When Barack Obama visited Japan ...
Shinzō Abe, Japan's Prime Minister, brought him to Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small sushi restaurant hidden away in the Tokyo subway.
Sukiyabashi Jiro only seats ten people.
Guests must make their reservations months in advance.
Jiro Ono, the head chef, doesn't serve appetizers. He only prepares sushi.
In 2008, he was awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, the highest culinary honor.
That's why Shinzō Abe brought Obama to Sukiyabashi Jiro.
The movie that changed my life
Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a 2011 documentary, profiled Sukiyabashi Jiro and its namesake owner, Jiro Ono. I watch it often.
Passion drove his success.
In one scene, Jiro, who is in his eighties, explains that as a young man sushi recipes would come to him in his sleep. He would jump out of bed to write them down.
You see, his passion drove his success.
On its face, the film is excellent: Beautifully shot, well told.
But as far as I'm concerned, it's not about sushi. It's about craft, love.
Craft so profound, it wakes you up at night.
Love so deep, you dedicate your life to it.
Work is love
Jiro is in love with his profession, which, by the way, is not making sushi.
Making sushi is his work. It's what his hands do.
His profession is making sushi better.
"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.
- Jiro Ono
Every time I watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I'm reminded that my profession is not writing copy. It's figuring out how to write better copy.
In other words, I'm not doing a job every day. I'm mastering a craft.
That mindset excites me. That mindset changed my life.