Have a Different Approach to Life Through IKIGAI-KAN

Through his book, IKIGAI-KAN, Nick Kemp seeks to let people know that there is a different way of thinking and living -- a different approach to life that can help people feel that life is worth living.

Grab a copy of IKIGAI-KAN: Feel a Life Worth Living. Visit ikigaikan.com for more details.

Ikigai-kan presents an accurate and respectful perspective in the context of Japanese culture.

Caitlin: I guess I should also mention to people who are listening that I'm a member of your Ikigai Tribe community. I've taken your workshops on ikigai. And I've taught using what I've learned.

And every time I teach, I have students who say where can I find out more about this. So I think it's really nice that there is now a resource that they can turn to, in their own time to find out more about all of what you just described, there's definitely an appetite for that.

Nick: Indeed, and I still got an appetite. So there's so much to learn about. If you think about it, what does make life feel worth living? Trying to answer that, I think you need many long, meaningful conversations with many people from many different cultures, not just Japan. So yeah, but my book is focused on Japan. So hopefully it does offer some insight to the reader.

Caitlin: Well, interestingly, there are a couple of ikigai books out there. And so it's interesting to think about how does your book fit within that spectrum of offerings. So can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write the book and add your take to those others?

Nick: I guess for me, I did live in Japan for 10 years, my wife's Japanese and I've been studying the language for 25 years. Some of the books I've come across offer a very romanticised perception of ikigai, and there is a lot of misinformation on ikigai on the web, and in quite a few books.

So I guess for me, I wanted to offer a Japanese perspective, and really go deep with that. So that was the initial purpose. I was thinking, wow, all this information on the web and Venn diagrams, and it's the secret hack to longevity, and it's a word from Okinawa, and it's your one life purpose. 

So all that's actually completely wrong. So maybe I should write a book. But as you know, I took me awhile to get started.

Caitlin: We've talked a little bit about your goal in writing the book and what you're trying to achieve with the book. And you've touched on that a little bit. But I think that there are some other ideas you might want to add to what you've just said.

So do you want to think a little bit more about, you know, now that you've put the book out in the world, what do you hope it's going to achieve?

Nick: Well, that's a good question. I mean, the reasons I wrote the book, were obviously to dispel these myths, and Western romanticised notions about ikigai, and then present an accurate and respectful perspective in the context of Japanese culture. 

And for me, I felt it was a way to give back to Japan, and also recognize all the people I've interviewed on my podcast. And a lot of researchers, they're really good at researching, but they're terrible at marketing.

So they'll spend hundreds of hours on a paper or on a dissertation, and then they don't know how to find an audience for it. So I wanted to give back to them. And I do hope it will be a little bit of a legacy I can pass on to my son.

But it doesn't feel like that at the moment with his constant jibes and sort of playfulness about me being an author.

Caitlin: Some point, he has to grow up a little bit, he'll look back on this day.

Nick: Hopefully in 10 years or something. But to answer your question, what am I hoping to achieve in the book, I guess, in a nutshell, I'd like to open up the reader to a different way of thinking and living.

That there is another way to approach life that would hopefully make your life feel even more worth living, and more fulfilling.