Ikigai by Hector Garcia Puigcerver [Book Summary – Review]

A life that is long, a feeling of aim and intense fulfillment– what happens when these three basic concepts arise from the exact same place?

These book chapters talk about the phenomenon of Ikigai from Japan, which comprises what you live for, your life purpose, and resources for endurance. You will find out the way you could have a lengthy, whole, and joyful life by discovering Ikigai and using a few basic health clues.

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Chapter 1 – The key to longevity is a profound aim in your life.

Do you wish to live a lengthy, whole, and satisfying life? Who doesn’t want that?

The untold way to attain that might only be seen on Okinawa found around southern parts of Japan, where the universe’s top population of centenarians can be found.

Also, the people that live in these islands, the untold things for long life may come down to only a phrase: Ikigai, which closely means to your purpose for life – an inner drive for a certain professional activity.

Also, it can be explained as a connection between four separate elements: what is your passion, where your abilities wait, the way to earn a living, and the things the universe requires. A lot of Japanese assume that everybody possesses Ikigai, in other words, destiny, they were created to achieve.

But, although some people discover their Ikigai fast, other people have to look for it for a long time. Belonging to the latter group, it’s vital to carry on; nevertheless, Ikigai will eventually be what inspires you to leave your bed to wake up.

This is the reason why Okinawans usually realize an inflated grade of concentration and focus on little things throughout the day-to-day work. For example, inside a factory that produces paintbrushes in Okinawa, the writers came across an experienced craftswoman using her whole life mastering the craft of joining sole bristles to brushes. For that time in her profession, she could do this work with remarkable dexterity and ability.

Also, Ikigai is key to endurance. Hence, if you found your Ikigai in your work, you should not retire. Also, if you feel that this Ikigai has an interest that gives you significance and happiness, never quit doing that.

Okinawa people live with these principles and, due to that, stayed dynamic in the older ages. If they would be pressured to retire, they would still look for means to stay active, like gardening or other social activities.

The advantages of this dedication are obvious. Medical research done on centenarians of Okinawa have discovered very small percentages of both dementia and heart disease.

In the following chapter, you’ll discover how precisely an active brain permits endurance.


Chapter 2 – The secret to a long life is an engaged brain active mind as well as low stress.

Any type of doctor can say that a wholesome brain, as well as body, is vital to age with grace; but, in reality, the first is usually disregarded. That kind of prevalent negligence of the brain is a disgrace, as it is as vital for endurance as body health.

As a matter of fact, similar to a seated lifestyle harmfully affects body and feelings, an absence of cognitive functioning deteriorates links of neurons, and this is the reason why it’s significant to work out the mind in various manners. Shlomo Breznitz, the neuroscientist even claims that the old individuals get deprived of mind malleability due to the fact they get stuck in routines and patterns, declining to attempt new activities.

Hence, the way to exercise your brain?

It may really be quite easy; cognitive games, such as cards and chess, would work out. However, if you wish to carry on, leaving outside, connecting others, and encountering social relations are among the greatest workouts you can give your brain.

Avoiding stress is another key to longevity. As a matter of fact, early aging is associated with pressure in scientific research, because stressors create unnecessary abrasion and rupture for the brain and body. For example, in a research that was conducted in Germany, a lot of exhausting occupational interviews were given to an upcoming young doctor, whereby he was told to solve difficult maths functions.

At the time the young doctor’s blood was sampled, it showed that pressures of interviews had brought about the production of antibodies like he was infected with a bacteria or virus. If that kind of danger was there, such a reaction from the immune system is vital to eliminating it–however, antibodies also invade healthy cells, making the body age more quickly than it ought to.

Hence, minimizing stress is a secret to have endurance and that can be done through some favorable means. Just practicing mindfulness, working out, or doing yoga offer you an opportunity to relax and study your brain and body very well.

However, these are just obstructive, extended actions. In the following chapter, you’ll discover the things to embrace if you are stressed that you are near to a complete breakdown.

Chapter 3 – A deep Japanese cure technique known as Morita therapy assists people to reduce stress.

Stress, fatigue, worry; these circumstances are getting more prevalent in contemporary life, and just a small number of people can run away from them. As a matter of fact, Japan is not omitted, and the nation’s occupational lifestyle can really be somewhat intense.

Japan possesses one technique that other nations do not have. It’s known as the Morita cure, and this may assist you to handle stress.

Shoma Morita, a Buddhist psychological therapist, created this cure. Initially, it was made to handle persistent concerns, delusions, as well as compulsions. But, it works perfectly for fatigue and stress as well.

Different from treatments of the West, which have a tendency to concentrate on making use of thinking power to impact emotions and behaviors, in other words, by thinking positively, Morita cure works in the opposite way.

During the Morita cure, people are told to listen to and embrace their sensations, without trying to alter them. From that point, they take certain actions to form new feelings, which slowly substitute the past ones.

Four phases of the cure start with a stage of total rest. For about a week, people stay in bed, with no distraction. She isn’t permitted to use media, accept any guests or talk, and the sole intercourse she has is some mentorship from a psychology therapist. In this phase, the patient basically observes her feelings when they occur and pass.

For the 2nd step, the patient starts to incorporate monotonous exercises into day-day activities. These comprise authoring in a diary, walking, and breathing workouts.

For the 3rd phase, these activities get more bodily and inventive, adding activities such as woodcutting and coloring. Such ranges of tasks create a fresh series of feelings in people; they start to feel happiness, calmness, and involvement.

And lastly, after finishing all the 3 phases, people are prepared for the 4th phase: returning to the planet with a newly discovered feeling of tranquility and aim.

Having a lot of respites and being away from disturbances in this manner is good for your health; however, at a specific point, you’ll have to look for things to concentrate your focus. Ikigai turns back here again, and throughout the following chapter, you’ll discover how.

Chapter 4 – Engaging with an exercise may assist you to stay young.

Assuming you are going down a lovely powderlike hill. Skiing is something you totally love on this planet, and you are in the condition of total, blissful, attentive involvement. You sense like you could carry on with it forever.

Doing that kind of activity could increase your life expectancy.

Attaining that kind of a condition of flow frequently can make one stay teenage. Flow is a scientific word invented during the 1970s, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi a psychologist. It talks about a condition of entertainment and concentration really deeply, therefore, it stops every other worry– even time too.

Looking for activities that create that kind of a condition would boost your entertainment in life and, hence, your longevity. This is the reason why those kinds of experiences have to be given the first place over hedonistic pleasures such as overeating, media entertainment, or substance abuse, which people usually do because they are bored.

Also, flow is shared among various cultures and kinds of people. Due to that, painters, engineers, and chess players, all see themselves in the condition of flow. However, aside from that, that is fine for the brain, because it directs you on a particular item for a constant time. Preferably, Ikigai –which is your actual life profession – will frequently create a condition of flow; however, when it does not, be certain your interests do.

When entering into feeling a condition of flow, it is significant to calibrate the grade of challenge. Nevertheless, if you pick an activity that is really simple, you’ll become bored and unfocused, preventing you from getting flow. Conversely, if your exercise is really difficult, you’ll struggle, become strained and ultimately give up.

Therefore, begin from your place. For example, if you choose to get a second language, begin at a simple level that lightly challenges you. Say you are weary with an ability you possess already, for instance, software coding, you may extend the limits of your understanding, perhaps by learning about another software language. By involving your attention in a fresh, fun manner, you can get flow once more.

Chapter 5 – Some basic guidelines from some past activities may assist you to live a longer life.

You are already aware of some habits that can help enhance your longevity; however, eventually, no one understands the way to have a long existence greater than the people who are really living one. Therefore, let’s examine the recommendation of centenarians from Okinawa.

The initial clue these old people suggest has been that you should not worry and make it an attitude to greet other people, even people you don’t know, with a candid heart. With this, they claim that you’ll keep a lot of friendships all through your life and your descendants wish to come and see you regularly. That kind of continuous incitement would make you remain young.

Aside from that, they give a warning that worrying too much about anything you cannot do something about just brings about pointless stress. For example, being worried that you do not have skills or could not have a really successful career will just drain your liveliness. Rather, the centenarians cleverly recommend to you to appreciate the things you possess. By doing that, they claim, you’ll possibly know you have beyond what you thought.

However, eliminating anxiety is not the sole advice from centenarians for long life; the growth of great routines is another piece of advice.

For example, getting up at early hours is mainly a routine; after having that for some time, it starts to occur spontaneously. Aside from that, waking up an hour early will offer you more hours of silence to have your tea, brush your home and attend in the garden.

Finally, particularly significantly, as centenarians from Okinawa accept the main cause of endurance, they plant vegetables and make their meals themselves. This is very reasonable since a farm-to-fork diet is really healthy.

Lastly, maybe the most significant routine for endurance is enjoying and keeping your friendships. Knowing this, Okinawans use time talking with people in the near houses daily.

Chapter 6 – Magical diet of the Okinawans considers diversity and little servings.

The diet of the Japanese has been observed for several years, since the time Japanese are started to be regarded as people with the highest life expectancy. In Okinawa province, people endure even more. To determine the reason why that is the case, a heart expert in Okinawa at Ryukyus University, known as Makoto Suzuki, conducted research on the eating habits of Okinawan people, starting around 1970. This was what he discovered:

First and foremost, their eating habits have a remarkable diversity of foods. Natives of this place have about 206 various nutrients on a daily basis, as well as spices and herbs. For example, daily, they consume five different types of vegetables and fruits. They want to know that they’re having sufficient variety by making sure that their plates have the entire colors like a rainbow.

As a result of this variety, this diet might be efficient, and otherwise pretty straight. Grains are the foundations of this diet, such as noodles and rice, whereas seasonings such as sugar and salt are utilized in small quantities. As a matter of fact, Okinawans consume 60% less sweet and 50% less salty compared to other Japanese inhabitants, who already consume meals that are quite healthy by worldwide standards.

Hence, the variety is vital; however, little plates are vital as well. To stick to this second part, Okinawan people explain that you have to quit having your meal when you have reached 80% fulfillment; meaning, you have to stay with a bit of an empty stomach.

There is a term for this idea in the language of Japan. It is known as HaraHachiBu, and the easy means to accomplish it consists of refraining from desserts or decreasing the plate dimensions.

To do the last one, Okinawan people usually serve their meal with little plates, small servings of miso, rice, vegetables, and a little snack, like beans.

These people are automatically aware that consuming less food is great for your health, and contemporary science has truly verified the advantages of cal. decrease. By consuming lesser cal., you may curb the grade of the protein called insulin increase factor 1. At the time a lot of such protein is present, the body gets older faster. Due to that, having less food directly links to endurance.

Chapter 7 – Foods that are rich in antioxidants are vital for rejuvenation as well as long life.

In current years, superfoods have made a big boom in the world, transforming the manner in which people regard eating as a cure. There have been Japanese kinds of superfoods you would not like to miss.

Green tea is the first, anti-aging drink that has lots of antioxidants.

Current studies have discovered that this drink, which is very common around Okinawa, has been a strong booster of endurance. Different from other kinds, green tea has been dried in the open air and it is unfermented. As a result of that, it keeps elements lively, as well as antioxidants, and reduces bad cholesterol, controls blood sugar, increases circulation, and fights off infection as well.

Okinawans put jasmine in green tea to even make this miracle drink stronger. This herb boosts cardiovascular well-being and enhances immune function.

However, green tea cannot be for everybody. If you like a substitute, try white tea – it really has more antioxidants.

However, can we name a superfood from Okinawa that we really have a taste of?

You have to look no more than Shikuwasa, being citrus that is a different antioxidant-high favorite of Okinawan people. That fruit is a traditional fruit in Japan and it is a really acidic fruit. Its juice has to be added some more water before drinking it.

It owns a high amount of nobiletin, which is a shrub substance that mainly has lots of antioxidants. Although other kinds of citrus, such as oranges and lemons, nobiletin, Shikuwasa have 40 multiples than a normal orange. Due to that, this fruit is very common around Okinawa, there, it is utilized as a substance in some normal meals and used to bake cakes.

You may obtain a difficult time accessing this citrus from Japan. If that’s the case, don’t bother. Just attempt other types of citrus, or try salmon, broccoli, apricots, or strawberries, these also have lots of antioxidants.

Chapter 8 – Exercising, even in basic kinds, is a vital part of endurance.

Did you encounter people that are older who looked like they had a lot of power regardless of their age? Probabilities are that this energy is coming from being active for the whole life, and the reason for them to be this old.

As a matter of fact, movement, generally, is vital to having a lengthy and satisfying life, this does not need to be very extreme either; studying the dwellers of Okinawa recommends that sports, as well as being fit, are less vital than a basic, regular exercise.

For example, the elders of Okinawan people go out for walking, like gardening, and go to karaoke bars as well. The secret to their movement isn’t its intensity; however, it is not stopping for once

However, when you do not wish to do it, think of what contemporary science says:

As stated by Gavin Bradley, a health expert, sitting adversely affects your well-being. He discovered that after only 30 minutes sitting, metabolism reduces, obstructing the good ingestion of fat. Also, sitting for more than two hours reduces good cholesterol.

But, only five minutes each 30 minutes is enough to balance these consequences; despite that, the majority of office employees disregard such an issue.

Also, Okinawans take part in a coordinated kind of workout. It’s known as Radio Taiso, and that is a simple warm-up popular for people from Okinawa and Japan as a whole.

It’s done around morning or in the entire day, usually in big groups. It’s really popular, and specific schools, companies, and elder people’s homes in Okinawa come together for working out.

Initially, this exercise was even broadcasted on the radio, therefore the “radio” found in the name. However, nowadays, the majority of people look for their day-day exercise on TV or the Internet.

These workouts themselves are basic and direct. For example, one exercise is to raise your hands up before taking them down with a circular movement. The purpose is only slowly warming joints as well as muscles of shoulders and arms.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia Puigcerver Book Review

Enduring, and living a joyful and well as healthy life relies on eating properly and doing lots of workouts; however, longevity goes beyond that kind of basic day-day practice. By discovering an aim that motivates you daily, you can concentrate your power and prolong your years in life.

Relax with imperfection’s beauty.

Within Japanese, there is a view that just objects that are imperfect objects such as broken teacups, maybe really beautiful. This view is called wabi-sabi, this may assist you to get more fulfillment from daily life. Hence, attempt to get rid of the search for excellence that is really popular and embrace the beauty in the entire imperfections of life. The outcome will be more power, less pressure, as well a longer life.

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I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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