Ikigai - Ken Mogi

Ikigai - Ken Mogi

Find your reason for living, through the 5 steps created by the Japanese to acquire vitality and achieve a long and happy life.

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Do you question your life directions? What motivates you to get up every morning? Japanese culture for years had shown us a way to achieve such answers and live a longer and happier life.

All thanks to the concept of Ikigai, therefore in this summary of "Ikigai" by author Ken Mogi, we will help you understand and find your Ikigai, giving light to the meaning of your life.

So let's do like Monty Python and search for the meaning of life! Are you curious? So come with us!

The book "Ikigai"

"Ikigai: The secret Japanese way to live a happy and long life" by Ken Mogi, explains the concepts of the Ikigai philosophy, a Japanese origin word that describes the pleasures and senses of life.

Through 5 steps, the author will help you find your Ikigai, showing how it is rooted in Japanese culture, and give lessons that will change your life. All of this through an easy reading, making the absorption of knowledge easier.

Who is Ken Mogi?

Ken Mogi is a neuroscientist, writer, and researcher. Holder of a degree in Science and Law and Ph. D. by Tokyo University, he has published more than 50 books and articles on neuroscience and cognition.

His books address a variety of subjects and are successful with nearly 1 million copies sold. Currently, he's a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories and visiting professor at Tokyo University of Technology.

Who should read this book?

"Ikigai" is for all of those people who want to live longer, healthier, and be more accomplished in life, by providing for us help in finding the purpose of life. Also, it's suitable for all of those who want to find out about the rich Japanese culture.

Which are the key ideas of the book “Ikigai”?

Ikigai is a direct manner, we've separated some of the main points of this philosophy.

  • There are 5 steps to the Ikigai: Starting small, break free, harmony and sustainability, the joy of small things and to be in here and now;
  • Ikigai gives a reason for living and determination. It can make you live longer, be healthier, be happier, and even be more successful;
  • Japanese people value the artisan's work by recognizing the time and effort dedicated to the construction of the pieces;
  • One of the benefits of having Ikigai is resiliency and robustness;
  • Make an effort to be your primary source of happiness, joy, and the inner satisfaction, and the results will be enough for you to move forward.

Interesting, isn't it? Then it's time to learn! Come on!

Download the "Ikigai" Book Summary in PDF for free

Do you have no time to read now? Then download the free PDF and read wherever and whenever you want:

[Book Summary] Ikigai PDF - Ken Mogi

What is Ikigai?

From a Japanese origin, the word Ikigai = "iki" (live) + "gai" (reason) d escribes the pleasures and senses of life. It's what makes you get up every day in the morning and gives meaning to your life.

Everyone has an Ikigai, you just have to find it. Author Ken Mogi defines 5 pillars for this:

  1. Starting small;
  2. Free yourself;
  3. Harmony and sustainability;
  4. The joy of small things;
  5. Be in the here and now.

How to promote the 5 pillars?

1. Starting small

Japan is known for offering high-quality assets and services. The Japanese start the job "starting small" and go through each step until they reach their best shape, dedicating time, and effort.

The culture of being proud of what you make, always creating the best is very strong and valued in Japan, and it's called Kodawari.

2. Free Yourself

When we talk about "freeing ourselves", we can relate to two aspects: sensory beauty, flow, and creativity.

2.1 Sensory beauty

There is a lot of sound symbolism in Japanese culture, they are able to "break free" in the sense of opening up to the sensory universe.

The Japanese pay close attention to details. Mogi says that they value the work of craftsmen, for example, by recognizing the time and effort devoted to the construction of the piece.

Besides that, paying attention to the variety of sensory experience is key to enhancing your work, whether it's craft or high-tech manufacturing.

2.2 Flow and creativity

To Ken Mogi, "flow" is when people are so into an activity that nothing else seems to matter anymore. When you are in the "flow" state, you are more concerned with working on what gives you pleasure than on what gives you money.

He quotes as an example of the manga's producers. It is a profession that is well paid and difficult, but it grows more and more because whoever produces them does that because it has a greater purpose.

Thereby, he says that you must "break free" from the ego. When you reach the state of flow, you start not to worry about the need of being recognized for your work and your effort or any type of reward. But you start to worry about the satisfaction of your goals and your well-being.

3. Harmony and sustainability

For Mogi in Ikigai, searching for individual desires in Japanese culture is linked to the concept of society's sustainability and environment.

To the Japanese, "harmony and sustainability" present themselves in a very strong way, because for them it is essential to be in harmony with people in general, to truly understand oneself and the environment.

There is a culture in Japan of nature's appreciation and one of the ways it manifests itself is through architectural projects such as the Meiji Shrine Forest.

4. The joy of the little things

The Japanese have a culture of valuing the sun and an economic history that has developed on them the pleasure of waking up early. In the historical era in which they worked on crops, for example, to succeed the Japanese should wake up very early.

The "taiso radio", name given to exercises synchronized with music, refers to a morning culture of physical activity in Japan. Ken Mogi states that in Japan, children are encouraged to get into this habit of getting up early since during school holidays, the ones who participate in the taiso radio' s meetings receive prizes.

Another factor that influences the Japanese to get out of bed is the custom of eating their favorite food right after waking up and playing chess during the home-work path. Thus, they fortify the culture of valuing and having "the joy of the little things".

5. To be in here and now

Another fact to be punctuated is the valuation of the ephemeral things, of "being in here and now" that Japanese people have.

For example, being in the "flow" state as said in topic 2 allows you to focus on what you are doing right now to develop your best.

Other Ikigai values

1. Resilience

To Ken Mogi, one of the benefits of having Ikigai is the resiliency and robustness it develops in people, making them better face the unforeseen and challenges that occur in life.

There are many natural disasters in Japan. And the author claims that the Japanese are very resilient in dealing with such tragedies. This is due to the fact that Japanese culture appreciates life a lot which is quite shown in mangas, for example.

2. Happiness

In this part, Mogi emphasizes that we must detach from what is called the "focus illusion". "Focus Illusion" happens when you believe that your happiness depends on one thing and this becomes a prerequisite to be happy. But to be happy, you must accept yourself.

3. Acceptance

To be happy you must accept yourself as you are. Japanese culture focuses on the appreciation of diversity, in which each human being is unique and exclusive. And that you should regard other people's recognition as something good, but not something essential to be happy.

More content about purpose and self-knowledge

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In the book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck", author Mark Manson presents us with the pressure that today's world puts on us and how we should behave in the face of this reality. It gives us hints and leads us to reflect on habits that sometimes we have to care too much about the wrong things.

So, how can I find my Ikigai?

Ikigai 's philosophy is very cool, but we need to "get our hands dirty" and make it become part of our lives. So just look at these tips we've separated for you:

  • Find your Ikigai in the little things and always focus on the now;
  • Review the 5 steps that Ken Mogi defines as the key to find the Ikigai;
  • Reflect on how the author's teachings can be applied in your life.

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If you need the book to learn more about the issues and still be up on Ikigai, be sure to purchase the full edition. Just click on the cover below!

Book 'Ikigai'