I’m in the middle of watching a fantastic movie called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It’s about a man named Jiro who is known for the best sushi in the world.
There have been a few profound statements from various people interviewed in the movie. Yamamoto, a food writer, talks about the five attributes of a great chef:
“A great chef has the following five attributes. First, they take their work very seriously and consistently perform on the highest level. Second, they aspire to improve their skills. Third, is cleanliness. The fourth attribute is impatience. They are better leaders than collaborators. They’re stubborn and insist on having it their way. And, finally a great chef is passionate.”
While Yamamoto is talking about great chefs, I think this could be said about great artists in general. An artist takes work very seriously, aspire to improve, are impatient, and are passionate. The only thing I’m not entirely sure of is cleanliness and artistry. Could this be about the purity of the artist’s aesthetic nature?
A former apprentice of Jiro, Mizutani, talks at length about Jiro’s work ethic:
“I wouldn’t say he is eccentric. He just works relentlessly every day. That’s how shokunin are. The way of the shokunin is to repeat the same thing every day. They just want to work. They aren’t trying to be special.”
Finally, Jiro simply says: “I fell in love with my work and gave my life to it.”
Buried in each of these quotes is the secret of success. Work hard. Don’t worry about fame or being special. Do what every you do for the love of it and for improving. It’s a simple as that.
So, what are you dreaming of? Electric sheep, sushi, changing the world? Keep dreaming, but remember to wake up and work.