Intrinsic motivation is the one true key to success. But seeing an 85-year old man working his butt off certainly makes an impression. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
is a contemplative film, in which one determined soul reflects upon his lifelong goal: to put the best gosh darn sushi he can out there. At $350 a meal and reservations booked months in advance, Jiro isn’t doing too badly.
Imagine putting 16 hours of work into one day. Now do that for 70+ years. Most of us would ask whether it’s worth it. I doubt that question has ever entered Jiro’s mind.
To Jiro, producing incredible sushi has nothing to do with compensation or competition. Jrio seeks only to better himself. Making sushi is and always has been Jiro’s chosen line of work, and thus, his dream — from the time he was kicked out of his house at 8 to the much, much later present day.
It’s clear that everyone loves Jiro, from his fish salesmen to his son. He’s strict, but kind. Cooking staff must start with perfecting the wringing of a towel before learning the next skill, and so on. It’s tedious, but undoubtedly yields results. Jiro’s sons, well into their 50s and 60s, still work hard every day to please him.
If you haven’t caught on yet, I too, want to be like Jiro. Of course, I’ve got it entirely wrong. The goal isn’t to idolize his apparent transcendence over worldly rewards and fawn over his sushi skills, but rather, to get a firm footing on my own ground. I want to be good at writing, so I should write more. It’s so obvious, but somehow elusive.
We’re so bombarded with reality TV stars and 15-minute sensations. We know they’re just a flash in the pan, but we follow their stories, nonetheless. And all the while, we’re forgetting to create our own.
My advice to you, my friends (and to me as well) is to believe in yourself, and the path you’ve set out on. Whatever it is you do, well, you might as well do it well.
“Most people…are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path.”
― Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
Full disclosure — It has recently come to my attention (ahem, whoops) that I’ve already published a post on this movie. Hastily drafted up and messily modified on my iPad several times, I must have felt a compulsion to toss something out there into the world, half-assed and unfinished. Thankfully, I dumped the dumb copy before building off it again and started this one from scratch. But hey, if the last post were sushi, Jiro wouldn’t have found it acceptable to serve up anyway. So let’s all chalk this up to a lesson learned and be on our merry way. Fresh content always, from now on, guys! That is my (much deserved) gift to you.