Learning and the Pursuit of Shibumi

“When in doubt about do or don’t, don’t.”

That’s my my new mantra. Almost sounds lazy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not actually.

It’s all about Shibumi.  That’s spelled, 渋み. And it’s all about editing. Refining. Reducing. Simplifying.

Shibumi: “The ability to achieve the maximum effect with the minimum means” – Rough translation of a Japanese Zen concept

Shibumi is a concept I have been consciously (and even unconsciously) searching for since childhood, although I didn’t know the name for it until recently. The concept of Shibumi refers to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. It reflects the ability of a person (or organization, or object d’arte) to achieve effortless effectiveness, elegant simplicity, and the height of excellence.

There are five key steps to reach shibumi:

  1. commitment
  2. preparation
  3. struggle
  4. breakthrough
  5. transformation

Read this short and insightful article if you want to learn more: Learning and the Pursuit of Shibumi – Chief Learning Officer, Solutions for Enterprise Productivity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s