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My Review of the Book Ikigai

I picked this book because it was on a list I found somewhere. It’s a book about the paths to find your purpose, written about many times in various ways. Living your purpose then leads to a very long life.

I am giving it a four out of five.

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means your ‘reason for being.’ ‘Iki’ in Japanese means ‘life,’ and ‘gai’ describes value or worth. Your ikigai is your life purpose or your bliss. It brings you joy and inspires you to get out of bed every day.

Synopsis of the book

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai—where what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs all overlap—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life—the happiness of always being busy.

Finding your purpose, according to the book, is, in part, about doing the basics. (Although most of us won’t because basics are boring, not sexy, and not quick enough for our microwave society.)

This includes well-known and universally accepted tips for maintaining good health and well-being. Some of these tips are staying active, doing at least light exercise, eating healthy, avoiding stress and finding ways to relieve it, getting sufficient sleep, staying positive, and incorporating more positivity in life. All of these points are elaborated in detail with examples and proof of studies to help you understand the importance of each one.

I don’t know that the book tied longevity with purpose as well as it could have. The book seemed a bit disjointed.

However, I did give it a four because it made me think about my life now. I am grateful that I can slow down. Steve has been home for three months, and we’ve settled into a nice routine. There are days that the unexpected happens, but they are rare. But for the most part, we know what to expect with our routine – not so much with transverse myelitis. I’m no longer working in a nonprofit, and I am unsure I want to return. If not, what is my purpose beyond helping Steve improve?

Three Points That Made Me Think

  • An existential crisis is typical of modern society. This happens when people do what they are told to do or follow the path of others. This causes people to get into mind-numbing jobs, doom scrolling, and settle in relationships, which in turn can lead to unhealthy ways of coping.
  • Have a clear concrete objective when pursuing your purpose or working on a creation.
  • Lead an unhurried life.

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