In our inaugural Buy The Book column, SAMANTHA JONG flips the pages of self-help books to discover why some people live long and happy lives; learn how adaptive beliefs lead to better accomplishments; and understand how smarter dreams will get you the life you want.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles; $20.64, from Book Depository
On the island of Okinawa, there are more centenarians than anywhere else in the world. And not only are they old, but they are still active and happy. What do they know that we don’t? Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles attributes it to ikigai (pronounced ee-kee-guy). Loosely translated, it’s the reason that gets you out of bed, your reason for being.
The authors conducted a total of one hundred interviews with centenarians and supercentenarians in Ogimi, Okinawa, to arrive at the secrets of longevity. One common thread is that they all live with purpose, and even when they perform the most ordinary of tasks, they do so with joy and purpose. Now while everyone’s ikigai may be different, the one thing we have in common is that we all search for meaning. We live more fully when we feel connected to what is meaningful; similarly, when we lack the connection, life feels despondent. There are 10 rules for ikigai. Staying active is one of them. Taking it slow and reconnecting with nature and living in the moment are other practices.
The book will help you uncover what your ikigai is, and in so doing, you will be able to face 2019 with renewed drive, purpose and passion.
Out of the Maze by Dr. Spencer Johnson; $19.80, from Kinokuniya
The sequel to the bestseller, “Who Moved My Cheese”, which sold almost 30 million copies worldwide, “Out of The Maze” is an easy read (it takes less than half a day to get through) and especially helpful for those stuck in a rut (read maze).
Johnson’s simple yet profound fable draws attention to how our beliefs – whether we’re confident or insecure, cynical or positive, open-minded or inflexible – account for our accomplishments, and just as easily, lack of. For example, things that may have been true yesterday, may no longer be true today. Yet if we stubbornly hold on to the idea, it will trip our progress and impeded success.
Only when we are able to adapt our beliefs, or switch our perspectives, that better results (in any field) can be achieved, consistently. In short: You will get more out of life if you think outside the box.
Your Dream Life Starts Here by Kristina Karlsson; $39.90, from Kiki.K
Here is why we love this book. It’s almost like having Kristina Karlsson, founder and creative director of global Swedish design and stationery business, of Kiki.K, as your life coach.
Interspersed between the inspiring anecdotes about and well-known personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson and Michelle Obama (all people who dared to dream big and manifest them) and inspirational quotes, are mind-mapping exercises to guide you along. The goal here is to transform dreams into the dream life you want.
The key, says Karlsson, is to have SMART (an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) dreams. She guides you to break down the monumental goals into “smaller, doable SMART dreams”, to get to the life you want. The exercises are comprehensive and will help you create achievable one-page roadmaps to get the life you desire.