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The Rain

Today’s post is an inspirational email passed on from my uncle.

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The Rain

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.

 He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat,  knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?”

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, “That is the kind of love I want in my life.”

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.

‘Life isn’t about
how to survive the storm,
But how to dance in the rain.’

I hope that you’ve found this post to be as inspirational as I did when I first read it. And if you did, please pass this along to anyone else who you think would benefit from this post’s message. Till next week.

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My New Hero Named Jiro

Today’s post is inspired from Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

It was regular weekday night when I was perusing through Netflix and happened to see this documentary show-up. Documentary? On sushi? Yes please! (Did I mention I was getting ready to eat dinner?)

From Jiro Dreams of Sushi

For those who haven’t watched this, it was a phenomenal insight into the workings and thoughts of a man and restaurant that I will probably never have a chance to visit or experience. And even though there are some people out there who think documentaries are boring. Well, that’s the thing about documentaries, they let you see a perspective of the world that you would never have seen otherwise.

Aside from the fact that it was a documentary about sushi and made my mouth water for the delectable sushi on the screen, it was quite an inspiration for me as an individual who is also looking to devote my time and energy to the right things in life. Throughout the documentary, the touch upon this term, shokunin, but never quite explained it fully.

Shokunin is translated to essentially be “artisan” or “craftsman.” While seemingly ordinary, the documentary portrayed the term to be more of an honorary title that is simply not given to any random person who happens to be an artisan or craftsman. Instead, it is more of a demonstration of extreme dedication to an art that has allowed you to transcend the ordinary and begin to step into the world of masters.

This whole notion of becoming a shokunin really struck me. After all, how many of us can say that we’ve committed even 10% of our energy and devotion to mastering a craft. Don’t get me wrong. I recognize that most of us know what it’s like to work hard. It’s just I can only really think of a few moments in my life where I may have pursued something the way that Jiro pursues his craft of making the best sushi in the world.

After watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I have decided to find aspects of my life that I would aspire to become a “shokunin” as much as I possibly can. As of right now, I have decided that I will focus on: user experience, go, and cultivation.

If you were to be a shokunin, what area of expertise would you choose?

The Best Solutions in Life

In anticipation of Labor Day Weekend, I’ve decided to release the post early since I’m sure everyone will be off having fun on Monday. So, to kick everything off, I hope you’ll take five minutes to watch the following speech from Kenneth Cole – “The Birth of a Shoe Company.” This lecture is different from the typical TED Talks in that it is only a few minutes long and is an anecdote about how Kenneth Cole created a successful company amidst a recession.

If I were to select the single most memorable moment in the entire lecture, it is the following statement:

“Invariably, we remind ourselves that the best solutions are not the most expensive but are the most creative.” – Kenneth Cole

Although it seem incredibly obvious, it still blew my mind as to how simple and true his statement was. Yet, when I looked at myself and the others around me, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us seem to purposely avoid the creative solutions.

Let’s take the following example:

In the pursuit of the idea of entrepreneurship, I thought that it might be a good idea for me to get an understanding of marketing. After all, how can I make a successful business without an understanding of marketing? So with that in mind, I immediately hit Amazon to find all the best books in marketing I could find. Before I knew it, I had about $100 in books that I was ready to order. Then, on top of that, some of the books mentioned some brilliant marketers who were selling courses online. Next thing I know, I’m waist deep in online course material from people who’ve “made it big” and created “viral online products” that “generated thousands of dollars in passive income.” 

If we take a step back, I’m sure it doesn’t take a scientist to notice that my immediate approach at the solution was to spend money. Perhaps it is because that in my mind I equate spending money on something with obtaining something of value. To some extent, it’s not completely invalid. For instance, by purchasing a credible and informative book on marketing, I will have obtained the value of marketing knowledge in the form of a book.

Here’s where the problem occurs:

A. Most people who buy the book feel satisfied in simply buying the book, and the next thing they know the book is collecting dust on the bookshelf.

B. The 10% of people who actually read what they buy will then decide they need more knowledge and go purchase more books or even enroll in a some seminar or class.

C. The cycle repeats itself and no one gets to where they originally intended: obtaining the skill of marketing.

While there are some people who go through Situation B and actually obtain something of worth, let’s be realistic with ourselves in knowing we are not that 0.01%.

So the question is how we avoid these types of common pitfalls.

#1. When approached with a problem or goal, your first solution should NEVER be to spend money.

#2. Once you’ve suppressed the impulse to spend money, do your research online. Let’s not forget everyone, the chances are extremely high that someone else has already encountered your problem and posted about it online. So why don’t we just take a minute or so to see what the vast internet has for us?

#3. If it seems that you need to purchase something, make sure you’re well aware of what you already have and see if you can re-purpose anything you have instead of spending more money.

#4. Roll your sleeves up and dive right into the problem. Don’t make excuses for why something can’t done. Just take action and by doing so you will progress forward.

At first it may be a little difficult to be creative with what you have and make clever use of your time and energy, but the great thing about starting this process is that it will get easier and easier over time. And before you know it, you’ll be coming up with things that seem common-sense to you; but brilliant in the eyes of those around you.

Inspiration – This Is It.

Happy Fourth of July week to all those who live in the United States! Since this tends to be a very celebratory week with vacations and time spent with family and friends, I thought it be best to take some time and inspire you in taking this opportunity to turn over a new leaf and begin your life with a different approach. I hope that this helps put a new spin on how you’ll view life from this point on.

This is it.

Today’s not a warm-up.
It’s not a dress-rehearsal.
There is no second act.

What you do with it.
Where you take it.
Who you bring.

These things matter.
No do-overs. No tomorrows.
No gimme’s or get-backs.

No single moment holds more power.
Nor potential than this.
To bless or fail.

This, too, shall not pass.
Nor yearning manifest.
Until you own it all.

Rise up.
Act.
This is it.