Meet Jiro Ono, the greatest sushi chef alive – and arguably the greatest to have ever lived.
Jiro first began apprenticing in a sushi restaurant at 9 years old.
At age 90, Jiro has had the same job for the past 81 years.
The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells Jiro’s journey to becoming a master of his craft who continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, and in doing so highlights universal principles that you can begin applying today on your own quest for a better life (and a kick-ass body to go along with it).
“Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work.” – Jiro Ono
In this case, what is your occupation?
It’s your body, how it looks and how you feel inside of it.
It’s your strength and how you choose to display it as you go through life.
It’s your mindset and how you mold it to respond to the challenges you face.
You are a tightly woven bundle of habits and predictabilities, steps and actions that have landed you exactly where you are at this very moment.
To get where you want to go, somewhere different than where you are right now, you’ll need to develop new, more gangster habits that starting steering the sexy ship that is your life towards these uncharted waters.
To do that, falling in love with every step of the process is key.
The ups and downs, the boredom and un-sexy routine, the soaring successes and the ball – or whatever you’ve got in those jeans – smashing defeats.
You will miss workouts.
You will screw up your eating plan.
Your fat loss or muscle gain progress will stall.
When you love the process, it becomes easier to reframe the inevitable obstacles you’ll encounter as valuable feedback that will eventually lead you to the outcome you desire instead of packing up and going home at the first sign of things not going as planned.
Mistakes and setbacks are like diamonds covered in elephant shit: with enough willingness to push past the stinky exterior and clean it up a bit, you’ll be rewarded for it.
Whatever happens, you will survive it. And you will learn to thrive because of it.
I’m not saying this as some woo woo The Secret-esque declaration, but because I’ve seen it work.
Full immersion is the way to go when trying to achieve anything, and you get to decide what that looks like for your life and where you are now.
Think of it like a pool.
Do you learn to swim by dipping your toe into the water?
How about going in halfway – you know, to that point where the frigid water paralyzes your genitals and makes rethink your entire life?
You get all the way the in and find something that you enjoy about the coldness, if nothing more than that you were able to make it through that initial wave of suck without dying.
Half-assing guarantees mediocre and disappointing results.
Full-assing is scary before you make the commitment, but that’s where the most rewarding growth waits.
When in doubt, go full ass.
Jiro Approved Action Step
Commit fully to your exercise plan.
How many days will you exercise?
What time will you do it and where?
Commit fully to eating in a way that supports your body and your goals, whatever they are.
What are the foods you’re going to eat? Do you have them on hand?
What time are you going to eat your meals?
Be specific and write your answers down.
When things do eventually go off plan, instead of letting your emotions take over and lead you down a rabbit hole of negative self-talk, ask yourself the following questions:
What lessons can I take away from this event?
What actions can I take in the future so that when faced with a similar situation, I can create a better outcome for myself?
Again, be specific. Write your answers down.
Find ways to enjoy the challenges you’ll encounter, what they bring out of you and what you learn about yourself from facing them head-on.
Look for opportunities to enjoy your successes and how amazing it feels to be making progress towards a goal.
There is beauty to be found in the chaos, and freedom to be found in the madness.