Bookreview | Ikigai by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles


jessy the

Jessy The is a tax consultant turned entrepreneur, whose passion is to strengthen your business by providing business and website consultancy. 

Send Jessy an e-mail ( if you have any questions or remarks about the book!

Photo: Carly Wollaert


health, conscious living


Why (not)?

+ Conscious: the book makes you aware of your true calling, raison d’être and/or purpose in life;

+ Cultural: it broadens your vision with Western and Asian perspectives on the way of life;

+ Psychological: the book talks about how to train your mind for the happiest and most love-filled life ever;

- Superficial: although (practical) tips are given in the book, there aren’t enough practical indications on how to find out your true ‘Ikigai’.


What is this book about?

According to the book finding and knowing one’s true purpose in life,is one of the secrets for a happy, healthy and long life. This is the foundation of the Japanese philosophy, ‘Ikigai’. An approach to life which is one of the reasons why Japanese people often have exceptional longevity.

Particularly on the island of Okinawa. On this island there is a ratio of 25:100,000 people older than 100 years old, the so-called ‘Centenarians’. This ratio is much higher than the global average. Besides the philosophy of ‘Ikigai’, having a community, eating foods high in antioxidants, working out in the open air, and the subtropical environment, are also contributors to this astounding ratio.

In our Western culture, the meaning of life can be found through the concept of logotherapy (ogotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans).

Ikigai (“a reason for being”) can be compared to logotherapy, but goes a lot deeper. It is the reason why we live, why we get up in the morning for work or social meetings. To have an Ikigai means having a big passion for and in life, gives us great sense of contentment, happiness and meaning. The authors went to Ogimi, the ‘village of Centenarians’ in the northern part of Okinawa. By observing, interviewing and participating in the community of Ogimi, they were able to discover the reasons why these Centenarians are living so long and happy.

Through the book, you will get insights on how these Japanese people move, eat, work and deal with things and other people in life. Check out the list all the way below, for advice on how to live like a Centenarian. I know you are working towards building the company of your dream, but are you also living your happiest and healthiest life? My list below will help you to implement the wisdom of the Centenarians into your daily life.

But first:


This book is for you if...

  • you have difficulties with getting up in the morning and are therefore interested in finding your Ikigai;
  • you want to know the secrets to  a happier and healthier life based on the wisdom of the Okinawan Centenarians;
  • you would like to be more conscious about the health of your mind and body;
  • you’d like to receive practical tips to implement in your daily life on how to reduce stress;
  • you’d like to know how to magnify your level of contentedness.


10 tips on how to live like a Centenarian!

#1. Don’t ever retire. Ever. Choose to have an active worklife as long possible;

#2. Eat until your stomach is full for about 80%, not 100% (but don’t skip dessert!);

#3. Create a support system of friends and/or like-minded people around you;

#4. Limit your stress levels by for example taking regular baths, cleaning the house, getting massages and/or by meditating regularly;

#5. Try to avoid sitting for an uninterrupted period of time, and move your body with medium level exercise;

#6. Have enough (beauty) sleep!;

#7. Develop a stoïc mindset. Strive to be calm despite any circumstance, even during the really difficult circumstances;

#8. Continue to learn new things. This will help you to stay young and experience time consciously;

#9. Get in the ‘flow’. How? By single-tasking (instead of multi-tasking) to boost concentration, productivity and memory-intake;

#10. Become a maniac, an ‘otaku’, when fulfilling your passion. Like Steve Jobs or Hayao Miyazaki (of the animation movies ‘Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor”).


‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ (a healthy mind in a healthy body)

I’m sure that all of you would like to get the most out of your life and business. To make sure you are on top of your game, let this Latin phrase above remind you that it’s important to take care of both your mind and your body. The mind is connected to the body and vice versa. Take these practical steps to help you find your own 'Ikigai' and live the happiest and longest life possible.