In search of ‘IKIGAI’…

Muhammad Armaghan Tanveer
3 min readMay 22, 2021

The Japanese concept, ‘Ikigai’, translates roughly as “the happiness of always being busy.” This is a prologue of the series of articles I plan to write on the critically acclaimed and successful book of the same name.

If you have followed my journey, you know that I am a Bollywood fanatic at heart. Every movie I watched embedded the belief that my life cannot be as ordinary and mundane as everyone else’s. I kept on waiting for my ‘moment’ to make it big in life. In this search for something more, I rushed past my youth years, education, and the first few years of my career. In fact, I don't even feel nostalgia like others, mainly because all that time is a blur to me. In continuation to my search for something more, I came to Toronto, believing that a developed world will be more attuned to what I had to offer than my home country, which was categorized as a third world country. Enter Armaghan Tanveer, a numbers guy by profession and a wanna-be artist by heart — had everything planned. But the pandemic stalled my plans of world domination. The world was shut down, and I was alone in a new country, starting everything over. Although at the time, it felt like a difficult period, in hindsight, I can see this to be a life-changing experience.

By slowing down, I got a new perspective on life. I realized I would always be someone who loves staying busy, which was not a bad thing. The only shift in mindset I needed was understanding that this is what makes me happy and satisfied. Continuing to search for more is what my passion is. I would never stop. For example, blogging was not enough; I would want to go into video creation; then to course creation, learn to draw, etc. , while working at my full-time job, which, mind you, pays for all my other initiatives. As with everything else worthwhile in life, this change in perspective took a lot of time and effort. One of the books that played a significant part in my journey was the book called “Ikigai,” the inspiration behind this series of articles.


The book is the work of two authors (Hector Garcia & Frances Miralles) coming together from Japan and Spain searching for answers to the questions like the meaning of life and its purpose. While discussing Western psychology, they realized that certain concepts had not been researched in detail in the West, which has been practiced in South Japan. They could not find any book dedicated to the idea of ikigai in the West. The curiosities peaked when they came up with the stats that an island named Ogimi had the best ratio of people living over 100 years (way above the world’s average out of 100,000 inhabitants). They studied these centenarians' secrets (people living for more than 100 years) to find out what exactly was behind their longevity. In addition to eating healthy, a simple life outdoors, and enough rest, they also practiced teamwork which made them a part of a community.

In the next few articles, I will discuss the key concepts the authors explain while understanding ikigai. Each article will deal with a single concept that can be applied to our lives and obviously my learnings and opinions on those as well. By doing this, I hope I will retain a lot of what I read as I would be summarizing my thoughts. At the same time, it will also serve as a summary for you guys if you can’t find time to read the full book.

I’m Armaghan Tanveer, a numbers guy by profession. I write about everything that I find interesting, including productivity, investments, passive income, and personal experiences. If you like what I do, you can buy me a coffee ☕️ here.



Muhammad Armaghan Tanveer

I am a CPA by profession & a romantic by heart - basically I can talk about your love life & emotions while doing your taxes or reconciling your bank accounts.