22 Dec It Takes Courage To Follow Your Own Path – Omakase お任せ
This is a word I learned during my 15 years in Japan. A quick Google search shows that it has entered
the English lexicon via sushi restaurants, especially in London. Literally translated it means, “I leave it
to you” and it is derived from the verb, to be responsible.
Ordering from the Menu of Life
Omakase is usually a term found at the bottom of the menu in good Japanese restaurants. My own
experience of this in Japan is that it is not limited to Sushi restaurants and it is the ultimate
acknowledgement of trust between customer and chef. In good restaurants, instead of ordering
from the menu, you allow the chef to entertain you with a combination of their knowledge of your
preferences, the best seasonal foods and their own skill set.
So, what has this got to do with having the courage of just being yourself? Or, to use another
Japanese word that has entered the English lexicon, Ikigai. Ikigai is similar to the more often used
word, purpose, and it extends to a concept of one’s life mission.
In keeping with the Japanese theme of this blog, to truly enter a space of Ikigai (生き甲斐, literally
translated as ‘life’s value’), I would suggest that all levels of expectation both from yourself and from
others be dropped. Or, as Sanjay Shah would say, allow yourself to operate above the line. Above
the line you will find positive emotions, such as joy and happiness, and below the line are more
negative emotions, such as anger or jealousy. Allow your emotions to guide you into a space where
you are in your full flow and living a life to its ultimate potential.
Time to Find your Ikigai
What has Omakase got to do with The Fourth Space? Well, if you are prepared to put your evening’s
entertainment, joy and good health in the hands of your favourite chef, why not put your life’s
mission in the hands of your own feelings? Have the courage to trust your emotions so that you can
find your Fourth Space; your Ikigai; your sweet spot. Your feelings’ Omakase is on the menu of life!
Maybe, like in Japanese restaurants, it is at the bottom of the menu, but it is there all the same.
It takes courage to Omakase to your feelings and let other people’s opinions and expectations “jog
on”, but it is one of life’s greatest gifts.
– Nick Horton, The Fourth Space founder