Beating people's expectations
In life, often people just don't think too much of you (or of what you do), even before they know much about you. They prejudge you. But rather than letting this get you down, you can use this as an opportunity to surpass their expectations and blow them away. Low expectations can sometimes be a blessing to be leveraged. I love Jake's money quote on this idea: "One of the things I love about being a ukulele player is that no matter where I go in the world to play, the audience has such low expectations. [This is] a huge plus for sure."
There are many takeaways from this performance from the Zen Master of the the ukulele beyond mere entertainment. The ukulele itself, and those like Jake who play it so insanely well, represent both the struggle and the inspiration and delight that comes from blowing away other people's low expectations of you through your own hard work, unbridled passion, and dedication to excellence. As with the ukulele, others may misunderstand you or not take you or your cause seriously. Others may not give you a chance or think you are too small, too young, too old, too unusual to take a chance on. Few people take the ukulele for a serious musical instrument, and yet Jake shows us how misguided that kind of conventional wisdom is. Jake and his ukulele are an inspiration.
Playing naked is best
All Jake had with him on stage yesterday in Tokyo was his ukulele and his talent. As he explains in this older performance below (it's an amazing performance from circa 2007), he used to have all sorts of equipment to play loads of special effects. People loved this. But he decided to go back to basics — to go naked in a sense — and strip everything away and to be what he really is: the best ukulele player you'll ever see. He is an amazing talent with a great personality that really shows through his art.
Photo in the slide above is by Ryota Mori.