The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

Hector Garcia 'Unleashing Ikigai: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment in Life'

John Carter
September 7, 2023
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Hector Garcia 'Unleashing Ikigai: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment in Life'

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Many of you will have heard of Ikigai, the Japanese concept of aligning our lives to our purpose, something I am deeply involved with at the moment on my coaching programmes. Hector has written two of the best selling books on this topic, and is based in Japan himself. In this conversation, I get into areas of the methods that Hector suggests, but also does himself. By the end of this conversation, you will understand not only what Ikigai is, but also how to start weaving it's principles into your day to day life.

We became fast friends on this episode, and have invited Hector back onto the podcast in a few months to catch up. So if you're a member of Premium This is HCD, you will be able to ask him a question? Not a member yet? The link is in the shownotes and it costs €3.99 per month for an ad-free feed with some additional perks along the way.

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Episode Transcript

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[00:00:00] Hector Garcia: [00:01:00] [00:02:00] [00:03:00] Yeah, yeah. In fact, it was one of my first, uh, one of my first experiences in my life, like getting out of Spain was being, I was one month in Dublin in a summer school by my own without my parents. And so it was like my first memories in my life of being on my own walking in a city. It's in Dublin.

[00:03:33] Gerry Scullion: Ah, very cool. What age were you when you were in Dublin?

[00:03:37] Hector Garcia: I remember.

[00:03:38] Hector Garcia: Going to bookstores, video game stores, and there was also Warhammer stores in those times, so those like, I want, I had my pocket money, I had like, okay, how do your, what do I buy this summer? And, uh, it

[00:03:57] Gerry Scullion: What year were you here? When, when were you [00:04:00] here?

[00:04:00] Hector Garcia: I'm talking about 1995, something like that.

[00:04:04] Gerry Scullion: okay.

[00:04:05] Hector Garcia: I had, I, yeah, I remember I had my first Windows computer and I was in Ireland airline with a little bit of money.

[00:04:13] Hector Garcia: And I remember I bought, uh, a computer gate command. Command and Conquer and Red Alert, I, I bought them in Dublin and then I went back to Spain and play video games. And then this funny story is probably my next experience living in a city. It's in Tokyo, like, because I'm from a little village in Spain, so for me, it was like, okay, this is a city, like,

[00:04:40] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. True. Dublin was probably a big city. Whereas like when you compare it to somewhere like Tokyo or London or even Barcelona, you're like, that's, it's just a village. Like Dublin is quite small in that sense. When you compare it, you know, the power of comparison is really good. Like I had a conversation with somebody last night and we're talking about, you know, working in [00:05:00] many different types of organizations and what that gives the mind being able to compare against one thing of another, how do you see the fact that you've lived in all of these different places and you've come from a relatively small, um, village outside of Valencia, what do you think that gave you as an individual?

[00:05:19] Hector Garcia: think it's important. To experience all. I don't think that you sometimes try like this is better or worse like I think it's important to experience all and then and I think it also depends on your which phase you are in your life and then maybe you like more. I think in your twenties. And your 30s probably being in a very vibrant big city is what that's what keeps me in Tokyo,

[00:05:52] Gerry Scullion: yeah,

[00:05:53] Hector Garcia: it's, uh, people think always in terms of opportunities and that's [00:06:00] true, like in a big city is much easier to find opportunities.

[00:06:04] Hector Garcia: I think it's also like the eye. Ideas like the type of people that will go to a big city and the density of those ideas. It becomes a very, I think, Tokyo, if you look at it, it's a city of. Or many trends in Asia, many start in Tokyo. It's like, uh, New York or La Los Angeles in the us like in LA they create a movie and then something happens.

[00:06:39] Hector Garcia: So whereas being, I'm very grateful to have like the first. 20 years of my life being in a village, like you, you almost know, not everyone, but like there is three, four schools, like everyone, you know, all the kids, you have your friends. [00:07:00] That's also very warm and nice. It's like being in, I look at it now.

[00:07:05] Hector Garcia: Okay, I was living almost in paradise. I had a very, very grateful for a very, very nice, uh, childhood.

[00:07:13] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:07:14] Hector Garcia: So I think experiencing all, and then you can shift your modes. I think in my, in my, like, there is some people they get addicted to cities and they can only live in a city. I think I can, I can shift the modes.

[00:07:28] Hector Garcia: I think I prefer now to be on holidays. Go to a quiet place

[00:07:33] Gerry Scullion: yeah, not to another city. So, what did giving or living in a village give you? Like, what were the values that were instilled with you? And what was the relationship between village living? Because you lived there for your formative years from 0 to 20. You had a couple of experiences, you came to Dublin, so you probably got to see, you know, another city, another perspective.

[00:07:55] Gerry Scullion: But what were the key values that you learned as a child through living in village,

[00:07:59] Hector Garcia: [00:08:00] I think that

[00:08:00] Gerry Scullion: in Spain?

[00:08:02] Hector Garcia: respect like almost like everyone thinking that I think some people that. They have been born and they've been all their lives in a city. They don't feel a sense of everyone is your family. We're all human beings and in, uh, in a village at the end of the day, everyone as everyone is kind of family.

[00:08:27] Hector Garcia: So if you do something good, there is this concept of karma is not. Japanese is from India, but

[00:08:35] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, I know.

[00:08:36] Hector Garcia: if you do good things, probably good things will come back to you. If you do bad things to people, like people, this is also like, there are also bad things in living. If you think it in another way, in a village, there are also people complain.

[00:08:53] Hector Garcia: Everyone is, uh, how do you say, gossiping, gossiping, but that's human nature. And I think it's, if [00:09:00] you do good things, people will gossip good things about you. Or maybe there is in Spain, there's lots of jealousy and envy. Uh, I think those are, that's, that's okay. That teaches you a lot. It's like, okay, I have to be careful.

[00:09:14] Hector Garcia: If I say something bad, it will have consequences. Whereas when I came to a very, very big city. The effect was a little bit different. It's like, oh, wow, I'm, I'm on my own here. I can be a little bit of, I can be doing wild things here, like many foreigners when we come to Japan or to Tokyo and you're on your own and you start, you go wild.

[00:09:38] Gerry Scullion: yeah,

[00:09:40] Hector Garcia: You have to be, and then you start catching yourself. Okay. I'm like, no one, you can disappear basically in Tokyo.

[00:09:47] Gerry Scullion: yeah. Pretty much, I can imagine. I've never been, I want to go though. My friend Eduardo lives there and he keeps on saying you need

[00:09:54] Hector Garcia: you have a feeling of, uh, I think of freedom and everything,

[00:09:59] Gerry Scullion: [00:10:00] anonymously.

[00:10:00] Hector Garcia: a feeling. It can become a, it can, it's a double sword, like it can become also loneliness. So I think that's the, I learned a lot about human psychology. Like you can, I think,

[00:10:16] Gerry Scullion: well, it's, it's really interesting because, um, when I was researching, like, I, I obviously found out, uh, a number of years ago, maybe, I don't know, close to 10 years ago, I heard the phrase, it could go. Okay. I hadn't really heard about it before. Um, and then I remember seeing people talk about your book.

[00:10:35] Gerry Scullion: Okay. And I was like, okay. This person has written a book. When you start delving into your past, you've written lots of books, okay? Like, and you've, you've got like close to nine or ten, I think, as it is from, from,

[00:10:49] Hector Garcia: now it's around 10 books. Yeah.

[00:10:52] Gerry Scullion: incredible. How do you describe to people when you're in that awkward situation of when people ask you that question that I still fear, what do you [00:11:00] do?

[00:11:00] Gerry Scullion: How do you describe, how do you

[00:11:01] Hector Garcia: Ah, what do you do?

[00:11:03] Gerry Scullion: What do you do?

[00:11:04] Hector Garcia: Do you do I I say I'm, I'm a writer. I write books and that's what I, I say.

[00:11:11] Gerry Scullion: And do people usually just stop there? Do they just kind of go, okay that's,

[00:11:15] Hector Garcia: no, that's, that's the weird thing. Like people say, so, so what, what do you do Conference? Because times like, do you do conferences or do you do podcasts and like, I show up in podcasts from of other people, but I don't have my own podcast and,

[00:11:32] Gerry Scullion: Not yet anyway.

[00:11:33] Hector Garcia: people try to make me. Do things that are not that's interesting.

[00:11:38] Hector Garcia: It's like it's like writing is not enough They say you should do your own podcast. You should do your but and maybe I will fall into the temptation of doing something else But now I'm very stubborn. I'm very focused on because that's my fact That's my message in my book. I think I wrote my book icky [00:12:00] guy a little bit for myself

[00:12:02] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:12:02] Hector Garcia: Uh, like really focusing on what you're good at and what you love it, it's what is in the face.

[00:12:13] Hector Garcia: I'm now like, maybe in the, I also say like the key guy or your focus in your life can can change. So maybe later I might start doing other things, but now

[00:12:25] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:12:25] Hector Garcia: I'm very focused on writing.

[00:12:28] Gerry Scullion: and writing, and you're doing a great job with that as well, and you enjoy it. So let's talk, let's talk about the journey, your own personal journey towards writing that book. You mentioned that you were almost writing it for yourself. Um, what, what did you study or did you study in university and how did you end up in Tokyo?

[00:12:50] Gerry Scullion: What's the, what's the, the fascination with Japanese culture as well

[00:12:54] Hector Garcia: I'm, I'm, I'm originally, I can say, uh, I don't know what word you [00:13:00] use in England or Dublin,

[00:13:02] Gerry Scullion: in Ireland? Yeah,

[00:13:05] Hector Garcia: use nerd or a geek in the U. S. or otaku we use in, in, in Japan. I was, uh, I love computers and I love video games and my dream was I, I would, uh, want to. Some, they create my own video games, like being a video game programmer, like I wanted to be work at Nintendo or something.

[00:13:31] Hector Garcia: I was dreaming, like I was wondering always, like, why do all like cool stuff, like video game in the nineties, everything came from Japan. So

[00:13:41] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Yeah, true.

[00:13:43] Hector Garcia: it was a huge mystery for me. Like, why, why are all these, why can't Spanish people do? Nintendo video games, like why is Japanese, why are Japanese, so yeah, what's going on over there?

[00:13:57] Hector Garcia: And then I looked in the map, it's like, oh, it's very [00:14:00] far away. And, and here I am,

[00:14:04] Gerry Scullion: need to explain.

[00:14:05] Hector Garcia: but, and then, so yeah, I studied computer science, uh, software engineering. Then I was for a while in Switzerland. And then in Japan, I was always working in IT internet companies,

[00:14:22] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:14:23] Hector Garcia: but I realized since day one, I arrived. In fact, before coming to Japan, I was always writing.

[00:14:33] Hector Garcia: I'm a person that has been always writing a diary for myself. And when I came to Japan. I from day one I was writing in a blog and in the blog I was I was I was trying to answer myself all the questions when you arrive to Japan you have no idea it's it's a very it's very shocking like it's like many things like [00:15:00] you don't understand why are these things happening in this way why I was answering myself questions about Japan

[00:15:07] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:15:07] Hector Garcia: and after a while My, my blog became one of the most read blogs in Spain, that was a success on the internet like the times where blogs were important before Twitter and Facebook like,

[00:15:21] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:15:22] Hector Garcia: and I, I converted that blog into a book, and I went to publishers, and all of them said, No, except one.

[00:15:34] Hector Garcia: And that was my first book, like, came in 2000. And eight or 15 years ago, it was, uh, the title is a geek in Japan

[00:15:45] Gerry Scullion: Oh,

[00:15:45] Hector Garcia: and it's still selling very strong. They, I think I wrote that book to be a timeless book about Japan for someone who wants to get the way for the first time. [00:16:00] So have you ever been in Japan, Gary or not yet?

[00:16:04] Hector Garcia: Then that's the book I would give you as a present, like before going to Japan or while you are traveling in Japan. Or after you go to Japan without reading my book, because my book might spoil you some things. So you come to Japan, and after 15 days here, you freak out, you go back, you're all full of questions.

[00:16:27] Hector Garcia: Then you read my book, A Geek in Japan, and it would bring you, ah, now this makes sense.

[00:16:32] Gerry Scullion: I understand.

[00:16:33] Hector Garcia: This still makes no sense. I don't agree with Hector. So that's,

[00:16:38] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Okay. Okay.

[00:16:39] Hector Garcia: that's how my first book came to an end while working. Like being, working with computers and writing software, I realized that one of my skills in Teams was always, I was good, I was, at programming I [00:17:00] was average, like, but at writing documentation and helping clarify ideas, I think I was better than average.

[00:17:10] Gerry Scullion: How did you determine your average, Hector? How

[00:17:13] Hector Garcia: I don't know how that's always, that's a question I, I get a lot, and probably you too, if you talk with, like, like, I think it's something you realize, let's talk in general, like, we are always, when you're 15, 15 years old, we all remember things that we are told. By others, you are good at math or you are bad at math, you are good at this, you are at soccer, you are good at basketball, and we are tall things, and maybe it's a totally random thing that someone told you in this, like, or your father or your cousin told you, but that sticks in your mind because those are Times you're growing [00:18:00] and then it might become a self fulfilling prophecy.

[00:18:03] Hector Garcia: If someone starts telling you you're good at this, you're good at this, then you start doing it more. So I've thought a lot about that, like, like, and I was usually told that I was bad at writing.

[00:18:19] Gerry Scullion: You were.

[00:18:20] Hector Garcia: and that's stuck in my mind, I think. And then it's an act of rebellion.

[00:18:25] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:18:26] Hector Garcia: So it's like, okay, I'm writing. Let's see.

[00:18:29] Hector Garcia: So then I started writing more and more and more. So, and then I think To realize, to have a self awareness of what you are good at or not, it takes a, it takes a lot of time, I think, to notice those things. I think it comes with experience. So you have to observe yourself and also other people, how they behave around you [00:19:00] and being honest with yourself.

[00:19:02] Hector Garcia: So, because, for example, programming, I wanted to be the best programmer, but I noticed at some point that there were like crazy good programmers and software engineers and there was a moment I said, okay, I'm not, I have to find something slightly that usually when there is something very, very good. Like a very specialized thing is very difficult to stand out

[00:19:31] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:19:31] Hector Garcia: and I like more for myself.

[00:19:34] Hector Garcia: I like the idea of being an a specialized. Or mixing two things, mixing the crossover of two things and try to stand out in that. And that's where I think my first books were a little bit like I'm explaining something like a software engine, like I'm explaining Japan.

[00:19:55] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:19:55] Hector Garcia: Uh, explaining Japan in a way that.

[00:19:58] Hector Garcia: Everyone can [00:20:00] understand almost like a software engineer. So I found a way to cross my skills and start writing books.

[00:20:09] Gerry Scullion: Where do you think the fascination from Japan comes from though? Like, like, I know from you, you mentioned like video games and Nintendo, but when I was doing my thesis, like way, way long ago, like in 2000, um, I did it on the Sony Walkman. So like you,

[00:20:26] Hector Garcia: oh, really? Now we could. I was, I was reading, I was reading today. The Sony, uh, Morita, so probably, you know, more Morita at some point, maybe because when they created the Walkman, Sony was very, very small company,

[00:20:43] Gerry Scullion: Absolutely. Yeah.

[00:20:44] Hector Garcia: it was very, very small, and they had, they created a Walkman, which was the first portable,

[00:20:50] Gerry Scullion: music.

[00:20:51] Hector Garcia: music player ever, and then there was a brand, I forgot there was a brand from the U.

[00:20:58] Hector Garcia: S. or They wanted [00:21:00] to, like, subcontract Sony and change the brands in the Walkmans and make them called something else.

[00:21:07] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:21:08] Hector Garcia: And the condition was that they wanted like a hundred thousand, which was insane for Sony. So it was very, very big money. And Morita, who was the CEO of Sony at that point, He totally rejected it.

[00:21:22] Hector Garcia: He said, we will never 50. He said, 50 years from now, we will be bigger than you. And Sonny will be known everywhere in the world. And we will not change the brand of our, we will put Sonny.

[00:21:36] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:21:37] Hector Garcia: And I read that today. I didn't know that, that he was.

[00:21:42] Gerry Scullion: I encourage anyone not to read my thesis, but also just to go on the journey of trying to uncover the story of the Walkman. It is really, I loved it. And I was at that point that There wasn't anything before that, like we didn't have any influences in my own family about Japan, [00:22:00] but I really was drawn to the simplicity and the minimalism persists in, in Japanese design and culture.

[00:22:07] Gerry Scullion: Um, but one thing that happened to me around that time was I had, I'm like a chameleon with my friends, like I've got lots of different pockets of friends. Uh, one of my friends is called Deirdre Dunne and um, Deirdre was like, what are you writing your thesis on? I said, I'm doing it on the Sony Walkman. Really, my brother was involved with the Sony Walkman. And I was like, really? What, did he sell it like in a shop in Dublin? And he goes, no, no, no. Turns out her brother is Antony Dunne, for anyone listening. Speculative design, Hirshton Tales, author of the RCA and now he's in Parsons in New York. Hugely influential person in the design world.

[00:22:50] Gerry Scullion: And he gave me perspective and first hand information of what it was like to be around Sony. You know, in the early 80s, late 70s, early 80s. [00:23:00] Now, you can just look at that as me kind of dropping in an interesting tidbit of information. But I'm keen to understand your kind of perspective on that as a philosopher as well.

[00:23:10] Gerry Scullion: The whole role of synchronicities and how things happen and how things guide you. Is that a bad word, synchronicities?

[00:23:19] Hector Garcia: No, no, I love it. In fact, I like, I like synchronicity or like, I, I also like the word serendipity

[00:23:28] Gerry Scullion: Serendipity, I love it as well.

[00:23:30] Hector Garcia: things, things that happen, serendip,

[00:23:34] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:23:35] Hector Garcia: to pronounce. I love these stories, like

[00:23:39] Gerry Scullion: that whole kind of. The cadence of how these things happen can send you in a different trajectory in your life. And that really helped me because I was literally an Island studying design. I didn't have any, you know, family influence to really help me, um,

[00:23:56] Hector Garcia: but it was you from the story. It was you. [00:24:00] I always think that you have to be ready. When you see, I like a lot the quote from Steve Jobs, that you will only be able to connect the dots after, and then it will make sense. And it's very, it's very from what, and always when you look at those dots, it's like always times when you were ready.

[00:24:23] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:24:24] Hector Garcia: And also times where you were, your heart was in the right place and open and you were proactive. It was you who asked like your friends and said, Hey, I want to, and then. So it was, if you said nothing, nothing would have happened,

[00:24:39] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:24:40] Hector Garcia: like, it's very like proactivity. And that's something

[00:24:47] Gerry Scullion: It's a good point.

[00:24:48] Hector Garcia: that is always if you, I, I think there are also faces where I think this is where might be people who are introvert, very, very introvert.[00:25:00]

[00:25:00] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:25:01] Hector Garcia: Versus people who are very extrovert,

[00:25:03] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:25:04] Hector Garcia: I think my I'm introvert, so my strategy sometimes is if you want to create new stuff in your life or chaos, like, it's like, commit, you have to commit or say yes to many things. And then, but at some point, there is a reach, it can reach a point of like, like.

[00:25:26] Gerry Scullion: I haven't been to bed in seven days.

[00:25:28] Hector Garcia: Yes.

[00:25:29] Hector Garcia: Something like that. And then I have times where I switch to the other modes that now on the internet, they call it monk mode, but yeah, like the mode is

[00:25:39] Hector Garcia: like, okay, now I'm like, I'm on my own. There is this also, there are many, I think I've, haven't wrote about this in my books, but there is the say yes and say no to everything you reject.

[00:25:54] Hector Garcia: Like, and then, and so I'm, uh, I think. A [00:26:00] better strategy for life is like, okay, don't, don't be, I don't like being like, I like switching, switching the mode, like switching to, okay, now I'm, uh, like you, you said you were, you were like now in quiet time in August, but then maybe in September you switch and maybe some new things will happen in September.

[00:26:23] Gerry Scullion: It's gonna go gangbusters. Yeah, exactly.

[00:26:25] Hector Garcia: so, yeah, I would say if you want to create certain DPT, like start saying yes a lot.

[00:26:32] Gerry Scullion: So the conditions for serendipity to occur is really increasing your chances for luck to occur. Is that fair to

[00:26:42] Hector Garcia: Yes, yes, in fact that also interests me, like luck, because the probabilities of luck to happen to you, it increases the more stuff you put into. Also for like having ideas, like [00:27:00] reading a lot, or like not reading anything. Or reading, also another strategy like to read very diverse, like if you're reading only one type of thing, then you will have one type of ideas.

[00:27:15] Hector Garcia: This is the same for movies or art. If you're always with the,

[00:27:20] Gerry Scullion: Sci fi.

[00:27:21] Hector Garcia: yes, so if you're always that, that's where I was always like sci fi.

[00:27:26] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:27:28] Hector Garcia: So then I tried to force myself to read like broadly, and then you will start having more ideas.

[00:27:37] Gerry Scullion: And being able to

[00:27:37] Hector Garcia: e for Iki guy, I started reading many books about longevity, about, uh, Okinawa lifestyle, uh, how to, yeah, like a lot about, uh, Also about flow.

[00:27:53] Hector Garcia: It's an idea that I put into into the Ikigai book. Also about artisans, artists in Japan. [00:28:00] So I started reading all this very, they seem very different, but like, okay, the whole idea of this is Ikigai and that's how the Ikigai book was born. It was, it was also said in DPT, it was myself Proactively looking for those

[00:28:19] Gerry Scullion: yeah. The answers. Who created the, what came first? Was it the, the Venn diagram? I think Mark, um,

[00:28:27] Hector Garcia: Mark Wynne, which I also talk. I, I met him also like this in a, in a call

[00:28:35] Gerry Scullion: What was it? Was it like a,

[00:28:37] Hector Garcia: he lives in and I always forget. I'm sorry if he's listening. lives in an island. I always. It's an, there is an island below, I think it's below the UK and France that he lives, he

[00:28:53] Gerry Scullion: or Guernsey? Somewhere around there. We're disclosing his location now.

[00:28:58] Hector Garcia: So, but [00:29:00] he, he says it online.

[00:29:01] Hector Garcia: He's there.

[00:29:02] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. But which came first? Was it the book or was it the Venn diagram?

[00:29:06] Hector Garcia: the diagram was before and then the book, our book. Now also there, I have to say there are more than 100 books. About Ikigai, but our book was the first one that said, okay, this is worth to write a book about,

[00:29:23] Gerry Scullion: Journey, was it?

[00:29:25] Hector Garcia: uh, Ikigai, yeah, Ikigai Journey is the second one

[00:29:28] Gerry Scullion: Oh, the second one. So the one that I have is Ikigai.

[00:29:31] Hector Garcia: the Ikigai Journey is the second book because the book that you have is the original one that we are very.

[00:29:37] Gerry Scullion: Right here, folks. It's

[00:29:39] Hector Garcia: It's very open ended. I don't know if you notice, we don't answer. The main complaint we got is like, okay, this is all very nice. But how, how do I find my icky guy? It's very easy. It's very open ended. It's an inspirational book.

[00:29:56] Gerry Scullion: an explanatory

[00:29:58] Hector Garcia: we are not giving you the answers like, [00:30:00] and also we try not to be dogmatic because many people say you can only find your purpose in life if you do this, or if you do that, like we don't, we don't attach ourselves to anything.

[00:30:12] Hector Garcia: And the second book, it's an answer to that. It's like, okay, we will give you some answers. But we also don't tell you exactly what to do. We give you like 35 ideas and now you're on your own.

[00:30:27] Gerry Scullion: It's funny because... When I, when I coach change makers and I call change people, change makers who want to improve situations, whether that's organizational design, service design, or just going on their own journey to understand how they can improve situations for themselves. So it could be career change, whatever it is.

[00:30:47] Gerry Scullion: But whenever I start talking about purpose, people seem to compartmentalize it into life coaching. And I'm sure this is not a new concept for [00:31:00] you in terms of like when you talk about Ikigai, you run into the whole kind of conversation about Oh, Tony Robbins, Ikigai, um, and all that, and I loved, I remember I watched, um, a great, great episode you did with, uh, the folks at High Performance, and they called it Shelf, Shelf Help Books, and I thought that was brilliant.

[00:31:19] Gerry Scullion: I said someone needs to

[00:31:21] Hector Garcia: It goes to the self.

[00:31:23] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, it goes straight to the shelf,

[00:31:26] Hector Garcia: I

[00:31:26] Gerry Scullion: and I laughed at

[00:31:27] Hector Garcia: like their, I remember their humor. Like

[00:31:30] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, they're very British, very British. You were very, very dry, dark,

[00:31:35] Hector Garcia: To myself.

[00:31:37] Gerry Scullion: but it was really good. So like for some reason, I don't know what's it's, it's having a reaction for me inside. When I talk about self help books, it's almost as if it's dirty.

[00:31:46] Gerry Scullion: It's almost like we, we don't want to be associated with it. Have you found that to be sort of a thing? Like there's, there's an industry that's just evolved towards this

[00:31:56] Hector Garcia: I don't know. I, because I have, [00:32:00] I think there is some, I, I don't have a, I don't have a strong opinion on, on this, but there is some, because this, I think there, it's true. I think that there was some research that on self-help, like I think. It's not like they magically you're going to read a book and it's going to change your life forever.

[00:32:28] Hector Garcia: That's the like, that's not true. But I really believe that. And it doesn't matter if it's self, it can be a novel, I believe in the power of books

[00:32:41] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:32:42] Hector Garcia: help you, like if it's, if it shifts. Your perspective on something like, like one degree or like how you see, then that, that, that was good enough for me. I don't need to change your whole life

[00:32:56] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:32:57] Hector Garcia: and. [00:33:00] that's what I value in, in books and it can be, you can like, there is also like classifying. I'm putting your, when I was writing the book, I never thought I was writing a self help book, but then they classified it there. They put it in a box and then, then it becomes like self fulfilling, but I never, and then people started complaining.

[00:33:23] Hector Garcia: This is not a self help book because it's not. He's not answering the question like, no, this is a book about, we were traveling around Okinawa and we mix some stuff is not a self help book. So I don't know, I have mixed feelings. And then the next book, yes, it's a, we said, okay, now let's write a self help book because it's what everyone is asking for.

[00:33:46] Gerry Scullion: yeah.

[00:33:47] Hector Garcia: But then that one is selling much less because I think, I think people like more to be inspired.

[00:33:55] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:33:56] Hector Garcia: I think that's my opinion.

[00:33:58] Gerry Scullion: And I agree. Mm-hmm.

[00:33:59] Hector Garcia: [00:34:00] Then self help books can be also, you never know. It depends a lot also on the personality. As we said before, if you're an extrovert and you're more like with friends, you maybe you don't need you talking with friends, you get new ideas and it's helping you.

[00:34:14] Hector Garcia: But there's some people that maybe you need books. And I can say that for me, Books have totally shaped who I am and my life and everything. It's not, and I cannot identify like, okay, I had to read this book, this book, this book to be my, it's like the combination of all these things. It has made me, my, my, my ideas are like my values about how to see the world.

[00:34:46] Hector Garcia: So, yes, and also like, there is also this is very different now that I've been connected with audiences from all over the world. A key guy has been the top selling book [00:35:00] in India for three years,

[00:35:02] Gerry Scullion: right.

[00:35:03] Hector Garcia: like in all categories. Um, People there are much more, there is no, this, what you said about self help books that there is some,

[00:35:13] Gerry Scullion: Stigma.

[00:35:14] Hector Garcia: this, there is no, there is no, it's like, all for it, like, and they are pirating my book and they're making copies of it and, and they're photocopying it, and They don't care.

[00:35:27] Hector Garcia: It's like, there is no, and I like, I like that. I like the idea is there and many new things are happening.

[00:35:35] Gerry Scullion: Well, folks, if you're a photocopying Hector's book, don't do it. Uh, try and buy the book if you can afford it. 'cause you know, hec Hector likes getting his royalty check.

[00:35:45] Hector Garcia: yeah,

[00:35:45] Gerry Scullion: Oh. I'm keen to understand, do you believe if Ikigai, the concept of it, because it is a concept really, um, and it's a cultural concept as well that persists in Japan.

[00:35:58] Gerry Scullion: Is it exclusive to [00:36:00] Japan or are there other cultures around the world that have something similar?

[00:36:04] Hector Garcia: no, the only, that's another thing. There is nothing secret or even, or it's just, I think the, the power of it is that it's just one word

[00:36:16] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:36:17] Hector Garcia: that you have to say the sentence, like, what is your purpose in life? That's. That's too long. So sometimes putting something into one word like it's compressed. This is another software engineering.

[00:36:33] Hector Garcia: You're compressing information. So it's much easier if you're a parent. And we see what do you want to be when you grow old? Like we usually tell our kids, I think it's much more productive. Or more, more, more challenging to a kid or like he, if she, or she, he's like 10 years old. If you ask them, what is your icky guy, that will [00:37:00] make you like, okay.

[00:37:01] Hector Garcia: Even an adult is like, you ask an adult, like, what is your icky guy? You can ask like, what do you do? And like, okay, yes, I work in this company or I do this. But if you ask, what is your icky guy? Then you start thinking more.

[00:37:17] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:37:17] Hector Garcia: At a different layer, it's like,

[00:37:20] Gerry Scullion: A

[00:37:20] Hector Garcia: and then it becomes a useful word and then the kid will learn, okay, IKIGAI means the purpose of my life.

[00:37:28] Hector Garcia: Uh, what is my purpose in my, in my life? And then you can, you can start using it with friends. Like, I, my IKIGAI is this, what is your IKIGAI? So it becomes like, uh,

[00:37:38] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:37:39] Hector Garcia: and that's the only thing I think we, I don't take much credit of. We just expanded like,

[00:37:47] Gerry Scullion: On that.

[00:37:48] Hector Garcia: like the,

[00:37:49] Gerry Scullion: There's some great science and some research that backs the alignment to your purpose. Um, I don't know if you can recount any of it, [00:38:00] but I know there are pieces there that people who have aligned to their purpose are less likely to have health implications later in life, like stroke or heart attack.

[00:38:08] Gerry Scullion: Is that correct?

[00:38:10] Hector Garcia: [00:39:00] yes, well, if you are, if you're actively doing something that gives you like, it gives you purpose that I think that there are many, in fact, there are many, many studies and they're coming up more now

[00:39:20] Gerry Scullion: Mm.

[00:39:21] Hector Garcia: that you love. And then things will go bad. That's like, which in a sense, it makes sense. It's like we humans, we are made to be active

[00:39:35] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:39:35] Hector Garcia: and do things.

[00:39:36] Hector Garcia: So sometimes I think, because in Spain as a Spanish, we dream, we all dream of that day. Oh, I will retire and do nothing and go to the beach and have some drinks and do nothing.

[00:39:51] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:39:52] Hector Garcia: And we dream, we have this dream of retirement, but that's totally If you do that, maybe for [00:40:00] 15 days, it works. But if you do that for 15 years, it's like no good for you.

[00:40:04] Hector Garcia: Probably

[00:40:05] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:40:06] Hector Garcia: like you have to do something else. Okay. I'm going to take care of, and it can be something simple. I always say like, it doesn't need to be something complicated. It can be okay. I want to, I'm going to take care of my garden or I'm going to take care of my family or

[00:40:21] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Mm. Mm.

[00:40:22] Hector Garcia: it can be something extremely simple, but have something that gives you, Okay.

[00:40:28] Hector Garcia: I wake up in the morning.

[00:40:29] Gerry Scullion: Mm.

[00:40:30] Hector Garcia: This is what I'm going to do.

[00:40:32] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, one of the pieces when I'm, I'm coaching on purpose and I, I lean into the Ikigai kind of visualization, I guess, is people believe that all of those circles, those concentric circles, you have to take every single one of them to find your Ikigai, talk me through,

[00:40:54] Hector Garcia: I'm also very open.

[00:40:56] Gerry Scullion: I know

[00:40:56] Hector Garcia: you, we can like the India, India.[00:41:00]

[00:41:00] Gerry Scullion: the problem

[00:41:00] Hector Garcia: are surprised when I come to podcast and I say like, I'm very creative. Like you can make your own circles or you can.

[00:41:07] Gerry Scullion: yeah, add, add more to it. Like, you know, it's, there's no room.

[00:41:11] Hector Garcia: yes, be creative or destroy it. Like people are always ask about the money. The money circle is like, okay, and that gets people very anxious, like money.

[00:41:22] Gerry Scullion: I think that's where the criticism comes in for it, isn't it? That's where, where people are kind of like, oh, this is unobtainable. That's what, what some

[00:41:28] Hector Garcia: it's interesting. Like let's go, let's go like the four circles are like what we already talked before about what you are. What, what you're good at, which we were talking about, like, which it seems very simple, but sometimes we are wrong. Like, we are, we are good at something that maybe we haven't even noticed.

[00:41:51] Hector Garcia: And that's good

[00:41:52] Gerry Scullion: yeah.

[00:41:54] Hector Garcia: and. What you love doing that this is the easiest because I also I [00:42:00] recommend people to put like like crazy they go right like I love eating chocolate or I like wine with friends or they write whatever you want. So that's the easiest one. And then, uh, things you can make money with, and I always put like things that you're already now making money, like it can be your profession and something, it can be things that you suspect you could make money, but you've never done it, like, maybe you have dreams of, like, you suspect you could make money online doing something, or maybe you suspect you could make, uh, Shop and start selling.

[00:42:42] Hector Garcia: Start selling bread in your neighborhood because your bread is amazing and maybe you could make money with that. And then how to help the world. And this also, I like changing it to how can you help others? It doesn't mean need to be something [00:43:00] very big, like, okay, I'm going to help the whole world. Like, uh, Tony Robin's style.

[00:43:05] Hector Garcia: It can be something if a friend. Is having a hard time, just having, having a tea with your friend. That's good enough. It's a good thing you're doing. Or calling, calling someone. Like very small things is what I like or what, what you can help the world. So that will give you some idea and open your, not be dogmatic.

[00:43:33] Hector Garcia: Okay, I can only select this. And the money thing, it's interesting. I've also, I made, I was. I've done many talks like not coaching because I've done internal talks in companies and also to CEOs of like people who have basically millions of dollars

[00:43:56] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:43:57] Hector Garcia: and I talked to them. [00:44:00] I was once in front of. 200 CEOs, millions of dollars.

[00:44:06] Hector Garcia: And here I come to tell them how the key guy was like, I had like a hundred voices in my head, who I am to talk to these people who are a hundred times more successful than me. And, and then the, the question came, like the, like the, the question came with like, what this. This circle about money, we, and the question from them was totally the reverse.

[00:44:31] Hector Garcia: It's like, I don't care about money. I want to, I want to give back. So then I thought, well, then your circle for you is like, think about some, something that will give you purpose, not how to make more money, but how can you make other people around you make money or how to move that money to,

[00:44:53] Gerry Scullion: sure the wealth.

[00:44:54] Hector Garcia: to, to help the world.

[00:44:55] Hector Garcia: Yeah. So you can sing it. Yeah, in [00:45:00] terms of wealth, like how can I make people around me more wealthy?

[00:45:06] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:45:07] Hector Garcia: Yes. So very, I'm very open with the, the good thing about this. Now going back to self, like some, there is no magic. Like, okay, I will use this tool and then everything will be solved in my life. Kind of, but you can use different tools to. To, to open your mind and start thinking, okay, now maybe if I try this, so that's good enough. And I think that the IKIGAI circles are a very good tool for that. Like, it will make you think, uh,

[00:45:44] Gerry Scullion: the, the Ikigai piece is really interesting because when I first saw it, I was like, okay, I need to set up a weekly calendar invitation to, uh, maintain my Ikigai. It's like a, you know, the Tamagotchi, you know, you had to maintain this thing. It was, you were walking [00:46:00] around with it

[00:46:00] Hector Garcia: like

[00:46:03] Gerry Scullion: and keep on dropping in, dropping words and your eyes go ping.

[00:46:06] Gerry Scullion: You're like, yes, I like, I remember those,

[00:46:08] Hector Garcia: yes.

[00:46:09] Gerry Scullion: but, um, Pokemon, let's see effect that has on you. But, uh. But, but it was like a Tamagotchi in some ways. I was like, okay, cool. Now I need to reflect daily and see how I, and it became, it became quite a chore. And I stopped doing it.

[00:46:25] Hector Garcia: then

[00:46:25] Gerry Scullion: Now. I was kind of like within the book.

[00:46:28] Gerry Scullion: Um, I don't know, maybe it was a book or an article that I saw. You said you shouldn't be using it like that. It's more of a reflective tool, maybe once or twice a year.

[00:46:39] Hector Garcia: yeah, I do, I, in fact, I do the, I'm a person I like, uh,

[00:46:43] Gerry Scullion: How do you handle it?

[00:46:44] Hector Garcia: my, my diary, and then I usually, as you said, like maybe once a year when you do the, I do the i, I do, I do it for myself and not this notice if maybe there is [00:47:00] something, it is almost. Similar, but maybe notice if there is something different and like, okay, this year I, I put a new thing.

[00:47:09] Hector Garcia: There is a new thing that it seems I like, or I think I'm getting better at this. And then you can look and see, okay, what's, what's changing. I do at the end, like people said, the purpose, not the purpose, how, how do you call it? When you put your goals for the year, like, like what,

[00:47:31] Gerry Scullion: resolutions?

[00:47:32] Hector Garcia: yeah, that, that's the word, the resolutions.

[00:47:34] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:47:35] Hector Garcia: I don't like, I don't, I'm a little bit of a rebel. I like doing the, like my identity, write down like my identity. Like, this is who I am. Like I started like, this is who I am. And then I am vector. I'm a writer. And these are the, and after that. And then I write [00:48:00] my, I do the circles and I put that back and then 1 year goes by very fast.

[00:48:06] Hector Garcia: So I have a notebook for every 3 years and you can go

[00:48:10] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:48:10] Hector Garcia: and see, you can see small,

[00:48:14] Gerry Scullion: Nuances.

[00:48:15] Hector Garcia: Small things like, okay, I'm shifting towards this. So

[00:48:20] Gerry Scullion: if I ask you something quite personal in terms of your daily rituals? Um, how do you, what does that look like for you? Are you, like you mentioned there about you write a paragraph of who you are. Can you recount what that paragraph is?

[00:48:36] Hector Garcia: like, I like,

[00:48:40] Gerry Scullion: Hector Garcia is a Spanish person interested in Doom and Quake.

[00:48:45] Hector Garcia: But I like what you said. I always, I I was a time, I, I like the word you said, like it becomes a chore. So I also agree with you if something just make things. do [00:49:00] those. I like to have routines and everything, but I have become very flexible.

[00:49:08] Gerry Scullion: Sure.

[00:49:08] Hector Garcia: have have those things as tools to help you.

[00:49:11] Hector Garcia: So if I'm feeling anxious or something, like, okay, I have to sit down and I write my diary. It's not like I have to write my diary every day because then it becomes a chart. So the same thing with this is usually when it becomes December, I'm thinking like, Whoa, next year is coming. Then I sit down and I do it.

[00:49:31] Hector Garcia: So, so let's see for this. Uh, that's interesting. I'm also writing how to, so it says identities for 2000 and. 23 is like, I am a, it's very simple. It's like, I'm a writer and it says below, write better, like, write more and better. Follow my curiosity and keep learning. So that that's

[00:49:57] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:49:58] Hector Garcia: So, [00:50:00] and then this is, I don't know if I'm going to share this one.

[00:50:04] Hector Garcia: People

[00:50:05] Gerry Scullion: Come on. You don't

[00:50:06] Hector Garcia: second one, I am, this could be the title of a book. This one, this is the first ever I'm sharing. I'm Mr. Curiosity. Curiosity, curiosity is the unifying thread in my life. Curiosity is my guiding star. So there you have it. These are like,

[00:50:28] Gerry Scullion: What's wrong with that?

[00:50:30] Hector Garcia: this is my, my two

[00:50:33] Gerry Scullion: I think that's true.

[00:50:34] Hector Garcia: said, these are my, like, Mr.

[00:50:37] Hector Garcia: Curiosity. So that becomes my identity this year. Like I have to search for new things.

[00:50:43] Gerry Scullion: But we chuckle at that, but when we look at the kind of historical last decade of what you've produced, curiosity underpins all of that. Like you're trying to find the answer to it.

[00:50:54] Hector Garcia: trying to find the under, that's a good way to put. I guess you [00:51:00] use that like when you don't know what you're thinking about yourself, like, try to find what's the underlying theme or something that is happening. Um, sometimes it's like, okay, you're a person who loves doing things with other people, uh, working in teams.

[00:51:18] Hector Garcia: Then maybe you're doing. Very different things, but the underlying thing is like you love working with people, so you have to look for those underlying and for me it's curiosity because it's like I love Japan and I've written many books about Japan, but I'm also. I'm very curious about the world. I want to learn

[00:51:40] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:51:41] Hector Garcia: everything.

[00:51:42] Gerry Scullion: There's a, there's a kind of a, a place within the Ikigai where if you are an introvert and you might not enjoy being around people, is there a risk there that you can kind of design your Ikigai to be, you know, working in [00:52:00] isolation in an attic? I'm talking about myself here. I work for myself in an attic.

[00:52:05] Hector Garcia: Mine is not an addict, but I'm also today. I'm also in mock. I am in monk mode. The most social moment in my day today is with you. So,

[00:52:15] Gerry Scullion: so I lived in Australia and I'm home from Australia five years and when you work primarily online, I train online, I coach online, you could say I've been in monk mode, but I guess is there a risk there? And I haven't created my ikigai with that in mind. Okay, I do love being around people, but I am introvert extrovert.

[00:52:35] Gerry Scullion: So I can have to watch my energy

[00:52:36] Hector Garcia: Uh, you have to switch, uh, modes that I say,

[00:52:41] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, I'm a performer at times and then I just want to come back and get into my little cave here and, you know, great podcasts

[00:52:47] Hector Garcia: I don't know. I want, I want your advice on this. This is question like, I don't know. I like the switch mode. I like, I, yeah, I need help on this. I like Hmong motor too [00:53:00] much. Yes. Switch like, uh, switchy modes and maybe creating plans like with other people with, uh, that's the. Like committing, like, I'm going to get to meet these people.

[00:53:16] Hector Garcia: That's the

[00:53:17] Gerry Scullion: But is there a risk there, like, that we need to get a second perspective, perhaps, on the Ikigai to make sure that we're not, um, designing ourselves into a potential pitfall for, that's going to impact our life. Do you know what I mean? Like, I know you, you mentioned computer

[00:53:34] Hector Garcia: because I'm thinking maybe this is what I've done with myself. I'm thinking now, like, yes, I'm writing. I'm, I'm a writer. I can write my books by, like, I have piles of, I read books and I write books.

[00:53:48] Gerry Scullion: The next book, why I've stopped writing, thanks to

[00:53:51] Hector Garcia: are like, yes. This is why I started. I stopped writing and then now I'm like, yes, that's the, [00:54:00] yeah, you have to be careful like to have the, this, but like, I, I'm thinking a lot.

[00:54:06] Hector Garcia: Well, there's another, I also don't like, I like a play the word balance a lot, like in every, in everything in life. Like there is some said to criticize, there's some self help books or like any, there's some books. That they are very radical, like, usually it's America, US, US authors, they say, this is the only way this you have to do this and

[00:54:34] Gerry Scullion: To make money and

[00:54:35] Hector Garcia: are like, sometimes it's about diets, you can only eat this, and you can only on some is about, you have to exercise every day and kill yourself, like, or you have to, like, there is this grind more like you have to work Every day, 15 hours or wake up at five in the morning, so that's all okay.

[00:54:59] Hector Garcia: You can [00:55:00] try that, but I'm all for balance. And in the book, Kiki guy was to talk about like a balanced diet, like it's okay, the longest living people in the world. They, we saw them eating everything. I saw a hundred year old people drinking beer, eating chocolate, like. They were like very balanced, uh, I think for, yeah, for selecting, like doing things in life, not only about the key guy, but it's balanced.

[00:55:30] Hector Garcia: If you're always, you are in a monk mode for a while, then you get, you get out and then you find what's good for you. So that's my answer.

[00:55:40] Gerry Scullion: Experiment and explore.

[00:55:42] Hector Garcia: and change, change your mode.

[00:55:45] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, I mean, you know the actor John Cleese, the comedian John Cleese?

[00:55:50] Hector Garcia: Ah, yes.

[00:55:51] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, he was a Monty Python. He, um, he's a really nice kind of, uh, talk. It's on YouTube about creativity and the subconscious.[00:56:00]

[00:56:00] Hector Garcia: Yeah, I read his book.

[00:56:02] Gerry Scullion: Oh, I haven't read the, which book?

[00:56:03] Hector Garcia: is amazing. I forgot the title, but it's a book on creativity by him,

[00:56:10] Gerry Scullion: He's a, he's a genius. Like he's one of, one of the, one of the greats. I put him up

[00:56:14] Hector Garcia: short. It's a very short book, but it is like, oh wow, this is amazing.

[00:56:18] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. He, he has a really interesting, um, Piece where he talks about the analogy of a flower and what we can learn from plants and how, like, you know, there's certain times where the plant comes down at nighttime daily and, you know, gets its energy from when it opens up and photosynthesis happens and so forth.

[00:56:38] Gerry Scullion: He's really, really strong. We speaks about a piece of it, the subconscious, and I'd love to talk to you a little bit more around the kind of the power of the subconscious. He wrote a really famous. TV show called Fawlty Towers in the UK. And the story I tell was he wrote the script, this was like in the 70s, and he hand wrote it out, maybe typewrited [00:57:00] it, and when it came to sending it into the BBC, he was going through a divorce, I believe, one of his many divorces, and he could not find the script to send in, and it had to be Sent in by a certain date in order to, for it to get kind of approved.

[00:57:17] Gerry Scullion: So, he was in a panic, couldn't find it, turned the house upside down, and he said, there's nothing for it, I'm going to have to rewrite this script. And he rewrote the script, and he wrote it in two or three days, and he sent it off, and he made the deadline. And that... Script is what was produced, okay? And they became, you know, classics, TV classics.

[00:57:39] Gerry Scullion: Now, when he was clearing out the house a number of years later after the divorce, he found the original script.

[00:57:47] Hector Garcia: was almost the same,

[00:57:50] Gerry Scullion: he was in a position now to compare, compare the two scripts, like the original script and the second script. And what he saw was the second [00:58:00] script Tied up an awful lot of the loose, loose ends in the stories much better,

[00:58:05] Hector Garcia: it was probably better.

[00:58:07] Gerry Scullion: and it was much better.

[00:58:09] Gerry Scullion: So, you know, the, the kind of the essence of the story, and I'd love to know about the activities that you weave into your life, because I guess people see that you've written the book and they, there's a natural assumption that's like, you know, you have it all sorted. I know that's probably not true. But what do you see the role of the subconscious in and how we live our lives?

[00:58:30] Gerry Scullion: Like, what can we be doing and what can you do to maybe encourage people to think more about the power of the subconscious and leaving things set and sit?

[00:58:39] Hector Garcia: I think the, one of the main things is. Fitted with good information.

[00:58:45] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:58:45] Hector Garcia: So I'm very careful. The same way, the same way you select good food to put inside your body, then you kind of become like select good [00:59:00] things or not. It doesn't have to, I don't like the word good, like select what you're going to read or consume. So I become more careful, like on the internet these days is like, you can. You can go totally sideways. You start in a social network, like you start doom scrolling

[00:59:22] Gerry Scullion: Yep. Been there.

[00:59:24] Hector Garcia: we've all been there. And then suddenly you're like, start liking something and then your timeline becomes all like, it becomes all rabbits or cats jumping like, okay, that's fun for a while.

[00:59:39] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:59:40] Hector Garcia: But then there is some other subtle things that maybe if you start and you're being Manipulate it without even noticing. And that all goes to your subconscious. So, I'm very, I use all kinds of, we could go nerdy here, I,

[00:59:58] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Go nerdy.

[00:59:59] Hector Garcia: on [01:00:00] tweet, like, on my, I try to not have any, on my iPhone. I try to have no applications that have I call it like infinite information.

[01:00:13] Hector Garcia: I don't put it. I don't put that. That's like, uh, because I'm like, as you said, we're all even the most. Maybe there is some people who have a very strong will, but I don't have a very human if I, if I have one coffee and I open an application with infinite, then I will be 30 minutes there.

[01:00:37] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, that's true. Okay.

[01:00:39] Hector Garcia: I have it on my computer that it's a little, not in my book, in my, I have a computer for writing, which also it has no social networks.

[01:00:49] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Yeah.

[01:00:50] Hector Garcia: I have a one laptop that is for like, okay, I'm going to have fun. It's an old laptop and that's where I have Twitter and everything. And [01:01:00] that's for Twitter, I use lists. So I only consume. And usually I don't, I don't have time to read all like very random.

[01:01:10] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:01:10] Hector Garcia: So I have some systems to protect myself, the information, how it will come to me.

[01:01:16] Hector Garcia: Does it make sense?

[01:01:17] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, yeah.

[01:01:19] Hector Garcia: And that's, uh, and that's the story. I like the story you said about the sub, like.

[01:01:25] Gerry Scullion: Subconscious.

[01:01:26] Hector Garcia: has happened to me many times at a very, not as extreme as a whole script, but I think for you too, if you write online or something, sometimes you delete, like, sometimes you don't save in the computer a file and you lose it, we've all been there, but then you write it again, and it was All there, mysteriously, and it becomes better.

[01:01:52] Hector Garcia: So sometimes you wonder. And recently, last year, I published my first novel. It's only in [01:02:00] Spanish.

[01:02:00] Gerry Scullion: Mm hmm. Which

[01:02:01] Hector Garcia: in Spanish. It's, uh, it's only in Spanish. I don't know if it will be ever in English. It's, it's a novel with the protagonist. It's science fiction in Japan, in

[01:02:13] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[01:02:14] Hector Garcia: And anyway, I was writing. And sometimes.

[01:02:18] Hector Garcia: I will write a story about a character, do something, and I didn't realize a novel, it can become so long and things that even the, I learned a lot about writers, many, I think novelists, they get asked about their novels, and the fans know more about the novel than themselves.

[01:02:36] Gerry Scullion: Probably.

[01:02:37] Hector Garcia: After two, three months, I would forget this character.

[01:02:40] Hector Garcia: What did he do?

[01:02:42] Gerry Scullion: Really?

[01:02:42] Hector Garcia: I, I forgot. Maybe in chapter, like, because it's been three months and it was like, I don't know, 100 pages before. And maybe I'm writing and I wrote, I write again and the character does the same thing. And then later editing, I noticed like, [01:03:00] Whoa, I wrote exactly the same thing three months ago.

[01:03:03] Hector Garcia: It was like two paragraphs, the character. So, and it's, it's there like my, and then. I started this is also a little bit depressing and you realize like human beings. We are not there. All these artificial intelligence, like large language models. We are not that intelligent or creative. Like we are repeating in a loop the same things

[01:03:28] Gerry Scullion: That is true.

[01:03:30] Hector Garcia: then.

[01:03:30] Hector Garcia: Okay. I'm writing with my morning coffee. And that's it. Like, and then I realized these are similar. I

[01:03:38] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:03:39] Hector Garcia: 100% exactly the same

[01:03:41] Gerry Scullion: already written

[01:03:41] Hector Garcia: wrote. So

[01:03:44] Gerry Scullion: has been written twice.

[01:03:46] Hector Garcia: the power of self conscious is very, very.

[01:03:50] Gerry Scullion: It's real.

[01:03:51] Hector Garcia: you also have to realize how limited our brains are like. Okay.

[01:03:58] Gerry Scullion: So where do you see, [01:04:00] um, Ikigai, like, at the moment, in terms of its popularization, I guess, post pandemic? Like, I've seen a lot of people talking about it and, you know, the big resignation, I think is what they call it in America. Um, the pandemic has probably done an awful lot for, you know, the word Ikigai, generally, in search terms.

[01:04:23] Gerry Scullion: Um, where do you see it going in the future, post pandemic?

[01:04:27] Hector Garcia: I don't know. These are the questions that I don't know. It's very what what I know is true. Like, It is more the most popular than ever, it was first published in 2016 in the Spanish version.

[01:04:43] Gerry Scullion: hmm.

[01:04:44] Hector Garcia: Uh, so now it's been almost seven years since it was first published. Uh, now it's, uh, has been translated to 70 languages, which is.

[01:04:57] Hector Garcia: Kind of is the [01:05:00] most translated Spanish book in, I don't know, in 40, 50 years. There is no other, and I think it's a combination of how the message connects with because they're amazing. They're amazing writers, much better writers than me in Spain, but maybe they only write love novels. And that's also.

[01:05:22] Hector Garcia: Maybe only Latin American Spanish people like those type of the IKIGAI message is very universal. That's what I realized.

[01:05:33] Gerry Scullion: Mm.

[01:05:34] Hector Garcia: it's out there. It has sold, uh, almost 5 million copies now,

[01:05:40] Gerry Scullion: Wow.

[01:05:40] Hector Garcia: 70 languages. So I don't know what else my challenge now is. To write something else that I think that there's also this about this also maybe you can help me like when someone there is a success that. I feel it, it is, [01:06:00] that,

[01:06:01] Gerry Scullion: Holding you

[01:06:01] Hector Garcia: I wrote, not holding me back, but it's, it's always, it's a book I wrote, it was published in 2016, so I was writing it in 2014 and 15,

[01:06:13] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:06:14] Hector Garcia: and now we are 2023 and I'm here with you talking about it. So, it's not, it's not bad, but it's like, okay, it's like the subconscious, like, it's always, like,

[01:06:26] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. There's

[01:06:27] Hector Garcia: So my challenge for me is like, okay, how do I create?

[01:06:30] Hector Garcia: Well, I don't think I will ever, I will probably come up with other ideas or, or popularize because I don't think the idea is original from me, like popularize some. That's something I realized about. I'm more like. Putting things together and explaining them. That's my superpower.

[01:06:53] Gerry Scullion: Well, here's an idea for you.

[01:06:54] Hector Garcia: ideas, I get, in fact, I'm getting ideas from podcasters [01:07:00] lately,

[01:07:00] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, yeah, no, I was gonna say, here's an idea for you because I stumbled across a Japanese term, I don't know, maybe two years ago. It was during the pandemic called an isogi. You know, um, You know about Misogi, so there's a much broader conversation to be had around the Japanese culture, and I guess it's the, it's kind of the interest of the Japanese wisdom, like, you know, like this, this whole kind of mystique that persists around the Japanese culture as it being quite, um, you know, profound and deep and reflective, uh, naturally.

[01:07:37] Gerry Scullion: Do you want to talk a little bit more around like Misogi and what you know about that, like, you know, because it's really. It's really interesting when you weave that into your, it's like if the, the ICA guy is at the top level and then a little bit further down, like things that you can do to really increase the quality of your life isn't the soggy.

[01:07:55] Gerry Scullion: Um, would you agree?

[01:07:57] Hector Garcia: thing about,[01:08:00]

[01:08:01] Hector Garcia: well, the interesting, so the, uh, the interesting thing about this Misogi concept, I think I also part of like, to be blamed, like the Ikigai concept has changed in Japan is like very, it has changed after writing our book and now so many books about it. The meaning is slightly different.

[01:08:26] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[01:08:29] Hector Garcia: But it's very, it's purpose of life is the same thing.

[01:08:33] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:08:33] Hector Garcia: So, Misogi is a Japanese word that means it's, it's a ritual for cleansing, usually done in like... You go to a waterfall

[01:08:45] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[01:08:46] Hector Garcia: and you go below the waterfall to, like, to withstand, it's usually very cold water

[01:08:53] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[01:08:53] Hector Garcia: and you have to withstand, uh, usually you have to put your hands together and you have to, [01:09:00] it's a, it's a Shinto ritual, Shintoism, so it's to cleanse yourself and it's also saying it's a challenge because you have to be in the cold water below that, uh, yeah.

[01:09:15] Hector Garcia: Waterfall.

[01:09:16] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:09:17] Hector Garcia: so that's the meaning of Misogi. Now, I forgot who he was. I think his name is Easter. There was an author in the US who kind of not mistranslated. But he got the word Misogi and created the Misogi challenges in the US,

[01:09:40] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[01:09:41] Hector Garcia: that doesn't exist in Japan. So I'm sorry to, there is no Misogi. In Japan, Misogi is just being below a waterfall with water. And... So, I read, and I read the books, I love the book by, I wish I could be better [01:10:00] with names of books, but then there is a second book by a friend of the guy who invented this Misogi concept, because I think it's the word, and now in the U. S. it's a different thing. It's like it has become, uh, og uh, like now in the US is a synonym of having a very, very, very extreme challenge that you think you will not be able to accomplish, but you nine, I think he defines it as like 80% of the times you will maybe accomplish it.

[01:10:35] Hector Garcia: So maybe you've only run. 20 kilometers in your life at once.

[01:10:41] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:10:41] Hector Garcia: So a Misogi challenge for you will be to run 40 kilometers

[01:10:47] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[01:10:47] Hector Garcia: and then you do it. And this, this Misogi concept of having a super challenge for yourself. This is an American made, uh,

[01:10:58] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Okay.

[01:10:59] Hector Garcia: [01:11:00] I have to say, I love it. But, and the word is Japanese.

[01:11:04] Hector Garcia: That's correct. But the meaning has become totally different. That's the only thing. So for me, for me, I could write about Misogi, but I don't know. I feel like in the last book by Easter, he talks about Misogi very Yeah. Yeah. He does a very good work. There is no need for anyone to write something about

[01:11:30] Gerry Scullion: any, any more than that. But there's the purification.

[01:11:32] Hector Garcia: I like, I like it. Maybe I could write a book about the real Misogi. I don't know if that would be, that would probably be boring. Like go to waterfalls

[01:11:44] Gerry Scullion: So that

[01:11:45] Hector Garcia: yourself.

[01:11:46] Gerry Scullion: whole concept of having one big event that you're

[01:11:50] Hector Garcia: Ah, yes.

[01:11:51] Gerry Scullion: that defines your year and then six smaller little, um, adventures, uh, throughout the [01:12:00] year to kind of stimulate the brain is, so the

[01:12:04] Hector Garcia: I like the idea a lot and I want to do, I want to do Missa challenges.

[01:12:09] Gerry Scullion: Well, maybe it's

[01:12:10] Hector Garcia: to, I want, I've only done, I want to do the real missa in a waterfall in Japan,

[01:12:16] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, I'd love to do that as well. That was the original. Because when I heard it, I googled it, and I was like, okay, there's, there's this whole kind of purification piece around

[01:12:24] Hector Garcia: yes. So I love, I love the idea and the whole concept and the whole concept has already been exported

[01:12:33] Gerry Scullion: Oh, right.

[01:12:33] Hector Garcia: added to the us. So I love it, but I don't know what I can. Bring to it,

[01:12:39] Gerry Scullion: What, what, what's, how's it being received in Japan, Hector, like in terms of when you go into restaurants or you're in social circles and people say, Oh, you wrote the book about Ikigai. Is there, um, is there, how has it been received over there?

[01:12:54] Hector Garcia: love, in fact, Japanese people, they love when something that is [01:13:00] from them, it's become successful outside of Japan, and then they freak out, they love it, they love this idea, like, so, they freak

[01:13:09] Gerry Scullion: So there's been no kind of, um, adverse pushback. That's, that's kind of

[01:13:15] Hector Garcia: no, no, no, they like, very, very,

[01:13:19] Gerry Scullion: Open to it.

[01:13:20] Hector Garcia: Yes.

[01:13:21] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[01:13:21] Hector Garcia: As long, well, another of my philosophies is always saying there are many bad things about, as in any culture, there are many bad things about Japan too. I think it's not an ideal place, it's not a paradise. So some of the criticism I get in my books is that I never talk about the bad things, but I think I leave that to other people.

[01:13:48] Hector Garcia: There are many books, very good Japan books about bad things in Japan. Jake Alstheim, his books are very good. So I [01:14:00] leave that word for him. I prefer to focus on the positive things.

[01:14:05] Gerry Scullion: Sure.

[01:14:07] Hector Garcia: Uh, that's my, I think it's one of my missions.

[01:14:11] Gerry Scullion: Well, look, Hector, we're coming towards the end of, of the episode, like we've, we've covered quite a lot of ground in, uh, the last hour and a bit, like I'll throw a link to this wonderful book, which is,

[01:14:23] Hector Garcia: you very much, Gary.

[01:14:24] Gerry Scullion: um, and you know, if people want to reach out to you and I know you've got a newsletter on your website, Hector

[01:14:32] Hector Garcia: Yes. Which now you're putting me on the, I've never,

[01:14:37] Gerry Scullion: you've never published anything.

[01:14:39] Hector Garcia: this. I am very, I'm so focused on writing books that I've never sent an email to that, but maybe,

[01:14:46] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:14:47] Hector Garcia: I should put that in my. Things to do next year,

[01:14:51] Gerry Scullion: We'll

[01:14:51] Hector Garcia: start sending emails

[01:14:53] Gerry Scullion: But which

[01:14:54] Hector Garcia: this year, maybe now

[01:14:55] Gerry Scullion: Maybe this year. Yeah.

[01:14:57] Hector Garcia: yeah, but that's the main place to find [01:15:00] me is HectorDagarcia.

[01:15:02] Hector Garcia: org and from there you can find my Twitter and my Instagram

[01:15:08] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:15:08] Hector Garcia: and the mailing list, uh, Probably when I start sending emails, they will be awesome. I like, I have, I have one in the one in Spanish. I send emails, but very when I do mailing list, I like the idea of making something very, very personal because these days there are so many mailing lists

[01:15:32] Gerry Scullion: That's true.

[01:15:32] Hector Garcia: that we get.

[01:15:34] Hector Garcia: So when you. Get an email from me it will be very personal and it will only happen every three or six months So yeah, join join my mailing list. It will be

[01:15:45] Gerry Scullion: You've heard her here folks.

[01:15:47] Hector Garcia: be like having an email from a friend That's

[01:15:49] Gerry Scullion: Ah, very good.

[01:15:50] Hector Garcia: mailing lists.

[01:15:52] Gerry Scullion: Well, I'll put a link to that on, on the website as well. And listen, look, we, we haven't even spoken about your boxing career, but best of luck with your, there's another

[01:15:59] Hector Garcia: find [01:16:00] another Hector Garcia who is a boxer

[01:16:02] Gerry Scullion: Garcia. He is a challenger, um, but if you're Googling Hector Garcia, make sure you Google the author. There is only one Hector Garcia.

[01:16:10] Hector Garcia: Hector Garcia author. Yes. You have to put now one more word to find me.

[01:16:15] Gerry Scullion: Well, look, Hector, I always thank the guests for giving me their time, their, their openness, their energy and their vulnerability about me being put on the spot. Um, I really, really, really enjoyed. I was looking forward to speaking to you for several months, so I'm delighted to find you've connected and I'll put a link to all those wonderful books in the show notes.

[01:16:36] Gerry Scullion: So thank you so much.

[01:16:38] Hector Garcia: Thank you everyone

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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