Happy Life Through Happy Moments
Whew the past few weeks have been a lot and I do mean a lot. All I will say is changes are coming. These two books that we are going to discuss today are so incredibly timely for where I am in life and I believe everyone should read. Both books written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. The first book I read was Ikigai and the the other was Ichigo Ichie. Both amazing.
Before we jump into let me tell you a bit of what has been going on so you can understand why I needed these books. I've reached that point again where it is time to seek something new as my current job has been steadily draining me and leaving me with little energy to want to do anything else. I reached my limit on a recent trip in which I left feeling unappreciated, devalued, frustrated and ultimately angry. I recognize my worth, ability and how hard I work so to leave a trip with those feelings left me with a question that often pops up: what the hell am I doing and why am I doing it?
This lead me to finally following up on a recommendation and ordering Ikigai (The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life). This book is all about discovery your internal why. They went to Japan which has a high population of those that live to be 100 and older and conducted interviews. I won't tell you too much as I actually want EVERYONE to read this book. What stood out to me for those that live a long and happy life was the sense of community as many surrounded themselves with great people. The need and want to stay active. Daily movement was encouraged with suggestions like daily walks and tai chi. In addition, ikigai is essential what ties in what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you're good at.
I am still working on identifying my true purpose but I have come to recognize that one of gifts is that of connection. If you look at my friend groups, many have been formed through me or I have connected people who have made great friends with my other friends. I also enjoy connecting people on a professional level for the mutual benefit of all. So what I am working through for me is how to parlay that into a living.
Upon completing Ikigai, I posted it on my story and then had a delightful conversation with the social media person behind a coffee shop that asked me about the book and then recommended Ichigo Ichie which is written by the same authors but it is about "The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way". This recommendation was also co-signed by the person that originally recommended Ikigai. This book is a necessary reminder about finding the joy in each present moment. No moment can be repeated. For example, when I went to Paris, the first night we went to this bar and had the most amazing night in which we connected with the bartenders, sang with the entire bar, did several cheers, it was magical! The next night my friend wanted to take me to this river boat that she fell in love with on her last visit but when we arrived the line was too long. We then tried to go back to the bar we went to the night before but again the line was too long. It wasn't until we finally allowed ourselves to stop trying to chase past moments, that we were able to find the joy in the present when we went into a random Japanese restaurant for a glass of champagne and watched and conversed with the culinary team that was preparing a dinner experience for a party. You can't recreate moments, you can only experience them in that moment.
This book was also a good reminder about letting others distract you from your joy. For me that has been work. I have allowed it to zap my energy and detract from things I enjoy such as writing 😉
While I enjoyed reading Ikigai a bit more, I think both are necessary reads especially those that are having trouble finding joy in the day to day.
Have you read them? What did you think? Would love to hear your thoughts!