Book Review ーIKIGAIー



This is TOMO.

Normally, I write blogs for Japanese readers in Japanese, but since today’s content will be a book review of the international bestseller “IKIGAI,” I decided to create an article in English as well.

Rather than summarizing the contents of the book, it is a combination of the book and my opinion.

So let’s get started.

Definition of IKIGAI according to this book

From wikipedia

The Purpose of Life

I think that the purpose of life is to be happy.

(Longevity is merely a byproduct of this.)

(1) What is IKIGAI?

To be happy. 

In other words, how much of your precious lifetime can you spend on what you love?

  • What you love: IKIGAI
  • Time spent on what you love: IKIGAI Time
  • Life with IKIGAI: IKIGAI Life

(2) What is IKIGAI?

IKIGAI  is what brings long-term happiness into your life.

Conversely, things that bring short-term happiness (pleasure) to life → traps (chocolate, games, etc…).

They bring unhappiness in the long-term. 

They are unproductive and are like throwing away time.

However, people are tired of the main jobs that they don’t want to do, so they don’t want to use their brains and bodies anymore when they get home or on holidays, so they spend their time on things that bring short-term happiness.

Time should be spent on things that bring long-term happiness (IKIGAI) even if they require time and effort.

Time in Life

There are two kinds of time frames in life.

Private time and work time.

First of all, private time should be allocated to IKIGAI.

But if you are too tired from work to abandon your private time, 

then it would be better if work could be shifted to IKIGAI as well. (The best way)

IKIGAI requires no effort. IKIGAI is something you can forget about time and work on without feeling tired.

The biggest enemy in life is stress.

Stress shortens life expectancy, so a life with as little stress as possible is preferable.

There are two kinds of a stress-free life

  1. not creating stress
  2. reduce stress.

IKIGAI has both of these qualities.

There are two regions of life with life matrix:

life matrix

  • the personal region 
  • the social(relations) region.

The primary goal of the personal region is “health“.

Health requires proper diet, exercise, sleep, and meditation.

The individual’s healthy body, head, and mind created in this way are the foundation for social relationships.

Since stress is the enemy of good health, a stress-free use of time is preferable.

In other words, it is important to spend as much IKIGAI time as possible.

Spend time on what you love most (what you like). →IKIGAI(Love)

The main objective in the area of social relationships is “soundness (stability)”.

To achieve this, the following IKIGAI fulfils each of these domains.

IKIGAI(Good at) →Work

IKIGAI(Paid for) → Money, Family

IKIGAI(World Needs) →Society

Spend time on what you do best (what you are good at).

A happy life is one in which this matrix of life is in balance.

IKIGAI is what supports this.

What I love (IKIGAI) fills me. →Private time

What I am good at (IKIGAI) satisfies society. →Work time

IKIGAI has two axes.

Life is fragile.

You never know when your job will end or when your life will end.

Life is fragile.

If you create even a small avenue of income outside of your main job through IKIGAI, you can hedge your risk even if your main job breaks down.

Even if you retire from your main job, you can find meaning and purpose in your life with IKIGAI.

The best part is that IKIGAI can be your main job.

That way, you will have the fullness of private time and work time, get enough money, and live a stress-free life for yourself and society.

But of course, there are fears in life.

But life is fragile. Risk hedging is important.

I would start with 80% main job and 20% IKIGAI.

Theoretically, IKIGAI is what you love from the bottom of your heart and what you are good at, so motivation comes naturally, you can work on it for a long time without track of time, and yet you don’t feel tired. 

→It should bring good results. At least better than doing something I am not good at or dislike.

Then, when you gradually start getting money from IKIGAI, you can shift it to your main job.

We are the part of the world

The human body is made up of tens of trillions of cells.

Each of those cells and DNA has a role to play.

The human body functions well when each cell and DNA fulfil its role.

If cells and DNA forget their roles and do as they please, the human body will cease to function immediately.

In the same way, each of us is a part of the world.

We should do what is important to the world.

That is the role and mission that each of us was born with, and that may be what IKIGAI is all about.

We have to live the life we were born to live.

Thank you for reading to the end.


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