Over the weekend I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I thought the documentary was excellent and I highly recommend that you watch it.
A number of things about Jiro's life and work ethic had a great impact on me. I think the following quote from Jiro was the most powerful.
Once you decide on your occupation... you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That's the secret of success... and is the key to being regarded honorably.
The documentary made me realize that I never decided on an occupation, my occupation decided on me. Growing up I used to say that it's more important to know what you don't want to do than what you do want to do. That philosophy has led me to a pretty good place in life. But that's just it, I feel like I have never tried to reach for any big goals. My approach to life has been to steer away from things I know I won't like and see where that leads me. Unfortunately, I think my philosophy has also kept me away from a lot of extremely rewarding opportunities due to a fear of failure.
Yes, I currently have a great job and, yes, I find my work to be fun and challenging. I just can't help but feel like something's missing. I want to chase big goals. I want to find the work I can fall in love with. I want to take smart risks for things I care about. I don't want to be a polymath anymore I want to be an artisan.
A shrimp dealer in the movie sums things up nicely.
These days the first thing people want is an easy job. Then, they want lots of free time. And then, they want lots of money. But they aren't thinking of building their skills. When you work at a place like Jiro's, you are committing to a trade for life.
The film is currently available for streaming on Netflix.