A few years ago when on a trip to Japan I brought this bowl which I thought was absolutely perfect, I’d never seen anything like it and assumed it had always been this awesome. But as I went on to learn, only a few weeks before I had brought it from the shop it had been a broken bowl and smashed into no less than 7 pieces. What I now had was a the result of a craft called ‘kintsukuroi’ – what I consider an art of awesome transformation.
Kintsukuroi comes as a result of something that has been broken, that when we see the likes of a broken bowl, broken cup, broken heirloom we have some choices;
We can throw it out and lose all the history, expertise and memories that it held
We can glue it back together with PVA but look at it knowing that it’s not as ‘perfect’ as it once was
Or we can stick it back together with liquid gold (this is kintsukuroi), making it stronger, more valuable, more awesome than it ever was to start with.
Sometimes we feel broken, sometimes we feel so together, sometimes we have bad days, sometimes we have good days, and whatever the circumstance in whatever to situation how we decide to be put together is our choice.
Last month I was presenting in an incredible arena to 400 + people, the atmosphere was electric and I wanted this to be perfect. As I got into my flow and clicked to my first slide I saw it is the wrong one, and so was the next one, so was the next one, and the one after that. In the minutes before getting on stage there had been a technical breakage with my slides. The question to myself (and only to me) as I continued to speak was ‘how do I now piece this together’?
I reached my equivalent of liquid gold, I called on my history, expertise and memories to create the ‘perfect’ result and much like my bowl people didn't notice the breakage, they saw something that spoke to their desires and resulted in a standing ovation.
This festive season that is now upon us is an excellent opportunity to reflect on our lives and see how we are putting it together, what's made us stronger, more valuable, more awesome than we were a year ago? And what are the things that help us stick together what may be broken:
Humor: if we take things too seriously we miss the comedic moments that can never be forgotten and possibly never seen again.
Perspective: Life doesn't have to be ‘perfect’ to be awesome.
Knowledge: Knowledge is power, it gives us confidence and the more we know about our world, our jobs, our people, the more we can we all flourish.
As we transform from one year to an other we can create something new, something beautiful, something truly awesome from what is already with us.
Seasons greetings, good luck and enjoy your awesomeness.