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BOOK REVIEW: IKIGAI BY HECTOR GARCIA AND CO-AUTHOR FRANSESC MIRALLES

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word. The meaning of which translates roughly to a reason for being in this world, it encompasses a sense of joy, a sense of purpose and meaning in life, and an overall feeling of well-being. The word derives from iki, meaning life and kai, meaning the realisation of hopes and expectations in Japanese.

    Japanese ikigai is the thing that makes you get out of bed happy every morning. A few years ago, everyone was talking about hygge, a Danish concept that cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. For example on a snowy day, you’ve might have experienced hygge without even knowing about it. In the same vein, another untranslatable word—ikigai—has captured the imagination of those searching for the key to living a long and happy life. Hector Garcia, a software engineer who was born in Spain but has lived in Japan for over a decade, and his co-author Fransesc Miralles delved deep into the secrets of Japan’s super-centenarians to distil the essence of this Japanese philosophy to produce a bestselling book titled ‘Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life’.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word, that’s almost, impossible to translate—that’s why we had to write a book about it, say the authors. You can think of it, as the thing that makes you, get out of bed happy every morning. The literal meaning of it is the purpose of your life, but it’s a lot more than that. For me, one of my most significant Ikigai is, writing the best I can, in order to make, other people’s lives better, says the author. The book is all about connecting with everything—what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs.

    Ogimi is a village in Okinawa, Japan, where people live the longest in the world. The authors learn from their interviews with hundreds of elders there that they always keep themselves busy, but in a good manner. Elders shouldn’t have a dream that they’ll retire and then do nothing in life they say. In big cities, people are too busy racing through life. Their lifestyle is either doing a lot or doing nothing. That’s an extreme, and they need to find a middle ground.

    The book has some interesting tips on food and diet. These days there are thousands of diet charts out there, and each one tells you to do something different. It becomes very aimless and stressful to follow them. The idea here is you eat whatever you want, but you stop when you’re 80% full. That could mean not having that ice cream or a sweet to round off your meal.

    Start of the day is very important. So, ask yourself, what are the important things you want to do when you wake up in the morning? If that’s difficult for you to answer, you can spend some minutes every morning writing down what you’re looking forward to, in your day. After some days of doing this, you will start noticing a pattern. For example, you might realise that you enjoy your job, but don’t like your boss. So, you can try to find a job in the same industry. An interesting statistic that the author finds is that 90% of people in their 40s and 50s, have changed careers—and only 10% study something and then work on it forever. Connecting with your Ikigai isn’t going to be sudden, the key is discovering yourself and the things you like and dislike.

    But what does one do in cases where their Ikigai is financially unviable? It’s the most difficult question, and the one the author is still trying to find an answer to. With the internet, one can try various things while doing a job. Maybe, you can start pursuing whatever interests, one has, and slowly try to get paid for it. Interesting things start happening when one starts pursuing what one loves. It’s worse to not even try.

     There is a great amount of sense in being with a community for living a long and happy life. Ogimi is a small village full of people with similar life philosophies. But this indeed is a rare case as most of us live in unequal societies rife with disagreement.

    In Ogimi people are neither poor nor rich so it’s easy to make communities where everyone puts the same amount of money together for common goals. But this doesn’t work so smoothly in different environments. However, one can start developing these communities with the people they trust. Where, one will gradually feel supported, and the community will only grow.

    The book also talks about anti-fragility as a concept. It’s like bacteria—the more they get attacked, the stronger they become. In everyone’s lives, disaster and bad things happen. A family member may die, or you could get an illness. It’s important to remember that you get stronger by each damage done to you.

    The response to this book has been overwhelming. It is being translated into more than 54 languages around the world. In fact it has become the most translated Spanish book in history. Soon, it will be translated into Telugu, Hindi and Marathi. In case you have not found your Ikigai in life this indeed is the book. I won’t hesitate in giving it a rating of eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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BOOK LAUNCH: TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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(Now available in both e-book and paperback in Amazon, Flipkart and onlinegatha)

    ‘Salesman’ is the living isthmus between the consumer and the distant plant. He is the ebullient performer between the two that brings about the market place happening. Therefore, it’ll only be right to say that, ‘a company is known by the salesman it keeps.’

    ‘Typical tale of an Indian Salesman’ is one such story of an Indian salesman Sooraj Chowdhary who hails from a small city. He has no coveted Ivy League qualification barring a B.A. degree. So, he struggles initially in life. But finally manages to join the Indian Corporate Inc as a salesman. Where, he works his way up, through countless uncertainties. To, finally come out victorious. During his long corporate journey, he works in several metros, state capitals, small towns and even rural belts. He also works for various industries and assignments and at various levels.

    The book takes you through the humongous markets of North, West and South of the Indian mainland, and even the island market of Andaman and Nicobar, located across the eastern shore of India. It starts with the modest beginning of the protagonist, but soon zooms into a success story. All along it tunnels through the customer, channel partner and the marketer. It also tussles between the front line sales offices and the head office. Where, you can almost feel a hands-on picturisation. 

    The book even showcases the juggernaut of the Indian Corporate vis-a-vis the complexities of India. It explains in great detail. What it takes for a salesman. To deliver, even, a packet of salt to the consumer, in his neighbourhood market.

    Written in fiction format it narrates in depth, the professional nuances of a salesman’s career. It explains in great detail, that apart from achieving billing, collection and market share—the magic numbers called targets. A salesman is also supposed to nurture new relationships with consumers to build long term customer base. 

    The book covers in great practicality, aspects that the protagonist-salesman, comes across, while functioning in his day-to-day job. So every lesson of marketing and sales is meticulously described in the book as a job function. To sensitise you. I’m giving below a few such points: 

-Direct selling, field work, learning from Chandni Chowk the wholesale market of Delhi.
-Fight for market leadership, Billing, collection, market share, outstanding, market forecasts, carpet bombing—marketing strategy
-Retail, wholesale, B2B, B2C
-Power of training, formal and informal learnings
-‘Process’ the 5th ‘P’ of marketing
-Customer meets
-Relocation, job changes
-Channel management, dealer development, dealer awards, rise and fall of dealerships, new generation in dealerships, franchisee appointments
-Product launches
-Boss subordinate relationship
-Executive versus entrepreneur in a salesman
-Building your own brand equity
-Sting of decision making
-Rare customer interface
-Encounter with market malady
-The power of TEVIIS—trust, ethics, value, integrity, innovation and value
-Avoid operating as a lone ranger
-Competition
-The power of initiative
-Team spirit
-The power of PAPs—Personal Audit points
-Strategy and tactics
-SCM challenges
-How to handle pressure
-Head Office vs front line sales
-Global challenges
-CRM, ERP
-Business communication
-Gift of the gab
-Career direction not always in your hands
-Projects and start-ups
-Manpower training
-Speak your mind
-Business opportunism
-Business diversification
-The rat race
-Learn to remember the salesman
-Political leader vs business leader
-Disconnect between education and employability 
The narration has chapters and within that sub-chapters to keep the focus of the reader in alignment.
The book is written by a salesman and is a tribute to his fraternity
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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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SHORT STORY: TEXTILE MERCHANT … know your strengths

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short1 shortstory

TEXTILE MERCHANT … know your strengths

    Once upon a time. There lived a merchant who used to deal in textiles. He used to reside close to a port where ships from foreign countries used to dock with loads of merchandise. And from whom, he used to buy goods to sell in the local market through his shop.

    He had five workers who use to work under his manager. And the manager in turn used to report to him. So in all he had six employees. Each time, when a ship moored in the port. The merchant used to send his manager to get the details of the merchandise available, and basis his acumen and the information collected by him. The Merchant used to buy the merchandise, and the same used to get conveniently sold in his shop located in the market.

    One day, the employees working under the manager came up to the merchant and started requesting for a higher salary on the plea, that they work harder than the manager. Who only sat there and gave instructions while they did the entire labour. The merchant gave them a patient hearing and promised to look into the matter.

    One day when the merchant received a communication from the dock that a ship had arrived loaded with textile. He, instead of sending his manager sent one of the employees working under him to find out about the merchandise that had arrived in the port.

   The employee happily left, thinking the merchant this time had given him a chance to prove himself, instead of the manager. And after sometime he returned from the port when the merchant asked,

    ‘From which country has the merchandise arrived?’

    ‘I don’t know about the country master, but it is big ship with lots of merchandise.’

    ‘What kind of fabric do they have?’

    ‘I don’t know about that master, but there are big bundles, appearing to be thaans’  (bolts of fabric).

    ‘But are the thaans designed for children, ladies or gents?’

    ‘Master I didn’t ask about that. You want me to check again?’

    ‘Then tell me the price range of each thaan? Basis which I will be able to make out whether it is for ladies, gents or children?’

    ‘Sorry master I missed that too.’

    ‘And what about the total value of the merchandise?’

    ‘No idea master.’ Replied the employee, somewhat embarrassed and staring at the floor.

    Merchant looked at the employee pensively and said, ‘Few days back you and your fellow colleagues had come asking for an increase in salary. Because you felt you work harder than the manager. This time I gave you an assignment of the manager. Thinking you will be able to at least equal what he does, if not out-perform him. Had I sent the manager he would have got all the details without my asking and perhaps he could have answered ten more queries of mine. Basis which I could have made my purchase decision.

    Now to get all the relevant information in one go. I will again have to send someone. So, whom should I send this time?’ asked the merchant.

    The employee looked up and politely replied, ‘the manager master.’

    Moral of the story: Before we expect a higher salary or consider ourselves appropriate for a higher position. We must analyse how talented, skilled and knowledgeable we are about the assignment we are aspiring for. In this case while the jobs of employees had more of physical work the manger’s job was to gather niche information about the merchandise. But that alone helped in making purchase decisions, leading to sales, generation of revenue and profits.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

         Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

         IFSC code: BKID0006805

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