Kaizen Motivation




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Just motivate yourself for the next step!


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"Kaizen" is Japanese for "improvement", or "change for the better". It refers to a philosophy or practices that focus on continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management. It has also been applied to self-improvement. The book, "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way" is an excellent source for applying Kaizen to personal development.

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.

When applied to self-improvement it usually addresses the breaking down of goals into very small, achievable steps. But the philosophy can also be used (in the same way) to overcome procrastination. The most difficult part of any task is 'starting', and for procrastinators this is where things fall apart. Most of the problem stems from seeing the whole, unenjoyable task as requiring gargantuan effort, and thus the starting never happens.

Kaizen is the perfect philosophy to increase motivation. Think of a task that you have been putting off. Now think of one small step that you could apply towards that task. It might be something that takes only one minute. It could simply be writing down the name of the task, noting all the small steps that would get it done. If you need motivation to do even this small step, promise yourself a treat. Do one small step and then forget about the task for a whole day. Or do one small step and then drive to Starbucks and buy yourself a Frappiccino. Do whatever it takes to take that first step.
Grain by grain, a loaf. Stone upon stone, a palace.
- George Bernard Shaw





Once you've started, something happens. You see a spark of hope. You might actually be able to get this monkey off your back. You may even go beyond one step and do two! And if you treated yourself properly for getting this far, your predisposition to do it again later will be greatly increased.

Obviously, procrastination is a bad habit. And like all habits, it's become hard-wired into our brains. The only way to overcome this, is to create a new, positive habit to replace the old one. Kaizen may not have been intended for beating procrastination, but it works!

Give it a try and see for yourself. You can apply Kaizen to ANYTHING! Just take one small step - tiny, even - in the right direction. Then try it again a bit later. Before you know it, all the small steps will lead to the task being done!


 

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