The further I delve into the Tao the more the world amazes me. It seems I learn something new everyday, or at least every couple of days. Yesterday held yet another lesson for me , and it’s one that I hold dear.
The dogs and I hiked the three balds hike on Roan mountain, we finally made it all the way to the third bald it was a little over four miles round trip. The dogs were exhausted but they really enjoyed it. I had the chance to practice Tai Chi on top of a mountain today, it was hard. The ground was soft, uneven and the grass thick and tall so it grabbed your feet. It was perfect for practicing Tai Chi! While resting at the third bald and enjoying the amazing view from the top of the world a couple and their dog walked up. We had a conversation about hiking and about doing what you love. We agreed that all we wanted was to do what we loved. She said she was lucky enough to have a job she loves and is good at. That’s what I want too.
I didn’t think much of what we talked about until later that night at the Japanese Culture Society club meeting. We watched a movie called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. It was a very enjoyable documentary and it taught me even more about doing what you loved. There are a couple of things Jiro said that stuck out to me but the one that hit home is the one I want to share most. Jiro said:
“When I was in school… I was a bad kid. Later, when I was invited to give a talk at the school, I wasn’t sure if I should tell the kids that they should study hard… or that it is okay to be a rebel. I wasn’t sure what advice to give the kids. Studying hard doesn’t guarantee you will become a respectable person. Even if you’re a bad kid… there are people like me who change. I thought that would be a good lesson to teach. But if I said that bad kids can succeed later on like I did… all the kids would start misbehaving which would be a problem. Always doing what you are told doesn’t mean you’ll succeed in life.”
I am one of those people who hates studying. I’m also bad at, mostly because I usually just don’t know how to study. It’s part of why I switched my major from Exercise Science to English. I loved exercise science but it was too much work for me and I didn’t think I would ever get what I wanted out of it. I switched and I feel much better. I don’t have to study so much and I still do well and I have time to do all of this hiking with my dogs. Anyway, I think Jiro is right. Just because you get a four year degree in college doesn’t mean you will get a good job and it doesn’t mean you’ll get a job in what you learned. If you weren’t a good kid, got bad grades or broke the rules it doesn’t mean you can’t change and be successful.
Something else he said, which I also love is:
“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… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”
I’ve learned about how in many Asian cultures you have something you are good at or that you like and you practice that one thing for the rest of your life and you try to become the best at that one thing. Jiro shows that in the documentary and with his words. I don’t know for sure yet what it is I want to do but once I decide, that is what I will do and I will do my best to become great.
This lesson reminds me of a part of the Tao Te Chin from Seventy – Four the last verse says:
“There is always and official executioner.
If you try to take his place,
It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.
If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter,
you will only hurt your hand.”
It’s short and sweet this time but still I learned a lot today!
Also, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is on Netflix if you are interested in watching!
Check out my Instagram for more photos from the hike! It was a beautiful day! http://instagram.com/jl30stmars/