50 Ikigai Quotes About the Japanese Secret to a Happy Life

If you are living a mediocre life and are looking for joy, check out these ikigai quotes about finding your passion that gives value and joy to your life.

According to the Japanese government, ikigai means “that which brings value and joy to life.”

Too many people are simply going through the motions of life instead of living passionately.

Ikigai can help change that.

Ikigai has four main categories, and the areas they overlap are your ikigai:

  • What you love – What are you passionate about?
  • What the world needs – What does the world need that is important to you?
  • What you are good at – Name areas where you are skilled and talented.
  • What you can be paid for – What profession can you see yourself doing?

Take a few minutes to read these ikigai quotes to learn more about a concept that could change your life.

Short Ikigai Quotes

Here are some short and quick words on the concept of ikigai.

1. “Life is not a problem to be solved.” — Hector Garcia

2. “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” — Robert Byrne

3. “Just possibly, ikigai, makes a Peter Pan of all of us.” — Ken Mogi

4. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” — Peter Drucker

5. “Igigai is the action we take in pursuit of happiness.” — Yukari Mitsuhashi

6. “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” — Hector Garcia

7. “And there is no greater love than to give humans their ikigai.” — Mieko Kamiya

8. “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” — Japanese proverb

9. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” — Dalai Lama

10. “A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell on the future.” — Hector Garcia

Ikigai Quotes from Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia wrote a book called Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.

11. “Keep going; don’t change your path.” — Hector Garcia

12. “There is no future, no past. There is only the present.” — Hector Garcia

13. “Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life.” — Hector Garcia

14. “Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have.” — Hector Garcia

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15. “It is more important to have a compass pointing to a concrete object than to have a map.” — Hector Garcia

16. “Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.” — Hector Garcia

17. “To be able to concentrate for a considerable amount of time is essential to difficult achievement.” — Hector Garcia

18. “Be led by your curiosity, and keep busy by doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness.” — Hector Garcia

19. “Essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Hector Garcia

20. “Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.” — Hector Garcia

Ikigai Quotes About Meaning and Purpose

Here are thoughts about what meaning ikigai gives for life and living.

21. “Ikigai is unique to every individual and is the reason why people wake up every morning.” — Dr. Johanna Lamm

22. “Once you discover your ikigai, pursuing it and nurturing it every day will bring meaning to your life.” — Francesc Miralles

23. “The purpose of life is not to be in the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

24. “Ikigai can be defined as ’a sense of being alive now, an individual’s consciousness as a motive to live.’” — Aikihiro Hasegawa

25. “If one sees the meaning, or intrinsic nature of experience, more like ikigai, they can appreciate that change.” — Yasuhiro Kotera

26. “It is this sense of purpose, of living in a moment, that makes you feel alive. That’s what I think ikigai is about.” — Yohei Nakajima

27. “There is nothing wrong with enjoying life’s pleasures as long as they do not take control of your life as you enjoy them.” — Hector Garcia

28.” People who isolate themselves can’t have ikigai – meaning or purpose. Meaning and purpose are only found in interpersonal relationships.” — Tatsuzō Ishikawa

29. “As soon as you take those first small steps, your anxiety will disappear, and you will achieve a pleasant flow in the activity you’re doing.” — Hector Garcia

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30. “In other words, ikigai can be about the joy a person finds living day-to-day, without which their life as a whole would not be a happy one.” — Akihiro Hasegawa

Learn more about the idea of ikigai from the following quotes.

31. “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” — Frances Hodgson Burnett

32. “A man is like a forest; individual and yet connected and dependent on others for growth.” — Ken Mogi

33. “It’s wonderful that as human beings, we have an ikigai enabling us to experience that.” — Professor Gordon Mathews

34. “True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment, and refreshment.” — William Penn

35. “Youthfulness of mind is important in ikigai, but so is commitment and passion, however seemingly insignificant your goal.” — Ken Mogi

36. “The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.” — Hector Garcia

37. “Only things that are imperfect, incomplete, and ephemeral can truly be beautiful because only those things resemble the natural world.” — Hector Garcia

38. “One way to reach a state of mindfulness is through meditation, which helps filter the information that reaches us from the outside world.” — Hector Garcia

39. “If you can make the process of making the effort your primary source of happiness, then you have succeeded in the most important challenge of your life.” — Ken Mogi

40. “That resilience is also this ability to bounce back from difficulties. And for those who live with ikigai can appreciate and find meaning in life’s difficulties.” — Dr. Yasuhiro Kotera

More Ikigai Quotes

Here are a few additional quotes about the Japanese concept.

41. “If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.” — Japanese proverb

42. “To focus on a task, we need: 1. To be in a distraction-free environment 2. To have control over what we are doing at every moment.” — Hector Garcia

43. “There is nothing more for humans to live life fully than ikigai. Therefore, there is no cruelty greater than to deprive humans of their ikigai.” — Mieko Kamiya

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44. “Try to let go of the quest for perfection and instead accept the beauty that lies in all of life’s imperfections. The result will be extra energy, less stress, and a longer life.” — Blinkist

45. “Ikigai is more concerned with the future: for example, even when one feels that one’s present life is dark, possessing a desire or goal for the future allows one to feel ikigai.” — Noriyuki Nakanishi

46. “Find your own ikigai by asking yourself how you want to serve your community. If you are undecided, remember your dreams from when you were younger, maybe in your youth.” — Tsutomu Hotta

47. “We often think that combining tasks will save us time, but scientific evidence shows that it has the opposite effect. Even those who claim to be good at multitasking are not very productive.” — Hector Garcia

48. “You can only live one day at a time, and no one can be certain that they will wake up the next morning. So let’s not postpone happiness; the best moment in your life is always this one.” — Garcia and Miralles (2019, pg 60)

49. “Along with the experience of joy, the experience of suffering also makes life worth living. When we encounter adversity, we endure suffering, challenge it, and overcome it, which makes our life worth living.” — Professor Yoshikazu Ueda

50. “People can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love, and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of value of life, they proceed towards self-realization.” — Tsukasa Kobayashi

Where Did the Concept of Ikigai Come From?

The concept of ikigai has been in Japanese culture for many years.

Still, Mieko Kamiya first popularized it in 1966 when she wrote her book On the Meaning of Life.

More recently, Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles’ 2017 International bestselling book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life brought it back into the mainstream.

Please share which ikigai quote stood out to you in the comments and with friends on social media.

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