IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life


Ikigai is a book written By HECTOR GARCIA and FRANCESC MIRALLES.

Introduction to the Book

Ikigai book unfolds the secret to a happy and purposeful life everyone wish for. And how can we achieve it by converting our passion into profession.

We all want to be happy but the majority of us have no idea what to do. Should we focus on making more money? Should we focus on pursuing our passions? Or Should we give up all of our material possessions and become a monk in the mountains? Everyone seems to have a different take on it. So I am going to give you a definite answer by a proven formula. This formula has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years of the formula for happiness.

See the Japanese have a concept called IKIGAI which roughly translates into a reason for being. And for you to be happy you need to spend your time doing something with Ikigai. You need to have a purpose for being here. But this is easier said than done. Because there are four components that you need to check off to achieve Ikigai. And without all four you will never truly be happy. 

The First component

The first component is that it needs to be something that you love. We all have things that make us feel good. Things that make us stop thinking for short periods. To just be present and aware of what’s happening right now in front of us the more technical people will call this flow state. But the majority of us call it love. That’s why so many of us enjoy the arts, drawing, dancing, singing, reading. Because it takes us into the state of bliss. Where we feel good and are focused on the task in front of us. That’s why some of us fall in love with one another. Because being with that person allows us to forget about all the other problems in our lives, at least momentarily.

I don’t need to get into too much detail about this component. Because we know in our gut when we truly love to do something it’s a feeling that we humans share. 

The Second component

The second component for Ikigai is a little bit more tricky. It needs to be something that the world needs to see we’ve been hardwired to feel good. When we know that we’re needed in a community back in the day when we were hunters and gatherers. This was easy, everyone played an important part. The cook was just as important as the hunter, the Builder was just as important as the caretaker. 

Back then, whenever you put in work you could see the immediate positive effects your efforts had on others. But this is not the case nowadays. Most of us work in offices being given small roles in a massive company. Where even if we work our butts off it is hard to see the positive effects. Our work has on the rest of the world it feels like our work is not helping anyone. It feels like if we quit our job one day no one would even care. Because, to be honest, nothing would change; you need to find something that you can do that will create a visibly positive effect on those around you.

The Third component

The third component is that it needs to be something that you can get paid well for now. Some of you are automatically going to think something like Oh! you don’t need money to be happy, but let’s be real. Money is what puts a roof over your head, food in your mouth and clothes on your body. Without enough of it, you are going to spend the majority of your time stressed out of your mind wondering how you are going to get by and it is not enough to just be making some money. You need to be getting paid well enough to live a comfortable life. So it depends on where you live.

The Fourth Component

The fourth and final component you need to have to achieve Ikigai is that it needs to be something that you are good at. Now, this does not mean that you need to be born with talent, this means that you can put in the time and effort to get better at the skill.

Let us say, for example, you want to become a motivational speaker. When you first get started you are terrible, you have stage fright, or you forget what you are supposed to say but over time as you practice more and more you start to overcome these obstacles, you start getting applause from the audience that’s what it means to be good at something. But to be able to overcome obstacles and improve at this skill this overcoming of obstacles creates a very satisfying feeling inside of you which is why it is such a crucial component of Ikigai.

What do we get from Ikigai?

Now the interesting thing about this Japanese formula is that you can tell where you are in life and what you need to work on by looking at the components you have so far if all you have is something that you love and are good at, then you have what is called a passion. People who fall into this category are all aspiring singers and aspiring artists the main thing stopping you from being happy is the fact that you are not getting paid enough for your skills. Nobody seems to notice your talent if you find yourself in this category then you need to focus on marketing yourself so that you can start getting paid well. On the other hand, if you have something that you love and you can see how the world needs it then you have what’s called a mission.

A lot of people who fall into this category are amateur bloggers and activists who talk about things like saving the planet or going vegan. These are people who want to see a positive change in the world but unfortunately, they are not good enough at speaking persuasion or writing to be able to convince people to join their cause. If you are in this category, then you need to focus on getting better at your craft. Figuring out how to convince people instead of just stating your opinion loudly. 

Improve yourself

Now if you’re someone who has something you get paid well for and are good at then you have what most people in the world have which is a profession that boring nine-to-five job that pays the bills what’s stopping you from happiness is the fact that you don’t love your work or see how any of this can make a difference in the world. If you find yourself in this category then you need to try out new things and figure out what it is that you truly love doing and finally if you get paid well and it’s something that you know, can help the world then you have what’s called a vocation.

A good example of vocational professors, they get paid decently well and their job does have a positive effect on the world. They’re raising the future generation but they often fall into the bad habit of teaching the same things every single year which stalls their improvement. If you find yourself in this category the main thing you need to make sure you have is that you are getting better at your job constantly challenging yourself to improve. 


To be genuinely happy with your life you need to achieve Ikigai. You need to be spending your time doing something that you love that you can get better at, that pays well and that the world needs. You will always feel like you’re missing something inside of you. One of the best resources out there that you can use to achieve Ikigai is Skillshare. Skillshare has over 25,000 courses teaching you about a wide variety of topics covering things like photography, drawing, productivity business and much more. It’s the perfect place for you to go if you’re someone who is trying to figure out what they love or if you’re someone who is trying to get good at their craft. 

So from today itself, turn over a new leaf, convert your passion into a profession and achieve your IKIGAI. 

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