I rarely read novels however this past winter I was mesmerized by “1Q84” written by Haruki Marukami. I hadn’t read a complete novel in, I don’t know, ten years or so? For some reason the intertwined stories of twenty something Aomame, a young Japanese woman, and Tengo a thirty year old Japanese male, had me captivated from the first page.
Before taking on another of his novels, I discovered Haruki Murakami wrote somewhat of an abbreviated memoir called “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.”
In “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” Haruki gives an account of his adult life and journey, unknowingly, to become one of the greatest contemporary Japanese writers of all time.
Shortly after college, he decided to open a jazz club in the greater Tokyo area. This venue served coffee during daytime hours, drinks in the evening, and live musical performances on weekends.
Everyone in his circle of influence didn’t think Haruki’s establishment had the slightest chance of being successful. After all, he didn’t have any prior experience, in his own words was quite “naïve,” and he had no proclivity for running a business.
Then you might be asking, why did he do it? Haruki had no other choice. Failure was not an option. He had to make a living. He had no Plan B.
He basically invested legions of sweat equity, all without knowing how he was going to make it. He didn’t worry about -How- he was going to develop the idea for a jazz club, or -How- it would work, he simply set the intention and the universe provided the answers.
If Haruki got caught up in the -How- to build a jazz club, it could have been a dream killer.
That experience taught something about himself. Regardless of the situation, he knew he could outwork anyone. In the end he knew he would succeed.
As he approached the age of 30, an age when you start to think you’re no longer a young pup, he got the idea of writing a novel while watching a Japanese baseball came in April 1978.
He simply said to himself, “You know what? I could try writing a novel.” That was it folks.
He had no clue what he wanted to write about. In fact, he had no ambition to write. Although deep down he had a burning desire to write something that people would deem credible.
In the autumn of 1978, he completed a two-hundred page manuscript that went on to win a new writers prize for Gunzo, a local magazine. This was a complete surprise to Haruki. All he wanted was to do good work.
If he worried about -How- to write a novel, it could have been a dream killer.
After several years of writing and running the club, he slowly developed a hunger to write something of substance. A piece of work that would stand out. However there were only so many hours in the day.
He realized he didn’t have the physical nor mental energy to do both. So, he and his wife pondered the idea of selling the business to focus on writing, full time.
Those naysayers who said his jazz club would be a flop, were back at it again trying to convince Haruki he’d be crazy to give up a thriving business to chase a fairy tale dream of being a novelist.
Any reasonable minded person would think the same thing. However, Haruki felt if he still had the jazz club to contend with, he wouldn’t be able to devote every waking hour to the writing.
Call him crazy or passionate, Haruki did just that. He sold the business, fed his creative juices, and went on to write over a dozen other novels as well as other literary works that were translated into 50 languages.
If Haruki had worried about -How- he’d making a living as a novelist, this thought process could have killed the dream.
I encounter -How- moments with my coaching clients. They get so tangled up in the minutia of their endgame, they lose sight of what their endgame will do for them personally and professionally.
Not worrying about -How- comes easier for some and more difficult for others.
This is why a coach is so critical for when the client asks -How-. It’s at this very moment when the client has doubts and fears and begins to worry about lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
What’s your endgame? If you’re looking for a strategic thinking partner, let’s talk about your dream. ♫ I’ll take you there.♪♫