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That Sneaky Ikigai: Modern Research Uncovers Ancient Secrets to Longevity, Fulfillment and Happiness.
23rd October 2022 • Ba Vojdaan! • James and Sana Newcomb
00:00:00 00:48:59

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Let me tell you a story...

In May of 2021, I was in a cab with my wife Sana, on our way to a restaurant and shopping mall in Hanoi to enjoy a Saturday together. I was literally ready to retire from trumpet playing, really having anything to do with the trumpet. In my mind, it was something that I had done and I had done it well, and I'd done some cool things.

It appeared to me that my life was going on a trajectory in which trumpet was not a part. So I had told her that I was going to quit and I was done.

And she said, "Well, James, I think that you should continue with it. I think you should stick with it."

And I said, "I would have to have a really good reason to do that."

And she said, "I'm your wife. Isn't that reason enough?"

Well, that's a good point. If your wife says that you should do something, you do it for her. So I decided that I'm going to continue to play it. And if I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it the very best that I can with the time and resources that I have at my disposal. And I'm just going to make the absolute best of it because that's really the way that you should approach anything.

So that was, I think, in May of 2021, and I believe it was just a couple of weeks later, I had been sleeping and woke up in the morning and just this word was in my mind that it was this word that was in my mind when I woke up, it was Ikigai.

Now I am not an expert on Ikigai. In fact, I had heard the word just once or twice listening to one of my podcast production clients, Ben Greenfield, who has mentioned that word a couple of times. But that was really my exposure to the word. But there I was, I woke up and there was this word on my mind.

And it wasn't just a passing thought. It was really pressing on me. And so I went onto my smartphone and I opened up Amazon and just typed in Ikigai. I want to know more about that.

One of the first listings on Amazon was a book that was written by my guest on today's show: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

I read the book thoroughly enjoyed it. And I thought, you know, if I have a platform such as a podcast, people should know about not just about the concept of Ikigai, they should also know the person who has written about it extensively. And so I just reached out and said, "Hey, loved your book, want to do a podcast?"

And he said, yeah, absolutely.

I just love how things just kind of come together like that. It seems on the surface that they may be random, but I really don't believe that I don't believe in random meetings or random events like that.

It's just a real pleasure to bring onto the show, the author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, Hector Garcia.

In my conversation with Hector, you'll learn:

-What is an ikigai?...05:40

  • Life and "worthwhile"
  • Not limited to humans
  • "That thing that makes you look forward to waking up in the morning"

-Why Hector is more interested in the word ikigai becoming famous than himself...

-How ikigai is understood by different cultures...10:42

  • A compass

-Good resistance vs. bad resistance...15:00

-How Hector discovered his own ikigai...19:00

-How to pursue your ikigai without making reckless decisions for you and your family...25:02

-Why a "real job" may be the exactly what you need to be a successful musician...28:10

-Increase your productivity while working in a state of "flow"...30:50

-What makes Japan so special?...37:45

-And much more!

Resources mentioned:

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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