No one interviews better than Nick Offerman.
The lessons I took from my sensei that are some of the most profound and that are still with me constantly—and the one that comes to mind in the context of our conversation—is, in the Shinto discipline, which is a sort of adjunct of Buddhism, they try to maintain the attitude of a student throughout their lives. They recognize that, as human beings, we are by definition flawed, so you can never do something perfectly. The thing that is fascinating about watching a human being attempt anything is watching them try to do it perfectly. Even Michael Jordan can never play a perfect game of basketball, but man, he comes so damn close that 100,000 people will get together to scream and freak out at how close he can come to this incredible human attempt. And [Shozo] really stressed to us that, if you can always maintain the attitude of a student, if you always have something in your life that you’re trying to improve upon, then every day you have a reason to get out of bed, and you have a reason to achieve something and feel good.
And that’s such a simple notion, but it’s something that I often share with people—friends who often find themselves depressed, or in a doldrums of sorts—because when you think you’ve become the master, when you think you’re done learning, that’s when bitterness sets in. Because you think, “I’ve achieved this place, I’ve finished my program of study. Where is my goddamn parade? When are they going to carry me around town on their shoulders, sons of bitches?” And if you can maintain the flipside of that and say, “I’m so glad I’m still alive and I still get to keep improving my guitar-picking or my dovetail joints or my relationship with my family, with my wife, my health…” it makes for an incredibly beautiful, satisfying life.
Also there is a photo of him in his 20s with a giant fake dick sticking out of his jeans. There’s really something for everyone here.