Kiran U Kamath

Kiran U Kamath

IKIGAI - part2

IKIGAI - part2

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Listen to this article

Links to part 1 and entire series .

The book IKIGAI - The Japanese Secret to a Long Happy Life, in first chapter tells importance of the art of staying young while growing old. It tells to not retire and do what you love till your health permits. The concept of retire after a particular age should not stop you from doing what you love. And that comes when you realize your ikigai which gives a sense of purpose to each and every day. Lot of importance is given to helping others and serving the community.

This book also key points for long life.
The keys are diet, exercise, finding a purpose in life (an ikigai), and forming strong social circle of friends and good family relations.

80% rule

"Hara hachi bu" is a common Japanese saying which means something like fill your belly up to 80%. We should stop eating as we start feeling full. This helps to prevent long digestive processes and accelerate cell oxidation that helps to live a happier life for a longer period.
It also suggests to eat meals in many small plates, which helps to eat less.


In Okinawa moai means the informal groups formed by the people with similar interests that look out for one another. These moai can also help people find their purpose or through them, serving others in the community becomes your Ikigai.
moai is an excellent practice to create great team bonding and also for the overall development of a team or community. When there is such a community bonding, one will never feel left out, or worthless in their life. I loved the fact that in Okinawa, they believe in growing as a community rather than as an individual. This is another secret to a happy life.
In Moai people do monthly contribution to the group which is used for activities. If some member of Moai are in financial trouble, they can get advance from group's savings. This removes financial stress from people and leads to happy life.

In next chapter book talks about ANTIAGING SECRETS.

For antiaging you need not take huge steps and completely change your lifestyle but do little things that add up to a long and happy life.

Aging's escape velocity

Book explains aging's escape velocity with an example of rabbit.

  • Imagine a sign far off in the future with a number on it that represents the age of your death.
  • Every year that you live, you advance closer to the sign. When you reach the sign, you die.
  • Now imagine a rabbit holding the sign and walking to the future. Every year that you live, the rabbit is half a year as far away. After a while, you will reach the rabbit and die.
  • But what if the rabbit could walk at a pace of one year for every year of your life? You would never be able to catch the rabbit, and therefore you would never die.
  • The speed at which the rabbit walks to the future is technology.
    The more we advance technology and knowledge of our bodies, the faster we can make the rabbit walk.
  • Aging’s escape velocity is the moment at which the rabbit walks at a pace of one year per year or faster, and we become immortal.

To advance technology we should have active mind and youthful body. Having a youthful mind drives toward a healthy lifestyle that will slow the aging process. Doing daily physical exercise will help.


Stress is main reason for aging. stress promotes cellular aging by weakening cell structures.

But how does Stress work??

stress is immediate response to information that is potentially dangerous or problematic.
Stress has a degenerative effect over time. A sustained state of emergency affects the neurons associated with memory, as well as inhibiting the release of certain hormones, the absence of which can cause depression

How to reduce stress??

practice mindfulness and focusing on the self by noticing our responses would help. To become mindful, practice meditation, yoga, breathing exercise

But surprisingly a small dose of stress is a positive thing, it will help to face challenges and put our heart and soul into work in order to succeed.

Get good amount of sleep is important. Sleep produces melatonin and this is antioxidant will helps to live longer. Having high degree of emotional awareness is also important.

In next part of this series we will learn about Logo therapy and developing flow in everything we do.

Share this