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Health and wellness

Reason for living – read Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life to find the spark that ignites your spirit

Authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles’ charming little book may not be packed with surprises but is definitely worth the time it will take you to enjoy a cup or two of green tea as you digest its useful contents

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 6:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 6:31pm

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Penguin Books

3.5/5 stars

Ikigai, loosely translated from the Japanese as “reason for living”, encourages us to discover ours by reflecting on what we find at the intersection of our passion, our mission, our profession and our vocation.

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In Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles travel to Ogimi, a rural town of 3,000 people in Okinawa, Japan. Ogimi is one of the world’s five heralded “Blue Zones”, places noted for their large populations of long-livers – and by long we mean older than age 90 and even up to 110.

To what do these simple, joyous and healthy people attribute the gift of their old age? Their secrets are not necessarily surprising, but definitely worth the time it will take you to enjoy a cup or two of green tea as you digest this small, charming book.

Advice includes: nurture friendships; be part of a larger community; eat lightly; slow down and live in the moment; smile and be optimistic; reconnect with nature; give thanks; and keep your mind and body active – not exercise, necessarily, but more like finding joy in the small acts of everyday living.

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And most important, find your ikigai, the spark that ignites your spirit and can light the way to a long and happy life.