This past weekend my wife and I hit a local theater to see “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, a documentary film about one of the most highly regarded sushi chefs in the world, who just happens to be 85 years young and the first sushi chef to receive the Michelin Guide’s 3 star rank. We went in the film expecting to be wowed by footage of fantastic food but came away with so much more. Foodies and sushi fans will obviously love this film, but anyone interested in self improvement will find some real pearls of wisdom.
Here is the trailer
The film did capture much of Jiro’s restaurant does, but most of the film is dedicated to illustrating the mindset that has made Jiro the best in the world at what he does. As a top food critic and friend of Jiro says his success boils down to three factors:
1. Doing simple things extremely well.
2. An absolute devotion to consistency.
3. Working hard every single day to become better at his craft.
While watching I immediately thought of how this applied to my life, and also to the goals of our EFL members. In the case of a person beginning a exercise and nutrition program consistency is the biggest factor in success. Working out 6 days a week for three weeks then quitting obviously doesn’t provide results, and neither will exercising once every ten days.
There is no question that making lifestyle changes will take perseverance and effort – but here is where the first point comes into play. Keep in mind that breaking down large issues (losing 30lbs for example) into small, simple steps such as “exercising 5 hours per week” is important in building stable habits that can last a lifetime. I encourage our members to write down process related goals such as “complete a food log every day” rather than “eat healthier”. You might think that is an obvious step, but to actually do it will take a tiny bit of effort. Hell, you can easily do it during commercial breaks so there really is no excuse.
Another of Jiro’s guiding principles is one has to be motivated by dedication to quality, not money. Focusing on money does not equal quality nor success, but striving for the highest quality is much more likely to result in success, monetary of otherwise. Steve Jobs lived his life and created enormous success by following the same principle as outlined in this excellent article from the Harvard Business Journal.
Or if put another way focus on the process rather than the outcome. Building awareness of portion size and nutrients by consistently doing a food journal will result in much greater success at losing 30 pounds and creating a healthier life than just setting out to lose 30 pounds by whatever means necessary then fall back into the unhealthy habits as everyone who “diets” does.
So forget the 4 hour workweek and other “shortcuts” to success. Forget even the 10,000 hour rule. None of that matters according to these individuals who are recognized worldwide as masters of their craft. There is no hard and fast rule other than long term dedication. Define your goals and then go about building a simple, sustainable plan and do those simple, little things every day.