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.
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