I just came across this article, which makes an interesting point on the idea of "following your passion." For context, this article is talking about life lessons from Jiro Ono, purported to be the world's greatest sushi chef, and subject of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (which is excellent, by the way.)
Quote:You must fall in love with your work
"Once you decide on your occupation," says Jiro, "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."
Jiro himself is enormously happy with his work; he is a blissful craftsman who truly enjoys his work, which keeps him vital in his old age.
However, it's crucial to note that he doesn't say "find work that you love," as if suggesting one goes on some romantic quest in search for the perfect job, but rather he tells us to love the work we have chosen.
This means to consciously and voluntarily cultivate love, much like we do in a marriage. This is different from a teenage crush whereby one gets struck in the head by a random force and goes temporarily mad, only to wake up to disillusioned weeks or months later. Jiro's path to joyful work requires a lifetime of devotion.
This brings to mind a more common conception of work some of us have: We tend to categorize jobs as being either "passion work" or "work just for the money." Then we tell ourselves that passion work is a pipe dream and we must endure a lifetime of mindless toil until the day we retire and begin to enjoy life.
What would happen, I wonder, if we consciously and purposefully loved the jobs we feel condemned to do "just for the money"? Could this perhaps completely revolutionize our relationship with work, increase our quality of life, and diminish our hunger for retirement?
It's an interesting reversal of the "find your passion" concept. I think it can be taken too far - in that it would be a mistake to pick a job you are ill suited for and feel the need to just stick with it until you feel passionate about it, but I do think it's a useful corrective to the idea that some people have in our society that finding a career or life you are passionate about is just a matter of picking correctly, and then everything else falls into place.
Oh, and here's a trailer for the doc.
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2012 10:31 PM by Jon.)
12-12-2012 10:29 PM
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