the same time derive joy from everything that I do even if I don’t have much liking for it. Well, easy to say. Now comes the bigger challenge of actually implementing all this in my life. Phew!
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Happy Reading. Chao!
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