Ganbatte (gan-ba-tay) is a Japanese philosophy focused on doing the best you can with what you have. Though there is no direct translation, "keep going," and "give it your all," embody the sentiments behind the word. Just as wabi sabi shows the beauty of imperfection in life, ganbatte teaches you how to get past obstacles and be motivated to keep moving forward.
In Ganbatte! author Albert Liebermann provides an inspirational, yet practical guide to becoming more resilient the Japanese way. In 50 short chapters, some deeper and some more playful, Liebermann guides you through ways you can adopt the ganbatte approach to achieve a happier, more fulfilling life--and a happier, more fulfilled self.
These include:Separating "difficult" from "impossible"Making use of failureCultivating patienceWorking mindfully with a sense of awarenessContinually improvingPracticing meditationPushing through a crisisTaking the slow route
Sprinkled throughout the book are "Ganbatte Rules"--short, actionable steps you can take to move forward in a part of your life where you may be stuck (whether it's fitness, love or starting a business). A foreword by Hector Garcia, author of the bestselling Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, introduces the concept of ganbatte and how he learned of its existence from one of Japan's centenarians.
While many aspects of life are beyond our control, how we deal with setbacks and difficulties is as much of a choice as how we approach everyday tasks. This book helps you tap into your own ability to persevere and encourages you to stay motivated and hopeful in difficult times. If you apply the tenacity and resilience of the Japanese in your daily life, difficult becomes easy, and impossible becomes possible.
In this enjoyable debut, philosopher Liebermann explores the Japanese principle of ganbatte (translated as "do your best and don't give up"). The 50 mini chapters, each no longer than a few pages, are titled after many familiar concepts, such as "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" and "Reinventing the Wheel," while others present a story of overcoming obstacles or a singular take on uncommon issues. Liebermann, for instance, provides "Ten Ganbatte Rules for Fitness" for those who struggle to exercise including "don't compare yourself to others, do something you enjoy, and enter a state of flow." The chapter "Tama the Cat," meanwhile, considers thinking outside the box via the story of a real cat that became stationmaster for a low-traffic railway line, increasing tourism and keeping the line from being closed. "Mentality of a Marathon Runner" explains how switching back-and-forth from associative to dissociative thinking can help one "reach the finish line" of any task. Between the chapters are photos of cultural touchstones ( among them an image from the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology) and examples famous Japanese art, including 1887's Bodhidarma by Yoshitoshi. Readers who enjoyed Hector Garcia's Ikigai for its focus on finding meaning in everyday life will appreciate this comforting take on how to address life's inevitable failures.