Small things with great love…..
It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing.
And it is not how much we give , but how much love we put into the giving.
To God there is nothing small.
– Mother Theresa
Kaizen a Japanese word, simply means “good change” but has developed philosophy overtime with its own definition and has been widely used in professional life but can also be applied to personal life. Good change is the idea behind kaizen, although most people are afraid of changes, planning it and adapting to change is the key to an ideal life!
Kaizen as philosophy is practice that focuses upon continuous improvement of processes. Process which has dictionary meaning of action, activity, exercise and relates to anything in personal life like better time management, better handling of relationship, finances, health and so forth.
Why Kaizen works?
All changes small or big, even positive ones are scary. Anything outside regular routine is challenged by brain as default as it leads to uncertainty. And attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But small steps of kaizen disarm the brains fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.
So Kaizen recommends small steps which does not trigger fear or stress (fight or flight response) and also regularly repeating the step(s) or incremental action so as to habitualize the same.
Step 1: One small step
The kaizen approach is a highly effective method of building new neural connections in the brain.
The steps are so small I couldn’t fail!”
A vast majority of us want to improve their health,relationships or careers
- Asking small questions to dispel fear & inspire creativity
- Thinking small thoughts to develop new skills &habits
- Taking actions that guarantee success
- Solving small problems even when you’re faced with an overwhelming crisis
- Bestowing small rewards to yourself or others to produce the best results
- Recognizing the small but crucial moments that everyone ignores
Step 2: Ask Small Questions
Small questions create mental environment that welcomes unabashed creativity and playfulness. By asking small questions of yourself ,you lay the groundwork for a personalized kaizen program for change
- What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask or never think to ask.
- Your brain loves questions so build the kaizen habit of asking yourself small (and positive) questions
- A question wakes your brain and delights it.
If health were my first priority – what would I be doing differently today?
How could I incorporate a few more minutes of exercise into my daily routine.
You will be surprised that you once had no time & how brain starts to come up with creative ways to incorporate good habit to your routine.
What could I do five minutes a day to reduce my credit card debt?
Make your question small & reduce the chances of waking the Amygdale (part of brain responsible for fight and flight response) & arousing. Such actions are debilitating fear (when fear is quiet) ,the brain can take in the questions and then pop out the answers on its own timetable.
Step 3: Think Small Thoughts
The technique of mind sculpture uses “small thoughts” to help you develop new social mental,and even physical skills- just by imagining yourself performing them! Take small actions as success in these small things is so rewarding to boost your self esteem that it gives you courage to seek what you like to achieve.
Small actions are at the heart of kaizen. No matter how much you prepare or practise small questions & small thoughts, eventually you must enter the arena of action. By taking steps so tiny that they seem trivial or even laughable, you”ll sail calmly past obstacles that have defeated you before. Slowly – but painlessly !- you’ll cultivate an appetite for continued success and lay down a permanent new route to change.
Step 4: Solve Small Problems
We are so accustomed to living with minor annoyances that it’s not always easy to identify them, let alone make corrections. But these annoyances have a way of acquiring mass and eventually blocking your path to change. By training yourself to spot and solve small problems,you can avoid much more painful remedies later.
Kaizen technique is learning to spot small problems. For instance
- Recall a major mistake you’ve made at some point in your life.
- Analyze by asking small questions ..what measures would you take to correct that problem.
- Identify one small mistake you have made today,without becoming angry with yourself.thus single act ,especially if you perform daily ,will raise your awareness .
- Now ask yourself whether the small mistake you identify in exercise 2 reflects a larger problem.
By paying attention to this mistake ,you will reduce its frequency . If you feel this mistake indicate a more significant problem in your life, ask yourself : what kaizen step can I take to correct the situation?
Step 5: Bestow small rewards
Whether you wish to train yourself or others to instilled better habits, small rewards are the perfect encouragement, they stimulate the internal motivation required for lasting change.
- Think hard before deciding on small reward.you want the reward to have three qualities.
- The reward should be appropriate to the goal.
- The reward should be appropriate to the person.
- The reward should be free or inexpensive.
Step 6: Identify small moments
The kaizen approach to life requires a slower pace and an appreciation of small moments. This pleasant technique can lead to creative breakthroughs & strengthened relationships,and give you a daily boost toward excellence.
A philosopher, scientist or artist sits alone in garret agonizing , until – Eureka!-divine inspiration strikes. Small moments that may seem ordinary or even tiresome, but actually hold the seeds of important change. Paying attention to small moments may sound easy, but it takes respect, imagination, and curiosity. When you’re implementing a plan for change but find yourself bored, restless, and stuck, look around for hidden moments of delight.
People who are most successful at improving their health habits are those who can transform exercise or eating well into a source of excitement and pride.
Similarly creating small moments in a relationship Like train yourself to focus on small, positive aspects of your partner. Instead of focusing on big flaws or waiting for a horse drawn carriage ride or trip to Paris, appreciate him or her for small gestures, a pleasing tone or a kind touch.
The kaizen way – One small step – but start today& build it up everyday.
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