Introducing the practical and inspirational guide to incorporating Kaizen and its powerful principles into one’s daily life. Rooted in the two thousand-year-old wisdom of the Tao Te Ching–“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”–Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady increments. Kaizen is the tortoise versus the hare. Kaizen is the eleven Fortune 500 companies that significantly outperformed the market through moderate, step-by-step actions. Kaizen is losing weight not by a crash diet (which more often than not crashes) but by eating one bite less at each meal–then, a month later, eating two bites less. Kaizen is starting a life-changing exercise program by standing–just standing–on a treadmill for one minute a day.
Written by an expert on Kaizen–Dr. Robert Maurer, a psychologist on the staff at the UCLA medical school who speaks and consults nationally–One Small Step is the gentle but potent way to effect change. Beginning by outlining the all-important role that fear plays in all types of change–and Kaizen’s ability to circumvent it–Dr. Maurer then explains the 7 Small Steps: how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, Solve Small Problems, and more. He shows how to perform mind sculpture–visualizing virtual change so that real change comes more naturally. Why small rewards motivate better than big rewards. How great discoveries are made by paying attention to the little details most of us overlook.
The book has been named one small step… for a reason, the book itself has been divided into 8 chapters, and each dedicated to simplifying everything into very small steps that we are comfortable following. Because let’s face it, we shriek from most things because we are uncomfortable with the unknown. The predictability in the smallness is what Kaizen preaches us. Do what you can!
For the ease of comprehension we are using diagrammatic flowcharts for each chapter of the book.
The first chapter is about how to innovate using Kaizen.
The author suggests we use small steps innovating, start with steps that don’t challenge us and gently ease us onto our desired path.
The second chapter: Why kaizen works, enlightens us about how human psyche works and how to overcome our animal instincts in the wake of new situations.
We are all aware that fear is nothing but our fight and flight instinct kicking in when faced with a stressful event. But an understanding of what is scaring you, can allow you to overcome it the kaizen way.
The third chapter: Ask Small Questions
Bombarding the mind with questions that it can’t foresee an answer to will induce anxiety, which will prevent you from initiating action and procrastination.
It is only an added advantage, as the human brain release rewarding chemicals when we get an answer, right, the reason why people enjoy trivia so much.
It adds to the belief of a task being doable as well, when we have answer to the questions we ask.
And now Chapter 4: Think Small Thoughts
Thoughts become actions, since Kaizen is all about taking less risks and smaller steps; it is but obvious that one is advised to think practical and doable thoughts, instead of setting far off future actionable.
It will also enhance ones productivity as the results will be more rapid because smaller thoughts are more real time.
Chapter 5: Take small actions
Although this chapter is but obvious after everything we know about the book from the 4 chapter before this one but let us take a look at the picture to know why & how it works?
Because thoughts are always in theory and actions are in real world where circumstances are seldom ideal as according to our mental imagery.
Chapter 6: Solve Small Problems
This chapter talks about taking notice of small problems before they become big, most of our big problems would never happen if they are tackled at the right when they arise. Taking cautionary steps will not only resolves issues as they appear but also keep you informed on the overall status of a situations.
Chapter 7: Bestow Small Rewards
Good things in come in small packages, one must be able to appreciate the small things in life to be happy and successful. All successful people appreciate all the things they’ve been bestowed with. One of the all time favourite comedian of all times Jerry Seinfeld once described the mantra of his success to be appreciation of everything around him. He advised loving everything from your pillow to your car for their presence in your life.
The chapter is also preaching us to appreciate the smallness of life, every bit of life and its experiences.
Chapter 8: Identify Small Moments
This last step can really enhance the way you appreciate every experience. Cultivating the habit of identify the universal seed of creation in everything will automatically make your life more fulfilling.
This blog has been brought to you by www.laywi.com, a personal development website that is endeavouring to weave timeless theories of human motivation and well studied value systems of successful figures in the history into a web application that is suppose to help its users live a life they want.
LAYWi has taken into account the concept of Kaizen while develop the app. LAYWi is thoroughly broken down its functionalities into detailed bits that forces one to think in small steps. This habit of small thinking, actions, rewards etc will ease you into the habit of living a more fulfilled life instead of a rushed life that is so common in the today’s day and time.
And all the detailed analysis of your thoughts and plans in combinations with other powerful systems of human motivation are bound to get your plans out of your dreams and into the real world.
Register on www.laywi.com today and own your own personal guide to the Kaizen way of life. Start with a small step, create a To-Do list for today and see how penning down something so simple and small can trigger off a big big revolution.
LAYWi is free and safe. It’s an e-friendly, can be accessed from a PC, on your Ipad &, smart phones.
Your dreams are just a plan away on LAYWi.
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans. And plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Do you want to accomplish something that many people dream about, but very few actually accomplish? Unless you make it a goal for yourself and work every day towards achieving it, why would you ever believe that you could actually reach it?
Unless you see yourself slowly making progress, your dreams and aspirations are nothing but vague notions floating around in your imagination. Goal setting isn’t simply about imagining what you want to achieve. It is actually a tool in itself that can greatly increase your chances of turning your dreams into reality.
There are so many things we keep planning in our heads & keep pushing them for the next day. But that “Tomorrow” never really comes. If you don’t write down concrete goals and give yourself a timeline for achievement, you won’t get any closer to where you desire. You can define your goal at LAYWi & LAYWi will assist you throughout your journey towards achieving it with a systematic approach & regular monitoring.
When designing a personal development Project, you must increase self-awareness, determine the things that are most important to you and commit to a plan of action that will transform your life. A commitment to personal development requires a willingness to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, and the clarity to choose the right activities and steps for advancing personal growth.
Under ‘New Tasks’, select a task for which you wish to create a project. It can be from any area of your life, for example Professional, Relationships, Wealth or Well-Being.
Further task can belong to any areas, that is it could be from Vision you defined or a Value system block or Self profiling.
Then just Click on Add to Projects.
You can also create ad hoc tasks.
The Task will get added in New Project Column. Click on Move To Project Catalog.
Project Catalog is where we fully define a project with all requisites like dates, time allocations, sub tasks, project benefits definition and so on.
Name your project & click on OK.
Answer the 4 key questions in the questionnaire & click on Save. These 4 questions are important for setting tone for project right.
Just click on Project Catalog tab which has all projects with initial set of tasks.
You can refine project definition where, add sub tasks and define timelines and success / measuring criteria.
Once you are happy with definition just simple press Schedule button on top right corner and project would move to ‘Scheduled Projects’ tab or ‘In Progress’ tab depending on start date.
You can also ..
.. Create your own ‘Benefits template’ to evaluate each task or sub-task on scheduled or ad hoc basis.
.. Create time definition which would be reflected on your calendar
.. Create structured project defintion
.. Use various tools to execute projects effectively like using Diary for notes, To-Do lists, Reminder, Sharing tasks etc
Need any clarification or support – drop us a note at email@example.com
Michelangelo was asked by the pope about the secret of his genius, particularly how he carved the statue of David, largely considered the masterpiece of all masterpieces. His answer was: “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.” *
So how often have you looked to improve life both ways:
- Relinquishing of bad or unhelpful habits
- Acquiring new habits which are aligned to your purpose of life
Mostly we have seen, we always try to acquire new habits without getting rid of baggage – old habits which hold us back. Its the inertia which holds us back and hamper in acquiring momentum in forward direction.
- Make list of your habits **
- Prioritize on there importance of impact and relevancy to life / bigger picture.
- SWOT your habits and see for yourself where you are with each of them
- Then start with goal(s) of relinquishing the one’s which are harmful to you and your life.
- Also make a list of habits which you want to acquire and are aligned to your purpose in life
- Again make a plan to start with them and turn them in goals broken in even smaller daily tasks.
These set of positive habits would become your Value System*** for life
Side Note: You can always sign up at LAYWi and create and manage your value system.
* From Nassim Taleb’s book.
** Learning about habit – I like Charles Duhigg blogs and books.
*** For Value System: Books by Steve Covey and Clayton Christensen.
Earlier relevant blogs:
Define, analyze and evolve your Professional life with LAYWi!
Put foundation under your dreams!
Who Moved my Cheese was published in the year 1998 written by Spencer Johnson. This tiny book has been written in the simplest English with the least complex fictional characters in the history of writing but is profoundly true and brimming with obviousness that its only a miracle of some sort that we ignore it with amazing ease. The Story starts with the four protagonist Hem & Haw- the tiny people and Sniff and Scurry- the two mice, both jog through a maze every morning towards cheese stations to get their fill of the day. They do this day after day for as long as they can, till the particular cheese station is empty. The mice, rightly named Sniff and Scurry are quick to notice and anticipate change. One day when sniff and scurry arrive at their cheese station and notice the absence of any cheese, they are quick to process this information and scurry away to sniff out another source of cheese. But the same does not happen to the tiny people, when on the same day Hem and Haw arrive to find no cheese, they simply assume it to be a temporary thing, and the station they held so dear can’t let them down, and it was only a matter of time, that they would find the same joy of satisfying cheese again. And they repeated this safe mantra to themselves every day till they felt sick to their stomach from hunger and disappointment, they knew the big change couldn’t be reversed, but scared to get out of their comfort filled and denial fueled situation, were paralyzed. Meanwhile Sniff and Scurry had already found a bigger/better cheese station across the maze and were busy dishing out on the new cheese. But Haw instinctively knew the change had arrived and to survive he must make a move to another place, but was held back by fears. Fearfully but Haw knew that he must overcome this disabling fear of change to get to new cheese. So once again, he brought his running shoes out that he had tucked away so very methodically after discovering the cheese station. And ran out into the maze in find of new cheese that was out there somewhere. As he lapped along the journey he released the inevitability of change and disappointment of not having released that sooner. He ran and ran, overcoming his fears of newness and imagining himself gorging on newer cheese, which made his goal more and more real for him. He felt alive at discovering new bits of cheese on the way and hoped that Hem would soon follow him into the maze. But this time Haw was a new person, he wasn’t going to let the same stagnation happen again as he it had earlier, he made sure he wrote his lessons on the walls of the maze, to internalize them and in-case he needed to trace his way back or to another station. Haw felt alive, his only regret, he hadn’t done it sooner.
Eventually Haw did discover the bigger/better cheese station. But this time he had learned his lesson. So he regularly smelled cheese to know if it’s going stale, took inventory of the remaining cheese and trusted and developed his ability to find cheese again- in short controlled fear. And lived happily and practically ever after.
In this metaphorical tale, cheese stands for anything that we think will bring us eternal happiness, but as Haw demonstrated, the only constant in life is change and developing the habit of recognizing, recording and reflecting on newer cheeses, is the only formula to finding eternal happiness in life.
The faster you recognize change, the faster you will come with an antidote. The more records you take, the better you will strategize and the more you reflect, the easier the transition would be.
But the book just isn’t preaching of change, it’s also asking its readers to make plans devoid of any existence of fear, fear which is a reflex from the lessons learned, histories read and is nothing but glorified caution. Fear is a friend not a foe when regulated.Hence the book asks the most simple and powerful questions of them all, ‘What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?’
Have you thought of what would you do if you weren’t afraid? I would sing to the crowds of thousands and roll around in grass. Fantasies apart next time you are taking a decision, take off you fear cloak and make plans.
Our website www.laywi.com has incorporated lessons from who moved my cheese, LAYWi is personal development website with a twist, it’s not just an app but also a highly sophisticated tool which has its roots firmly in science of human psychology, monitoring for you and guiding you at each step of your project management towards a life that you want.
LAYWi has tools that shows you progress made in all projects and assignments started by you on LAYWi, daily/weekly/monthly, as you would like it, so you can assess the state of your cheese. It has tools like diaries and Personal SWOTs that let you reflect on your cheese, if its depleting or would you rather have a different kind of cheese altogether. LAYWi is deeply based in science of human psychology and motivation which helps you structure your plans in such a manner that you always invent ways of locating more cheese. All one has to do is sign up, and start doing. Its Free!
The main thing while working with an app like LAYWi is that you can’t ever forget the writing on the walls. Because that is what guides your motivation to find more cheese. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Getting out there and letting go of your comforts is the only way you will locate new cheese. Always take stock. Accept change and transition. Constantly override your old ways with new ones to stay closer to cheese.
LAWYi, as its stands for life as you want it, helps you take charge of your cheese supply. It helps you imagine more ways to acquire cheese. Bottom-line: You move your own cheese. Total cheese control!
Cheese- the thing that we think will make us eternally happy, is only a plan away, just box that fear away and think to yourself, ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid”?! and the world is your oyster.
Knowing, wanting and doing are very powerful words. They mean transition, movement and its these words that are the music of life keeping us dancing. And just like music is for grooving, life is for living. Living and existing are two different things, you exist to live, and you live to just live. Just like it’s unnatural for most birds to not take flight, its unnatural for us to not live. What wings are to a bird, is what intelligence and free will is to humans. We must use it. We must dream, reflect on our essential urges, and think about what we can do with what we’ve been blessed with.
We must use our imagination to examine our lives. What can we do? What do we want to do? If you live inactively, you will miss out on this wonderful and probably the only experience called life, it doesn’t come back, so drop all you fears of failing, lagging behind, not being good enough, to soar through the skies of life.
There is no science to this, you just do it. So if you have a dream, start working toward it. Now, it’s a fact that not everyone can be Madame Curie or Picasso, but that shouldn’t be the point, the point is to do, and to live out your life to maximum you can. Don’t let capitalistic media take away you joy of living; don’t keep standards that don’t apply to you. Make your own plans and decide on your own success.
The first step towards becoming enlightened to your own senses is to shake off all the prior expectation and make room for your own self to have a say in what you want. Start a journal, reflect on what you like and why you like it, think about what you would regret not doing 10 years from now, think about what are your values.
Make a plan, however insignificant it maybe, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, it’s a law of the natural world, every action will grant you that much wisdom. The point is intending to do something and that something might not be what you thought it would be, but you will be that much wiser. Failure is not what you think it is, it’s a just an outcome that you didn’t want to see. So make plans, execute them, and grab the experience by the scruff and live!
Read more, watch more documentaries, idolize people, love plants, anything that makes you forget about you mortality is a good sign; it means that you are on the right path, you are living.
Be ambitious. Plan. Do more. Make every sec count. Make informed choices.
So, take a tablet and tap away making plans to conquer your world while you still can, keep yourself surrounded by what you want to see manifest in the future, immediate or later. Because that is what will keep the distractions and unwarranted influences away, allowing you to be original and true to your being.
The blog has been presented to you by a team which is developing a website/ tool calledwww.laywi.com, a website which is here to encourage you to live out the life that you want. The website has inbuilt tools and apps that let you design your life in a way, that you are able to control most of the inputs and decidedly a lot of output as well. So register right away and surround yourself with influences, living the life a YOU want it.