“Ikigai” is a popular book that delves into the Japanese concept of finding one’s purpose in life.
In this article, we will be introducing you to 5 other books that explore similar themes of self-discovery and finding meaning in life.
Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of ikigai or simply seeking inspiration and guidance on your own personal journey, these books are sure to provide valuable insights and perspective.
So let’s dive in.
Books Like Ikigai
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a book by Marie Kondō that outlines a method for decluttering and organizing one’s home.
The method, known as the “KonMari Method,” involves going through all of one’s possessions and keeping only those items that “spark joy.”
The idea behind the method is that by surrounding oneself with only things that bring joy, one can lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
The book begins by explaining the importance of tidying up and how it can lead to a happier, more organized life.
Kondō then introduces the KonMari Method, which involves gathering all of one’s belongings and going through them one category at a time, rather than room by room.
The categories include clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.
As one goes through their possessions, Kondō recommends holding each item and determining whether it brings joy.
If it does, it should be kept; if not, it should be discarded.
Kondō also emphasizes the importance of getting rid of items that no longer serve a purpose or have sentimental value, as these items can weigh us down and hold us back.
In addition to the KonMari Method, the book also covers topics such as organizing and storing items, and the psychological benefits of tidying up.
2. Kaizen: The Japanese Method for Transforming Habits, One Small Step at a Time by Sarah Harvey
Kaizen discusses the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement and how it can be applied to personal development, including improving habits, overcoming procrastination, and achieving long-term goals.
The book begins by introducing the concept of kaizen and how it is different from traditional Western approaches to personal development, which often focus on achieving radical change through large, drastic steps.
Instead, kaizen encourages small, incremental changes that add up over time to create significant improvement.
The book then discusses the importance of setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them, as well as the importance of tracking progress and making adjustments as needed.
It also covers strategies for overcoming common barriers to change, such as procrastination and self-doubt.
In addition to providing practical advice on implementing kaizen in daily life, the book also discusses the psychological benefits of this approach, such as increased motivation and a sense of accomplishment.
3. The Book of Ichigo Ichie by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
This title explores the concept of “ichigo ichie,” a Japanese term that translates to “one opportunity, one encounter.”
The book explains how this concept, which is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, can be used to improve relationships and bring more mindfulness and presence to daily life.
The book begins by explaining the origins of the term and how it is connected to the Japanese tea ceremony.
The authors then delve into the various ways that ichigo ichie can be applied to modern life, including in social interactions, business meetings, and even in parenting and family relationships.
Throughout the book, the authors emphasize the importance of being present in each moment and not taking any encounter for granted.
They argue that by approaching each interaction with an open mind and a willingness to truly listen and engage with others, we can create deeper, more meaningful connections and experiences.
In addition to discussing the practical applications of ichigo ichie, the authors also delve into the philosophical and spiritual aspects of the concept.
They discuss the idea of “mu,” or emptiness, and how it relates to the topic, as well as the role of mindfulness and awareness in living a more fulfilling life.
4. Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life by Beth Kempton
Wabi Sabi is a book that explores a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that values simplicity, imperfection, and the beauty of natural, aged objects.
The book explains how wabi sabi can be applied to modern life to help individuals find contentment, fulfillment, and a sense of connection with the world around them.
It begins by introducing the concept and its roots in Japanese culture before delving into various principles, including the importance of finding beauty in imperfection, accepting the impermanence of things, and embracing simplicity and minimalism.
Throughout the book, Kempton offers practical advice and exercises for incorporating wabi sabi into daily life, including tips for decluttering and simplifying one’s home and lifestyle, as well as ways to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the present moment.
In addition to discussing the practical applications of wabi sabi, the book also explores the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the concept.
Kempton discusses the role of mindfulness and gratitude in living a wabi sabi life, and how this approach can help individuals find a sense of peace and contentment in a fast-paced, modern world.
5. Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyō Masuno
Zen is written by Shunmyō Masuno, a Zen priest and landscape designer in Japan.
The book begins by introducing Zen and its origins in Buddhist teachings, moving onto the principles of the approach and how they can be applied to modern life to cultivate a sense of peace and fulfillment.
Masuno also discusses the importance of mindfulness, simplicity, and living in the present moment.
In addition to discussing the practical applications of Zen, the book explores the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the tradition.
Masuno covers the role of compassion and self-reflection in the Zen path, and how these practices can help individuals find a sense of peace and contentment in a fast-paced, modern world.
If you enjoyed “Ikigai” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles and are looking for more books on the topic, the choices above are where it’s at.
If you come across any other good alternatives, be sure to let me know!