Ikigai Quotes

When writing my ikigai book I was extremely fortunate to be peering over the shoulders of humble giants – researchers and authors who freely gave me their time, generously shared their knowledge, and supported my efforts to share an accurate representation of ikigai. Below is a collestion of ikigai quotes from my book IKIGAI-KAN Feel a Life Worth Living.

Ikigai Quotes From Japan's Leading Researchers and Authors

There are two ways of using the word ikigai. When someone says "this child is my ikigai," it refers to the source or target of ikigai, and when one feels ikigai as a state of mind. The latter of these is close to what Frankl calls "sense of meaning". Here I will tentatively call it "ikigai-kan" to distinguish it from the former "ikigai". - Mieko Kamiya
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. And there is no greater love than to give humans their ikigai. - Mieko Kamiya
Ikigai is all about making these small actions into pleasurable rewarding experiences. You can start from your morning chore of taking a cup of coffee and chocolate. I personally do that every morning and then I immediately start doing some writing or reading in the morning and my day just goes on and on without resting or having an inactive period because I can do that because I'm in an almost constant state of flow. - Ken Mogi
ikigai quotes - Ken Mogi

Ibasho is the interpersonal side of ikigai that I found important. And it's about authentic relationship, where you can be who you think you really are. It's a really philosophical question about who we really are. But it's also a fact that many of us have this sense that, “this version of me”, whatever you're doing, whatever you're feeling, whatever you're saying, feels right to you. And just be consistent with that. And that's very important across social relationship. - Dr Shintaro Kono

If one sees the meaning, or intrinsic nature of experience, more like ikigai, they can appreciate that change. Probably these people may not see it as a problem, it’s something that.. some learning experience or some different path. That's where ikigai and resilience come across each other. 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

ikigai quote - Yasuhiro Kotera
I think it's about a sense of purpose, feeling a sense of purpose. I specifically say feeling a sense of purpose separate from purpose because it is used casually. I can imagine being on a fishing boat with a friend and seeing the waves and seeing the sun and catching a fish and looking over and saying, “Wow, this really gives me a sense of ikigai!”. It is this sense of purpose, of living in a moment that makes you feel alive. That's what I think ikigai is about. It's the sense of having a purpose and a sense of living, a sense of being present. I think for some people it can tie to your actual purpose in life if you do find one, but I don't think it has to be that by any means. - Yohei Nakajima

Young people often say that they have nothing to live for. But that is natural. Isolated people have no reason to live. What makes life worth living is human relationships. Human beings were not created to live alone. Buried in the mire of human relationships, the warmth of human skin gives us a reason to live. - Tatsuzō Ishikawa

The key to ikigai is it’s what makes life really seem worth it. It’s when you feel “Damn! It’s good to be alive!” And that’s an extraordinary feeling to have. It’s wonderful that as human beings, we have an ikigai enabling us to experience that. - Prof. Gordon Mathews
Ikigai quote - Gordon Mathews

For me, ikigai combines many great things, which can be supportive for your mental health. In my work as a psychologist, and in my life, I try to focus on aspects of positive psychology and salutogenesis, meaning that I don't focus on the things that go wrong. I try to look consciously for all the things that still go well, and I use this insight to motivate myself to keep going – even or especially on the bad days. - Dr Katharina Stenger

To read more ikigai quotes grab a copy of my book IKIGAI-KAN: Feel a Life Worth Living.  

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