Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Aanchal Vandana Kapoor
2 min readOct 7, 2023

This book is themed around having a fulfilling and happy life by having a meaningful purpose that excites us and pulls us through thick and thin.
It gives a fresh and crisp perspective to life, with doable and pragmatic advice. What makes this book stand apart from the other self help books I have read so far is that it focuses on the simple things in life — a meaningful purpose, healthy eating, low intensity tenacious workouts, being one with nature, accepting our thoughts and life as they are, and more.

TLDR: This book explains how to discover the purpose our lives, how to sustain it, and why it’s important.

The essence of Ikigai

There are things the writers mention, which make us think: yes, this is exactly what we were looking for. Things like, “learn to see beauty in imperfections and not in perfection, because imperfect is what Creation is designed to be”. Or “it would be nice if your ideas and efforts are simple — simple here should not be confused with rudimentary but rather be understood as sophisticated, well thought out and avoiding unnecessary complexity”.
As I said before, it puts a lot of emphasis on low intensity exercise. In my own experience, I have seen that it is easier to stick to an exercise routine if it’s (relatively) easy and does not burn us out. Stuff like tai chi, surya namaskars, brisk walks, all go a long way in keeping us fit and happy in the longer term.
Having a purpose in life is the dominant idea in this book, they tell us how we can discover and sustain it. Having a purpose doesn’t have to involve doing big things. Even simple things like good parenting, community service, or even something like cultivating a vegetable patch, could be our purpose, our Ikigai.
I am tempted to write on and on about this book, but I am afraid I could spoil the readers’ joy of reading it. Go ahead peeps, give this book a shot — you can thank me later 😁

The cover