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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Define, analyze and evolve your Professional life with LAYWi!
One thing unite us as human irrespective of geographical or social or religious differences and that is human intrinsic nature, which is to dream, dream of better tomorrow, better relationships, better jobs or career prospects, better life in general. Few more of those intrinsic characteristics of humans are ‘Be good’, ‘To improve’, ‘Seek security’, ‘Be social’ and so on.
Of course there is flip side to all of them too, like to satiate need of being ‘be good’ people indulge in self deception and make convincing stories around it or another need ‘to improve’ people on one hand want to improve but along side don’t want things to change which is related to being ‘in control’ and hence associate improvement to loosing control and in turn security – so reject improvement or change.
So whats the solution to this conundrum ? Well that’s what promote me to research for long time and come up with humble system called LAYWi which can be reached at www.laywi.com.
Road-map to life, Life as you want it
Solution here is to approach yourself systemically, understanding yourself properly, stressing on yourself honestly – we at LAYWi call it ‘Define Me‘ phase. This is an iterative process and should not be expected to achieved in one evening – for you and your life are more important then that and deserve more time, thought and attention.
‘Refine Me‘ is next phase to ‘Define Me’ where you indulge in some honest self appraisal we call ‘Self Profiling’. You can also seek feedback from other people in your network on site (laywi.com). Under this phase, you would also indulge in some dreaming process to called ‘Visioning’, building your plans for future, where do you see yourself 10 years or 20 years from today. This is would get you and your sub-conscious mind thinking what steps would be required to reach there, what resource you need, whats the gap between you today and you in your visioned state.
Finally in this phase you would also build a ‘Value System’ for yourself. Reason to have a value system in life to have good habits which would help you in your journey like building habit to be persistent and consistent in life, being honest and diligent, developing self leadership and so on. All this good habits as your value system would help you intrinsically when going get tough.
‘Align and Achieve‘ is Last phase of LAYWi, here we get action oriented. We plan and act upon all goals, vision, habits we have decided to improve as part of ‘Refine Me’ phase. We can group them as projects, define the important factor which would be required by project to achieve its eventual purpose. There are a lot of questions you would answer along with process of Align and Achieve which would clear you mind of doubts and bring forth your implementation approach to you purpose in life.
Peripheral to Road-map of life: Tools
Another important finding my research showed was, its important to be organised so mind is free to think properly and come up with new design for happy and successful life.
So we have tools as second part of site give users lots of options to organise one’s life so mind is free of daily deadlines and botheration but they can still be sure that they would complete them on time like To-Do list, Content Organizer (to secure all your documents safely), Diary (Multiple use, can be a thought organizer or a learning journal for a project), Favourites (to organize a wish-list or any other fancy) Dashboard (A personal newsfeed for updates and schedules, rating from all part of site), Calenders ( for schedules and reminders), Connect – to be able to share and get feedback from friends, family and colleagues on content that you have opened to view by your chosen traffic.
LAWYi is not a site which works in three clicks like 1. Click and Upload 2. Click and Share 3. Click and Comment, for life is itself is not that simple and need application of brain and efforts continuously and improving everyday bit by bit, step by step.
So we talked about “Vision for life” in our last blog but what next?
As per definition, vision is long term and overarching purpose in life which one is really passionate about. So next we need to take the vision and break it down to something mid-term and further arrange in sequence or in parallel depending what makes sense and lets call them missions.
Now take these mid-term missions and further break them into immediately action-able goals.
Vision: Retire at age of 60 with financial security, good wealth, with happy and integrated bunch of people called family and friends.
Now this vision is very general and may seems little uninspiring to start with, but it just the beginning and just a statement. We need to work on it to make it more of really vision in life rather then just a statement.
We need to study the gap in realising our vision eventually, using self analysis as well as analysis of circumstance currently we are in. Remember, vision needs to be believed in absolutely and these analysis would help you start believing in your vision since you are acting on your vision firstly, secondly it would show steps to reach your vision at high level and finally makes your subconscious mind aware of something which is important to you and then brain starts its own process of relating things important to vision.
First workout your well-being: Being a 32 year old, most probably one is healthy and free from diseases but whats more important is to work towards a healthier life. Well-being considered here is not just physical but also mental and spiritual.
Second workout Professional Life: Workout the growth in current job, your current skill sets, your organisation’s growth rate, industry you work in currently – all this should give one fair idea for next 5 to 10 years of professional life.
Thirdly workout Relationships: How positive, exciting and joyful your relationships are, consider your relations with your partner, friends and community as all of these would affect you.
Finally workout Financials: Where would your current financial earnings take you, considering standard saving rate, inflation, growth in job and other expenses along the way, just rough estimate (but make these estimate and keep them to compare over period as to compare how accurate you are and adjust future estimates accordingly).
From step 2, something would start getting visible to you like areas you want or need to improve in life like you need to take some courses for professional life or plan to take up studies again part time etc. This would in turn need healthier you so you can work harder which would require you to have a well-being plan. This would also invoke understanding from you relationships, that you would spending time away from them but for better future and its a short term compromise for better long term. So its all related.
Anyways point here to continuously analysis yourself and circumstance and bridge the gap with reasonable action (avoiding analysis paralysis) however small. It might be as small as start reading a book for well-being or related to your professional life or relationships or start saving £10 per week.
Once you have reasonable understanding of yourself and circumstance around you, you start making small project ranging from 6 months to 1 year with multiple task underneath them which are related to each other. May be as simple as have one project for each four vital areas of your life 1. Well-being 2. Relationships 3. Professional life and 4. Financials.
Allocate time to them and divide task as small as weekly tasks and make sure you mark them as complete as you go along every week and make small improvement every time you take incremental action (with each task completed you would build momentum and will to carry on and carry on stronger). It may be as simple as:
First week: 10 mins walk for well-being
Second week: 15 mins walk
Third week: 20 mins walk
Fourth week: 30 mins walk
fifth week: 15 mins jog and 15 mins walk
sixth week: 20 mins jog and 10 mins walk …..
Have tasks which relate to fun and entertainment always as part of over all schema of things so planning is all inclusive like as part of relationship plan holidays together to best places you want to visit and plan them like any other project for example planning for promotion in job or drop 4 kgs of weight. Another example, Make a project like “rejuvenate” under relationships and plan regularly one away weekend each month for 6 next months.
Always check the vision and see if you current action are aligned and leading towards that direction only. Also adjust you actions if the gap seems to be widening or worst case your vision has changed over period but remember vision is purpose of life would not change easily (and you don’t arrive on your vision in one days).
1. Define yourself and your vision
2. Refine yourself towards you vision
3. Align and achieve continuously towards your vision.
A Special Thought:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Other blogs from LAYWi related to this:
The title says it all, It surely is – Napoleon Hill’s very successful book. His precepts to make major changes in your approach to life, the principles were gathered from the life experiences of more than 500 men and women who actually accumulated riches in huge amounts; who began in poverty, with little education or influence. You can put them to work for your own enduring benefit. It will pay off in enabling you to enjoy a life of harmony and understanding, as well as setting the stage for you to join the ranks of wealthy people.
He starts with The power of thought – Truly ,’ Thoughts are things,’ powerful thing at that, when mixed with Purpose, Persistence and Burning desire. When you begin to think & grow rich , you will observe that riches begin with a state of mind, with definiteness of purpose. The most important one of these is Desire: knowing what one wants .
You are “the master of your fate,the captain of your soul” is because we have the power to control our thoughts.
Based on his relentless research, interviewing, shadowing, analysis, his book has 13 principles which lead to riches –
Principle 1: DESIRE – The starting point of all achievement.
Desire is not hope. It is not a wish. It is a keen pulsating desire, which transcends everything else. To succeed one has to chose a definite goal and place all it’s energy, all his willpower and all his effort to achieve that goal. If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dreams across,and never mind what ‘they’ say if you meet with temporary defeat, for ‘they’ perhaps do not know that every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.
Thomas Edition dreamed of a lamp that could be operated by electricity.Despite more than 10,000 failures,he stood by that dream until he made it a physical reality.practical dreamers do not quit!
Henry ford, poor and uneducated, dreamed of a horseless carriage. He went to work with what tools he possessed, without waiting for an opportunity to favour him, and now evidence of his dream belts the entire earth.
Principle 2: FAITH – Visualizing and Believing in the attainment of Desire.
Faith is the ‘External Elixir’ which gives life, power and action to the impulse of thought! Faith is the basis of all ‘miracles’ and mysteries that cannot be analysed by the rules of science. When faith is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration ,translates it into its spiritual equivalent,and transmits it to finite intelligence.
Principle 3: Autosuggestion – The Medium for influencing the subconscious mind.
There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Autosuggestion can also be called as self suggestion which in terms refer to communication between part of mind where conscious thoughts take place and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind. Man is master of his destiny for he can influence what he thinks – all sense impressions which are perceived through the five senses, are stopped by the CONSCIOUS thinking mind, and may be either passed on to the subconscious mind, or rejected, at will.
Principle 4: Specialized Knowledge – Personal Experience.
Principle 5: Imagination – The Workshop of Mind.
Principle 6: Organized Planning – Crystallization of desire into action.
No individual has sufficient experience, education, native ability, and knowledge to insure the accumulation of a great fortune, without the cooperation of other people. Every plan you adopt, in your endeavor to accumulate wealth, should be the joint creation of yourself and every other member of your execution group.
- First: You are engaged in an undertaking of major importance to you. To be sure of success, you must have plans which are faultless.
- Second: You must have the advantage of the experience, education, native ability and imagination of other minds. This is in harmony with the methods followed by every person who has accumulated a great fortune.
Principle 7: Decision – The Mastery of Procrastination.
Procrastination, the opposite of DECISION, is a common enemy which practically every man must conquer.
Principle 8: Persistence – The sustained efforts necessary to induce Faith.
Principle 10: The Subconscious Mind – The connecting Link.
Principle 11: The Brain – A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought.
Principle 12: The Sixth Sense.
This principle is the apex of the philosophy. It can be assimilated, understood, and applied ONLY by first mastering the other principles.