top of page

This book came to me in one moment of an inner search for meaning. My life got too busy in the doing, so I completely forgot what was the purpose of that. Like many other books that I read during this time in my life, life in the present means everything.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

by Héctor García, Francesc Miralles

  • As such, though challenges are good for keeping mind and body active, we should adjust our high-stress lifestyles in order to avoid the premature aging of our bodies.

  • Most doctors agree that the secret to keeping the body young is keeping the mind active.

  • Those who face challenges with a positive outlook and are able to manage their emotions are already well on their way toward longevity.

  • Sunday neurosis, for example, is what happens when, without the obligations and commitments of the workweek, the individual realizes how empty he is inside.

  • We don’t create the meaning of our life, as Sartre claimed: we discover it.

  • We each have a unique reason for being, which can be adjusted or transformed many times over the years.

  • Humor can help break negative cycles and reduce anxiety.

  • We all have the capacity to do noble or terrible things. The side of the equation we end up on depends on our decisions, not on the condition in which we find ourselves.

  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. —Aristotle

  • The Seven Conditions for Achieving Flow According to researcher Owen Schaffer of DePaul University, the requirements for achieving flow are:

  • Knowing what to do

  • Knowing how to do it

  • Knowing how well you are doing

  • Knowing where to go (where navigation is involved) Perceiving significant challenges

  • Perceiving significant skills

  • Being free from distractions

  • “In an increasingly unpredictable world moving ever more quickly, a detailed map may lead you deep into the woods at an unnecessarily high cost. A good compass, though, will always take you where you need to go. It doesn’t mean that you should start your journey without any idea where you’re going. What it does mean is understanding that while the path to your goal may not be straight, you’ll finish faster and more efficiently than you would have if you had trudged along a preplanned route.”

  • “A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell on the future.”

  • Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.

  • Simplicity and attention to detail. It is not a lazy simplicity but a sophisticated one that searches out new frontiers, always taking the object, the body and mind, or the cuisine to the next level, according to one’s ikigai.

  • As Csikszentmihalyi would say, the key is always having a meaningful challenge to overcome in order to maintain flow.

  • Rituals give us clear rules and objectives, which help us enter a state of flow.

  • Happiness is in the doing, not in the result. As a rule of thumb, remind yourself: “Rituals over goals.”

  • Never Stop Learning “You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” —T. H. White, The Once and Future King

  • “Food won’t help you live longer,” she says, bringing to her lips a bite of the diminutive confection that followed our meal. “The secret is smiling and having a good time.”

  • “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

  • “The secret to a long life is not to worry. And to keep your heart young—don’t let it grow old. Open your heart to people with a nice smile on your face. If you smile and open your heart, your grandchildren and everyone else will want to see you.”

  • “To live a long time you need to do three things: exercise to stay healthy, eat well, and spend time with people.”

  • “Doing many different things every day. Always staying busy, but doing one thing at a time, without getting overwhelmed.”

  • The calorie restriction we’ve been discussing is one of the most effective ways to add years to your life. If the body regularly consumes enough, or too many, calories, it gets lethargic and starts to wear down, expending significant energy on digestion alone.

  • Worrying about things that are beyond our control accomplishes nothing. We should have a clear sense of what we can change and what we can’t, which in turn will allow us to resist giving in to negative emotions.

  • In the words of Epictetus, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”

  • “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

  • To build resilience into our lives, we shouldn’t fear adversity, because each setback is an opportunity for growth.

  • Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.

  • Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering.

bottom of page