You Must Fall in Love with your Work – Jiro Ono

Being a Rock Star has nothing to do with how or why you got into Infosec (or sushi or whatever). It doesn’t matter.

Perhaps you were fascinated at an early age, maybe you needed a job, or very likely for many, this is where the opportunities and money were.

SushiJiro Ono is an 85 year old Michelin three-star sushi chef (Michelin three-star basically means “mind blowing”). He may be best known because of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

It doesn’t matter how or why Jiro Ono got into sushi. It does matter that he is fantastic, that he rocks.

What matters is what happens after you’ve arrived.

Do you have passion? Even a little bit? Have you fallen in love with your work?

He has a small 10 seat restaurant that serves only sushi, nothing else. No appetizers, desserts, etc. He has dedicated his life to sushi and he is enormously happy. He may be the greatest sushi chef ever.

Even if you are damned good you can’t compete with someone who is damn good and passionate.

Rock stars are passionate. They are in love with what they do. Even if you are damned good you can’t compete with someone who is damn good and passionate. You may have difficulty competing with someone who is merely good yet passionate.

If you are not passionate, you simply cannot be a Rock Star.

You must fall in Love with your work.

Jiro did not remotely find instant success. He also did not go on a “Journey of self discovery to The Himalayas” or any similar nonsense. Jiro did not need to find himself. He created himself.

Of course no one is passionate about every aspect of their job; that would be silly. Don’t set too high a bar! I’m passionate about what I do, but that last cancelled flight home less than 48 hours ago sucked and expense reports are drudgery!  Too many people do have unrealistic expectations of what passion actually is, but its importance cannot be understated!

The world will have its ups and downs, and they can be significant. Have you created a career (and life) that you love? Have you fallen in love with your work? That will sustain you.

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    • Rich
    • August 24, 2015

    I must admit this makes me feel good, real good.

    I got into infosec because there was a promotion involved (from sys admin) with more money and because I was bored.

    Do I love what I do? Not at first, I just liked it. Now I am absolutely nutso crazy and happy about much of it!

    I worried since it seems most awesome security people claim they have always been interested. Not me. I saw an opportunity, I jumped, and I’m happy as hell.

    I also worried because there are parts of my job I simply dislike. Not a lot, but some paperwork and meetings are drudgery. Man you explain that soooo well


    • Margie
    • August 24, 2015

    That does it – I know a great sushi restaurant and I’m going there for lunch!

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • August 24, 2015

      And on that note Margie, I may as well!

    • Lynn
    • August 24, 2015

    I had never thought about it, but I guess I did fall in love with my work.

    I became a project manager 3 years ago, entirely by accident. I didn’t want to manage my first project, but someone had to and I was the logical person. OK, so be it, no problems.

    I’m still managing projects three years later and I LOVE IT. I’ve fallen in love with it.

    Working on a big Federated Naming project now, and it is exciting. I AM making a difference managing projects and having much fun.

    You could say “I have fallen in love with my work”!

    Great article Ted, keep them coming!

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • August 24, 2015

      Great example Lynn!
      Nice to hear from you

    • Suresh SV
    • September 21, 2015

    Infosec Rock Star – I read this today, and it was a much needed boost in my life.

    I work in an organization, where InfoSec is perceived as a hindrance in their day to day activities and being certified is to show off to their clients and get more business. I am not against it, but are we really justifying activities related to ” InfoSec ” that we deserve the certification, literally makes me cringe with dissatisfaction.

    I feel I am a big fish in a small pond struggling to make it much bigger.

    Thanks Ted. I am confident that Infosec Rock Star V2, is going to be a great positive change in my life. You have a fan for life 🙂

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • September 22, 2015

      Hi Suresh,
      I have felt your pain before! I always take the attitude is that our job is to make things better.
      If I am making things better, making a difference, it is a good thing. Even if I am seen as a hindrance.

      Thanks for your kind words!

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