Ikigai

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Title: Ikigai; The secret of the Japanese to have a long life and a happy life

Authors: Hector Garcia, Francis Miralles

Translator: Zohreh Masti

Publisher: Afarineh

Subject: Longevity / quality of life / happiness

Age category: Adult

Number of pages: 127

Language: Farsi

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Description

Ikigai is one of the valuable books that teaches us the secret of longevity with health and happiness. This book is written using scientific studies and various objective examples, and therefore its lessons and teachings can be trusted.

In this article, we are going to talk about the Ikigai book and learn the most important points and lessons of this book together. If you are also looking for a happy and long life and you want to be more resilient to the hardships of the times, stay with us until the end of this article.

Introducing the book Ekiga by Frances Miralles
There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Once you are active, you will live to be a hundred years old.”
According to the Japanese, everyone has an “ikiga”: a reason to live. And finding the “igiga” is the key to a happier and longer life, according to villagers in Japan with the longest-lived people in the world.

Having a strong sense of “ikiga” – where passion, mission, craft and art intersect – means that every day is full of meaning.
This is why we wake up in the morning, and it is also the reason why many Japanese never really retire (in fact, there is no word in Japanese that means retirement). They are always active and working on what they are interested in, because they have found a real purpose in life: happiness means always being busy!
To research the book, Frances Miralles interviewed residents of a village in Japan – one of the world’s blue areas – with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds.

Ikigai reveals the secrets of their longevity and happiness: how they eat, move, work, how to strengthen cooperation and social life, and – their secret – how they find Ikigai that satisfies them. Becomes life. With this book, Frances Miralles provides practical tools to help you discover your igiga. Is there anyone who does not want to experience everyday happiness ?!

Summary of the book Ekiga by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
What should we do to have a long life and a healthy life? Is it really possible to live more than 100 years in today’s world?

Ekiga is one of the best personal growth books to help you taste true happiness and live a life full of joy and peace. If you want to find out the secret of longevity, join us until the end of this article.
All human beings love longevity and a healthy life, but when we look closely at communities, we see that there is no news of longevity and health. Many elderly people struggle with various diseases and are not satisfied with their lives.

Okinawa; Center for the highest elderly and healthy people
Ikiga’s author Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles are both from Spain but have spent part of their lives in Japan. One day a question occupied the minds of these two people and they decided to find the answer to this question through research. Their question was:

What parts of the world do people live the longest in? What is the reason for this longevity? What are the commonalities between the people of the long-lived areas? These questions prompted Garcia and Miralles to begin their research.

They first tried to find places in the world where people lived long. They reached several points where Okinawa, a region in Japan, is home to the most healthy and elderly people.
The two writers decided to stay in Okinawa for a while to discover the secret of the Okinawan people’s longevity. One of the reasons Ikiga’s book is so authoritative is that its authors have not witnessed the story from afar. They themselves traveled to Okinawa to conduct close and face-to-face research.

An amazing thing about Okinawa
It is interesting to know that the Okinawa region left many dead and wounded in World War II, but its people are still very happy and a significant number of them live more than a hundred years.

The point that the two writers realized after spending some time with the people of Okinawa was that they were people of forgiveness. They are going through hardships and difficulties and have no desire to maintain the status quo at all.
Many countries go through years of recession and depression after the war, but the Okinawa region does not have such a characteristic at all, and therefore its people always live a happy, long and stress-free life.

The two authors of this book learned many lessons during their stay in Okinawa, and through research, they proved the correctness of these lessons and points. Here are some of these lessons:

The most important lessons of the Ekigai book
Many people think that in order to have a healthy and long life, they need to have a proper diet and feel that only this factor helps their longevity.

In Ekiga’s book, however, we find that there are many factors that are more important than a healthy diet. In the continuation of this part of the article, we will mention some of the important lessons of the Ekigai book:

Lesson 1: What does Ekigai mean?
The word Ikigai means purpose and meaning of life. In fact, everyone has their own igiga, and this igiga causes a person to get out of bed with enthusiasm every day. In fact, if every human being can find this meaning and purpose in his own life, he can lead a happier life. In the book Ekigai we read:

The common denominator for all igigaeans is that they follow their igiga no matter what happens. They never give up and surrender, even when everything is against them and they face obstacles in a row.

Another meaning of ikiga is that happiness is in “always being busy”. A happy person is not someone who has little to do or does not go hand in hand at home and constantly hear the sound of text messages depositing money from his iPhone 12 Pro Max smartphone.
The people of Okinawa are people who work from morning till night. Always busy and moving in the direction of Ekiga makes them have a happy and long life. If we want to provide a complete definition of igiga, we must say:

Ekiga is the crossroads of mission, passion, profession and expertise.

In fact, if you want to find the meaning of your life, you have to consider your interests in these four issues. To find out your interests in mission, passion, profession and expertise, you need to ask yourself the following four questions:

What do you like?
In what areas do you do well and have high efficiency?
What are you currently being paid for?
What does the world need now?
By finding the answers to these questions and thinking about these answers, you can gradually find your igiga. If you are lucky and find the meaning of your life and then pursue this meaning with calmness and enthusiasm, you will both achieve your goals and you can be a happy and lively person and enjoy the gift of longevity with health.

Lesson two: either stress or longevity; Choose one

One of the issues that Ekiga’s book addresses is that stress does not have to do well with longevity and a happy life. Stress loves disease and short life.

So if you are looking for a happy and long life, you need to let go of stress. The people of Okinawa are hardworking people but they do not have moderate stress and they do their work from morning to night, calmly and motivated and without any stress. In the book Ekigai we read:

Many people look older than they really are. Many studies have been done on the cause of this phenomenon. These studies show that stress plays a very important role in this regard.

Another problem of modern humans is that they like to act according to the wishes and opinions of others. They do not pay attention to the voice of their heart at all and only think of satisfying others.

As long as you think about satisfying others, you will not achieve true happiness and joy. We live in this world once and we have to move in this life according to the path that we recognize and like. Satisfying others is one of the main roots of stress and stress is the root of many diseases.

Lesson 3: Forget about doing multiple things at once

One of the problems that is common in today’s society, but is considered the enemy of human concentration and health, is doing several things at the same time, which is also called multitasking.

The people of Okinawa do not do that at all. They are staunch advocates of doing one thing at a time, so they do not experience any stress at work.

Doing several things at the same time also reduces human concentration; Hence it is said that to increase concentration, do one thing at a time.
Interestingly, the people of Okinawa strive to do all their work patiently and without any stress. This method helps them to have a calm and disease-free life and grow old while being healthy.

So if you are looking for longevity and health, be sure to eliminate multitasking from your life. Studies show that doing multiple things at the same time reduces a person’s productivity by 60% and their IQ by 10% in the long run.

Lesson 4: Remove retirement from your vocabulary

Retirement undoubtedly causes many problems for human beings and causes them many physical problems. Consider a person retiring at age 60.

Until this age, he has been active, dynamic, and capable, and he has worked and tried for 12 hours during the day, but when he retires, it is no longer the same as before, and this decrease in mobility provides the ground for all kinds of diseases. .
The people of Okinawa do not have the word “retirement” in their language, and it’s completely meaningless to them. These people are busy from morning to night and do not sit down at all, and this factor causes them to be always active and the disease does not enter their body.

If you want to have a long life with a happy life, try to work and work all your life, but do things with patience and calmness. It does not destroy your work, and it is stress that destroys every creature.

Lesson 5: Secrets of Longevity (Over 100 Years)
Those who want to live a long life and at the same time be healthy, have a healthy body and be mentally active and dynamic, should follow the following five secrets mentioned in the book Ekiga in their lives:

Do not worry. Worry is one of our greatest enemies; Because it creates stress and destroys our abilities one after another. So if you are looking for a long life, put the worry aside.
Develop good habits and promote them among others. Another important thing that each of us must do is cultivate good habits in ourselves. To cultivate good habits and eliminate bad habits from life, various books have been written, of which Atomic Habits is one of the best. When you succeed in creating a good habit in your life, be sure to cultivate it among your friends and relatives so that they too can enjoy this gift.
The third secret of longevity is to improve social relationships and relationships with friends. One of the most important things that people should do in their lives is to improve social relationships and especially to improve relationships with friends. If you are looking for a happy and long life, improve your relationships with friends and make time to communicate with these people every day.
Live without haste. Today’s world is full of hurry and anxiety, but what is all this hurry and anxiety really about? If we can bring order and planning to our lives and are always working, trying, working and serving all kinds of people in these days of life, there is no room for haste. Many people’s problems are due to their lack of interest in planning
Be optimistic. If you really want to have a good and happy life, bring optimism into your life. Try to be optimistic about the realities of life and the future and know that good things will happen to you. Wealth Law is one of the best books to give you optimism.
Lesson 6: Increase your physical activity
One of the most important things to do in your life is to try to increase your physical activity. One of the great secrets of a long and healthy life in the Okinawa area is that its people never give up. They are constantly trying, but their effort is accompanied by physical activity.

Sitting-related activities cause a lot of problems for people, which is why experts say that those who are employees and do their work while sitting, should make exercise a major part of their lives and exercise for 60 to 75 minutes a day. The following is an excerpt from Ekiga’s book:
After 30 minutes of sitting, the human body’s metabolism is reduced by 90%. Enzymes that carry bad fat from the arteries to the muscles are slowed down.

When bad fats enter the muscles, humans begin to metabolize them. After sitting for two hours, good blood cholesterol drops by 20%. If the person only gets up for 5 minutes, everything will return to normal and will be done correctly. These issues are so simple that no one pays much attention to them.

If you are looking for a long life and a happy life, find your igiga
Many people always talk about their desire to have a long life and a happy life, but their actions are not in line with this interest. There is nothing better than igiga for longevity.

Ekiga gives meaning to your life and makes you always strive for happiness. If you enjoyed this article, it is recommended that you read the article in the book Four Works by Florence Scowell Sheen. This book is full of lessons and tips that will take the stress away from you and give you happiness.

Ekiga’s book, which explores the mysteries of the Japanese people in living a happy and long life, by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, has been published by Third Edition.
The authors of the book say: The original design of this book was formed on a rainy night in Tokyo. When the two writers first met in a small coffee shop.

We had read each other’s writings before, but thankfully we had not seen each other so far between Barcelona and the Japanese capital.

A mutual acquaintance provided us with the opportunity to meet, and this was the beginning of a friendship that resulted in the formation of our work, and I think this friendship will continue for the rest of our lives.

Our next meeting took place a year later in a park in downtown Tokyo. We walked together and talked about Western psychological trends, especially semantic therapy that helps people find their purpose in life.

What is the meaning of my life?
Is the only goal to make life longer or do I have to think of more goals?

Why are some people aware of their purpose in life but others are depressed and confused?

We used the wonderful word ekigai several times during our conversations. The Japanese concept of igiga means that happiness is always about being busy, like meaning therapy, but one step ahead.

This seems to be one of the reasons for the longevity of the Japanese, especially the inhabitants of Okinawa. Out of every one hundred thousand people, two thousand four hundred and fifty-five people live more than one hundred years, which is much higher than the world average.
Researchers working on the reasons for the longevity of these people compared to other parts of the world have concluded that the most important factor in addition to a proper diet is a simple outdoor lifestyle, green tea, subtropical climate; The same ikiga concept that runs through the lives of Okinawa residents.

What exactly is the concept of igiga and how can we achieve it?
Surprisingly, this paradise of eternal life is exactly where it left 200,000 dead at the end of World War II. However, Okinawans are not hostile to strangers and live according to Icharo Bachud’s principle, with a local meaning: Treat everyone like a brother, even someone you have met for the first time.

Growing friendships, eating habits, adequate rest, and regular, gentle exercise are all part of their health. But in all of them, the heart of the passion for life, or ikiga, is found, which is the motivation of people over a hundred years old to constantly celebrate their birthdays and joys.

The purpose of writing this book is to know the secret of Japanese longevity and to show ways to find igiga. Because those who discover their igiga will get everything for the long and happy journey of life.

In a part of Ekiga’s book we read:
A common monotonous behavior about the Japanese is that they are extraordinarily self-sacrificing and hardworking, although some Japanese people admit that they seem overly hardworking.

Of course, there is no doubt that they are very capable people with high concentration and a lot of perseverance and persistence until the problem is solved. One of the first words you learn in Japanese is Gan Baro, meaning to work hard or persevere.

Japanese people often persevere even for simple tasks that seem obsessive.
This issue is observed in different contexts; From retirees working rice paddies in the Nagano Mountains to students working shifts over the weekend at chain stores called Conbinis. If you travel to Japan, you will find this in everything from the beginning.

If you walk into one of the handicraft shops in Naha, Kanazawa or Kyoto, you will find that Japan is a treasure trove of traditional handicrafts. The Japanese people have a special talent for preserving their traditional methods and arts as they create new technologies.

Introduction: Ekigai: An amazing word
The original design of this book, Rainy Night, was formed in Tokyo; When we writers first got together in one of the town’s small cafes.

We had read each other’s writings before, but we had never seen each other because of the thousands of miles between Barcelona and the Japanese capital. Later, a mutual acquaintance arranged for us to meet, and this was the beginning of a friendship and companionship that seems to continue until the end of our lives; And this project was formed as a result.
The next time we met, a year later, we walked together in a downtown park and talked about Western psychological trends; Especially about logotherapy (1), which helps people find their purpose in life.

Related books

1- Introducing the book  on YouTube

2- Introducing the book  in Aparat

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