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Everybody knows I’m a HUGE fan of the documentary, Jiro Deams Of Sushi, and why: Because I never saw anyone before this do a better job of commmunicating the importance and value of “Mastery”, both material and spiritual. At least, not with film.
Jiro beautifully and succinctly explained his philiosphy in this film clip on You Tube, about 29 minutes into the actual movie. Even if you never intend on renting this superb documentary, this little nuggest I’m sharing I think is insanely valuable in its own right, for anyone who has the smarts to take it fully on board. I hope it helps.
Shokunin try to get the highest quality fish and apply their techniques to it.
We don’t care about money.
All I want to do is make better sushi.
I do the same thing over and over, bit by bit.
There is always a yearning to achieve more.
I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is.
Even at my age, after decades of work, I don’t think I’ve achieved perfection.
But I feel ecstatic all day… I love making sushi.
That’s the spirit of the shokunin.
When to quit? The job you’ve worked so hard for?
I’ve never once hated this job.
I fell in love with my work and gave my life to it.
Even though I’m 85 years old, I don’t feel like retiring.
That’s how I feel.
You can see my orignial riff on Jiro and Mastery here (one of my most important blog posts of the last year, incidentally); I’ve also now included it in Chapter 9 of “The Art Of Not Sucking” e-book. Hope it helps.
A movie about an increasingly taboo subject in this vapidity-worshipping society of ours: Mastery.
“Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” is a documentary about the world’s greatest sushi chef, 85-year-old Jiro Ono. What’s striking about Jiro is not that he has reached such greatness, but how he reached it.
Instead of the usual celebrity chef schtick– TV shows, cookbooks, fancy restaurants franchises in all the world capitals (including the mandatory Las Vegas casino location), he kept it REALLY simple: a single, TINY, 10-seater restaurant in a subway station in Tokyo.
Why did he do it that way? Because he wasn’t interested in money, he was interested in the MASTERY of his chosen craft. The bigger he made his restaurant business, the less time he would have to spend on his TRUE calling, making sushi.
Which is why the restaurant only serves sushi. That’s it. No appetizers. No side dishes. No tempura or yaki soba. No non-sushi entrees. A tiny little underground hole in the wall with only a few stools and even fewer tables. That’s it. And yet people have been known to make reservations a year in advance.
He wasn’t in it for the money, he was in it because it allowed him to strive for perfection.
In a world that often rewards money and office politics over mastery, maybe more mediocre people get to drive fancy cars, live in big houses and wear a lot of bling, but something is lost in the process. And we are the poorer for it.
Jiro reminds us that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can achieve mastery, or at least aim for it, if you decide to.
But only you can decide that, of course. Only you can decide what kind of example you want to be for your children.
A beautiful mediation on “Mastery”. A beautiful meditation on “Small is beautiful”. A beautiful meditation on “Meaning Scales”. I loved every last minute of it. I would urge anyone who actually cares about what they do– the process, not just the result– to go see this movie: It’ll change your life. Rock on.