From the desk of Willie Delwiche.
The documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” tells the story of a small Sushi counter operating near a subway platform in Japan. The movie glorifies routine — the day-in, day-out dedication to doing the same thing over and over again. It’s these details and pursuit of perfection that make the dream. We see how Jiro’s sushi is the product of hours of labor and years of experience.
Russian novelist Fydor Dostoevsky understood this concept well, noting “Habit is the chief motive force” in his novel “The Brothers Karamazov”.
Dostoevsky and Jiro understand there are no shortcuts. Instead, the embodied consistency of habit is how we grow and make progress.
Anyone can dream of draining the game winning shot at the buzzer or knocking the ball out of the park for a walk-off home run. But those opportunities only emerge after countless hours in front of a basketball hoop or in a batting cage.
These days, it feels as if everyone is looking for the cheat code that will grant superpowers and allow us to cut corners or skip ahead a few levels in life.
Of course, real life doesn’t work that way.
We all need to put in the time when it’s light outside and when it’s dark outside…
When it feels like the world is working for you and when you are sure it is working against you…
When you are on the top of your game and when you are stuck in a rut.
A good mentor or coach can provide leverage in this process. Well-timed mistakes and failures can accelerate the learning curve. Mastery is about having the discipline to show up and do the work. There is no getting around needing to be present to your craft, whether it’s sushi, the market, or anything else.
A master craftsman understands this concept. Masters do the same thing over and over. They study the failures and grow from their mistakes. Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. But he kept showing up and learning from what did not work. He learned the system and eventually the light came on (and stayed on).
You might have started on your market journey to find the perfect shortcut or cheat code to boost your returns. But once you begin to truly learn your craft, cheat codes are no longer your focus.
Masters spend their time on what matters most: Dedication. Routine. Habit.