Ikigai by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Ikigai is the type of book you’ll read, highlight to death, and then keep on your bedside stand for the foreseeable future— for frequent re-reading and referencing, of course. Reading this book was, in and of itself, a meditative experience. While the book is, as the title suggests, focused on achieving ikigai, the authors skillfully incorporated complementary concepts throughout, pulling from and expanding on different facets of personal development. 

In Ikigai, authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles lovingly approach the topic of a life’s purpose with anecdotes, interviews, and numerous bits of helpful historical and cultural context. They even include diagrams and detailed steps for performing a simple sun salutation or radio taiso exercise.

Ikigai hardcover book in the foreground with a teacup in the background. The teacup has a flowered design.

The book overflows with nuggets of history, including quotes from notable thinkers and philosophical greats. The authors also present the reader with an informative and awe-inspiring profile of the long-lived residents of Ogimi in Okinawa, Japan.

Resilient people know how to stay focused on their objectives, on what matters, without giving in to discouragement.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

I recommend Ikigai to anyone interested in personal development and is looking for a good balance of context, examples, and tactics. Ikigai is also an incredibly giftable book. The down-to-earth, genuinely helpful, and meaningfully compassionate way the authors speak to readers is refreshing— elements that are surprisingly missing from many other books in the personal development genre.

And if you’re putting together a self-care package for a friend, I’d recommend including a copy of both Ikigai and Atomic Habits. Don’t forget to add a crisp new notebook and maybe a box of their favorite tea, too. 😉

hand holding hardcover copy of the book Ikigai


Where to buy Ikigai