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It was an overwhelming moment for the students of MICA, Ahmedabad, to listen to the coauthor of the bestselling book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Healthy Life sharing lessons on how to live a meaningful life.

Addressing MICAns virtually, Mr. Francesc Miralles shared his insights on the Japanese way of living long, happy, and meaningful lives and finding the right purpose in the post-pandemic world. The interactive session was held as part of MICA’s annual marketing festival MICANVAS.

The book hit the bookshelves in 2016, and since then, it has inspired millions of people across the globe to try and find their own Ikigai. In the book which is centered on Okinawa, an island in Japan, authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles focus on the ways adopted by its residents who are known for their longevity, with the island having more centenarians than anywhere in the world.

Defining Ikigai to the students, Mr.Miralles said, “Ikigai is the result of combining your passion, mission, and job. This book answers some fundamental questions on why certain individuals keep doing what they have been doing for years even though it is the same thing over and over again.”

Emphasizing on the Japanese community culture, he said, “A community has a lot to do with longevity. Communities are like families that include neighbours and friends. These communities take a lot of care for one other. If your neighbour has a problem, it is also your shared problem, and hence you fight the problem together. They act as a clan collectively. It is like having a welfare net. The Japanese philosophy emphasizes the idea that you are not alone but you are a part of something bigger.”

In the Okinawa Islands, the concept of retirement does not exist. “You must not prepare for death and must be active until the last day of your life. Keep doing what you love. There is no concept of retirement in Japan. You must take care of body, brain, and social networks”, he said.

Elaborating on the process of identifying one’s passion, he urged students to try and make mistakes to find the right passion. “The trial-and-error method will help you identify with what you are most passionate about. Then, when you meet new people, it catalyzes the process of identifying your Ikigai. It is very important to identify what pleases you. You must try all things from the constellation of your passion. Taking care of your inner circle increases your spiritual energy, makes you happier, and increases your ability to use motivating tools when in need.”

The session was moderated by MICA Professor Dr. Harmony Siganporia, who expressed her gratitude to thank Mr. Miralles for his valuable time and sharing his words of wisdom.

Ruchita Patil, a core member of Team MICANVAS’21, said, “The idea to invite Mr.Miralles was to solve the thematic purpose of rejuvenating the physical being of life among our students. The takeaways from the session included the renovation and re-evolution of several Ikigai’s in different walks of our lives. He further explained how our brains are wired distinctly based on our family orientation, cultural distinctions, and selfproclamations and how each individual can customize their own Ikigai as if it were a catalogue.”

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