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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia

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Japanese people have a long life expectancy this book seeks to summarise ways of incorporating Japanese culture and habits to improve your life expectancy.

Tips are (not numbered in book):

1. Low sugar intake.

2. Low salt intake.

3. Continue to learn, never retire from your passion. Try to diversify and have more than one income and more than one job.

4. Enjoy doing tasks and get lost in these with focus. Book very much stress focus is a good thing. Outlines when Japanese perform apparently minor tasks do so to the best of their abilities with pride and joy.

5. Socialising this is extremely important. Ideally with dancing and singing. Be active and involved in your local community.

6. Having a sense of purpose (lots of very old people grew plants or vegetables).

7. Discusses various exercises such as Tai Chi (although not necessarily Japanese) the main thing is the art of having movement associated with awareness of breath control that is important. Also when older not necessarily high impact exercise, just keep moving and not sedentary.

8. Wabi-sabi: Be aware things are temporary and never really perfect therefore enjoy the moment and things as they are. Appreciate the beauty of imperfection as an opportunity for growth.

9. Don’t multitask, instead be very mindful.

10. Hara hachi bun me: When eating aim to at the end of a meal feel two-thirds full. Japanese encourage this by having one course with lots of small plates.

Book includes some information from information about Man’s Search for Meaning ( by Viktor Frankl) and stresses the purpose of having a purpose.

In essence take things slowly, enjoy the moment, play team sports that you enjoy and keep the body moving and mind active!

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