Jiro Dreams of Sushi trailer
Went to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi last night. It wasn’t what I had expected. While it’s about sushi, it’s so much more than that. It’s about legacy, dedication and hard work, and improving yourself. It takes you into the mind of an unlikely genius and you get to hear his unique thoughts. It was way deeper than I thought it’d be, leaving me with many things to think about.
To try to equally compare myself to someone of Jiro’s character would be arrogant but I can’t deny there are some similarities in our personality.
He discusses 5 things that you need to become a great chef. I found, as he was listing these, how similar his thoughts were compared to my reliability and passion thoughts in the workplace.
His 5 things where:
1. Take your work seriously.
2. Aspire to improve.
3. Maintain cleanliness.
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator.
5. Be passionate about your work.
This is to be a chef. Mine 2 items re: reliability and passion are for how to excel at your job.
Looking at his points, I think they all apply to becoming an artisan of your craft (in Japanese, they have a term for that – Shokunin: mastery of a profession)
While watching this movie, it definitely inspired me. I’m at the point in my career where I think I understand what I want and where I’m going. And I think that’s critically important. I’m surrounded by people who don’t know what they want to do in life. Some who aren’t good at their jobs. And that’s all fine if that’s what they’ve chosen and they accept it. But not everyone is happy with where they are. And the first rule about being happy in life is that if you’re unhappy, change something.
I want to be an artisan of my craft: web development. It’s limited to front-end expertise and back-end familiarity and I want to be an expert in both. I still have much to do.
As I watch Hell’s Kitchen, and listen to some people at work, all they can talk about is money. They want to be rich. There are contestants in HK that want the prize money. And there are contestants that say that “this (cooking) is all they have in their life. What they’re born to do. They’re in Hell’s Kitchen for the experience to work with Chef Ramsey”. And that’s how I feel. While I don’t want to be poor, I think I live by the experiences. That I would take a job that doesn’t pay well if it will help me learn and grow in my path to becoming a professional.
I think Jiro’s 5 rules are something I need to live by to become a Shokunin. I believe I’m partially there:
1. Take your work seriously. – I only half do this. At work, I take my work pretty seriously. But I’m not learning as fast as I should, I don’t dedicate enough time to my craft outside of work
2. Aspire to improve. – I believe I have this aspiration, I’ve always had it.
3. Maintain cleanliness. – I believe I have this and it shows in my clean and organized code.
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator. – Unfortunately, I must be a collaborator…but the points in the movie are valid: leaders move faster and pull others along. Collaborators waste time going in different directions. As a leader, I have to do what I believe is best, despite everyone else. This is not always the case for me…but sometimes it is. That’s why I can be such a jerk.
5. Be passionate about your work. – I believe I have this as well.
So I’m kind of there. But I’m not as studious as I could be. Unfortunately, that’s always been my problem. That, and arrogance :P
Anyways. You can see that Jiro Dreams of Sushi left quite an impact on me. I’d like to rewatch it and take notes or something next time. I feel there’s much I can learn from Jiro.