Kaizen: The Art of Baby Steps

Ian Paul Marshall —  December 10, 2009 — 10 Comments

kzen

Somewhere deep inside of us there has to be some sort of progression gene. Something that spurs us on to becoming better aspects of ourselves. We can feel it’s presence when life starts to feel dull and boring.

But the problem is that we really don’t like to change. We think we do but we don’t. We hate it. Even fight and rage against it. We’re lazy creatures if we’re allowed to be.

Who wouldn’t want to be on a beach somewhere relaxing right now?

But in the end, whether we like it or not, life keeps moving forward. Change is a constant within the universe. One that we really try hard to ignore.

So how can we really tackle the whole self-improvement thing then?

If we really don’t like to turn off the Vampire Diaries, get up off the couch and do those sit-ups or read that book is there something out there that can make this process a little bit easier on us?

I think there is…

It’s called Kaizen, which is usually translated as “improvement” or in the business circles as “continuous improvement”.

Toyota adopted this philosophy. Even Anthony Robbins based his CANI (Constant and Never-Ending Improvement) method around the Kaizen philosophy.

Dr. Robert Maurer, a psychologist and author says the Kaizen philosophy is simple and easy to apply. “Great change is made through small steps.”

In his book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” he lays out some techniques like:

  • Ask small questions
  • Think smaller thoughts
  • Take small actions
  • Solve small problems
  • Give small rewards
  • Recognize the small mistakes before they become big ones

It’s always good to dream big. The elaborate and vivid visions of your future will compel you to burst through the atmosphere of your own inertia. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of change and making it easy for ourselves it seems that small doses of it may be best.

So start small. Start now. Start to become an inspirational life.

Ian

Inspiring You To Greatness

10 responses to Kaizen: The Art of Baby Steps

  1. Kaizen is a management principle that works like mathematics. If your company, your bank account or your social life are flat lining, you can change it's direction a little at a time, making a little progress every day.

    Sometimes progress can only be made by making bold decisions and taking great leaps of faith. You can not cross a chasm by taking baby steps. Life has pivot points, especially when we make startling new discoveries, or have surprising realizations.

    But Alexander Graham Bell said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

    Inspiration is your destination. Perspiration (dedication) is the vehicle that gets you there.

    Inspiration can reveal your desire.

    You may realize you can fulfill your desire.

    You may decisively choose to achieve your goal, cutting off all other possibilities.

    Then you dedicate yourself to your task. That's where Kaizen comes into play.

    Do you know how an airplane flies from New York to Hong Kong? After selecting the destination, the aircraft makes continuous adjustments to it's flight path. The aircraft is always off course, so it is always adjusting it's flight path. It can hit the occasional air pocket, or avoid bad weather, as required. But it's single minded purpose is it's goal, it's destination.

    People are like that.

    Life is like that.

    You set your goals, then you strive to achieve them. Big goals can be broken down into a number of smaller goals. Each of these can be broken down into still smaller goals. This is how “impossible” dreams can be turned into reality – one small step at a time.

  2. Hey there Morgan awesome comments!

    I love the airplane analogy.

    Inspiration and perspiration is quite true.

    Inspiration lifts us high so that we may have a vision of something new. And the dedication is the power that makes our dreams come true.

  3. Kaizen is a management principle that works like mathematics. If your company, your bank account or your social life are flat lining, you can change it's direction a little at a time, making a little progress every day.

    Sometimes progress can only be made by making bold decisions and taking great leaps of faith. You can not cross a chasm by taking baby steps. Life has pivot points, especially when we make startling new discoveries, or have surprising realizations.

    But Alexander Graham Bell said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

    Inspiration is your destination. Perspiration (dedication) is the vehicle that gets you there.

    Inspiration can reveal your desire.

    You may realize you can fulfill your desire.

    You may decisively choose to achieve your goal, cutting off all other possibilities.

    Then you dedicate yourself to your task. That's where Kaizen comes into play.

    Do you know how an airplane flies from New York to Hong Kong? After selecting the destination, the aircraft makes continuous adjustments to it's flight path. The aircraft is always off course, so it is always adjusting it's flight path. It can hit the occasional air pocket, or avoid bad weather, as required. But it's single minded purpose is it's goal, it's destination.

    People are like that.

    Life is like that.

    You set your goals, then you strive to achieve them. Big goals can be broken down into a number of smaller goals. Each of these can be broken down into still smaller goals. This is how “impossible” dreams can be turned into reality – one small step at a time.

  4. Hey there Morgan awesome comments!

    I love the airplane analogy.

    Inspiration and perspiration is quite true.

    Inspiration lifts us high so that we may have a vision of something new. And the dedication is the power that makes our dreams come true.

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