The Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Read StudyStream’s book summary of Ikagi: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.

The Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Do you want to find out the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life? Are you looking for a self-help book with ancient teachings that guide you toward a life full of happiness and value? If you are, read StudyStream’s book summary of Ikagi: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.

What is Ikagi?

Ikagi is a Japanese term that means “the reason for your existence or the art of living.” This book explores the meaning of Ikagi, the rules, and how they can be applied to your everyday life. The purpose of this book is to encourage you to live a long, happy, and purposeful life. Our Ikagi is different for all of us because we all have different life experiences and expectations but the one universal thing we all search for is meaning.

The 10 Rules of Ikigai

There are ten rules of Ikigai, stay active and don’t retire, take it slow, don’t fill your stomach, surround yourself with good people, get in shape for your next birthday, smile, reconnect with nature, give thanks, live in the moment and follow your ikigai.

The themes of Ikigai are looking after your spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Following your passion and your true calling in life is also a main component of Ikigai. “One thing that everyone with a clearly defined ikigai has in common is that they pursue their passion no matter what.” Pursuing and nurturing your Ikigai every day will bring meaning to your life and set you on the right path toward your goals and dreams.

Lessons from the book

The first lesson from the book that should be used in this summary is that finding a reason to wake up in the morning is what Ikigai is all about. “Iki” means life and “gai” in Japanese means value. Finding your purpose and value is important and you can find this by asking yourself the following questions. What are my strengths? What are my passions?  How could I earn a living doing what I love? What does the world need?

The second lesson from the book is that elders know best. In Japanese culture, seniors have the wisdom to share and it is our job to listen to them. Okinawan elders have advice about wellbeing that the younger generation follows. The one tip you should follow is to “worry as little as possible.” The idea they teach is that life should be savored and you must take your time and not stress too much about having everything figured out right away. They simply say that you should focus on enjoying the life you have and connect with everything and everyone around you.

The third lesson from the book is to keep moving to stay healthy. Longevity and health are not necessarily only about going for a run or playing a sport. The best way to stay healthy, both for the mind and body is through movement. Okinawans strive to add exercise to their daily lives in small and simple ways. Even if it’s just lifting their arms and legs when watching TV or going for a walk in the morning when the sun comes up and again when the sun sets.

Wisdom from the book

There are some wonderful nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout this book. One, in particular, is the “key to happiness is to celebrate each day, together and in local Spiritual ways.” The root of Ikigai is to find your bliss and connect with your spirituality, in whatever way you feel suits you, this could include daily meditation or prayer, yoga or simply giving thanks. Another lovely quote from the book is “food won’t help you live longer. The secret is smiling and having a good time.”  The key to being happy is to have fun, life doesn’t have to be serious all of the time, you are also here to enjoy every moment. Finally, “the grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

Reasons to read Ikigai: The Secret to a Long and Happy Life

There are many reasons why you should read this book. It will help you find your purpose and give you some much-needed direction in your life if you feel lost, it encourages you to practice introspection and discover what you want and it gives you the real secrets of happiness and how to live your life with joy and gratitude.

Another reason you should read this book is it gives you an intuitive guide on how to approach your health and wellbeing. It motivates you to have a positive attitude and feel at peace with yourself and your life. As the book says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” There are a lot of things that you can’t control in this world but there is one thing you can control, your attitude and outlook on life.


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