Most humans are constantly trying to become a better version of themselves. We try different methods and strategies just so we can evolve into some kind of super good and super strong beings. Usually, we don’t succeed in our endeavor, not because we lack the inspiration, but just because we do lack the long term motivation. So what options do we have if we want to become better than we currently are? The answer is simple: Kaizen.
The Kaizen philosophy is based on the idea that improvement can be gradually achieved. Even though it is commonly applied in a larger scale, it can be used as a personal strategy for constant improvement. Kaizen says that in order for you to become better at something, you should always take small steps, that way you will achieve larger goals “effortlessly”.
As an experienced business advisor, David Kiger understands that the Kaizen philosophy can be applied on a day to day basis, as a way of achieving life changing results by constantly implementing many small changes. For this reason, this article is intended to show you how the Kaizen philosophy, originally implemented to help restore Japan after the Second World War, can help you improving your daily life.
How does the strategy work with our brains?
The human brain is built in a way it is always trying to save us some energy. Changing habits means that we will need to consume more energy than we usually do, simply because we are not used to doing things differently. For this, Kaizen has to be seen as much more than just regularity and endurance. It’s a complete and sometimes complex strategy designed to confuse our natural resistance to change. It is a progressive method that allows us to acquire new behaviors without upsetting the natural state of our brains.
Even when change may seem scary, it is important for you to keep an open mind. Changing our habits and behaviors allows us to face life differently, staying away from the familiar and stable now, and welcoming the wonderful and unknown future.
By taking small steps, our brains effortlessly begin to remove old obstacles, creating new paths and connections between neurons, encouraging the brain to get involved in the whole process of change without creating a stressful response to the unknown. It is common to see that when we try to change many things at the same time, we start blaming some external circumstances or finding other excuses to stop the change.
The implementations of the “change in small steps” philosophy of Kaizen, allows us to adapt to new behavioral patterns gradually. Since the steps are incremental, we don’t even notice we are taking them, and our brains don’t prevent us from consuming more energy than we usually do. In time, we automatically start doing more, achieving the larger goals we previously set for ourselves.
How can we start applying Kaizen in our daily life?
- Make a list: The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a list of the things you want to improve. Then, focus on figuring out what kind of steps you should take, remember that the smaller, the better since small goals lead to more rewards. With tiny goals, your brain won’t try to keep you away from wasting energy. Choose one small goal each day and you will see changes in a considerable short period of time.
- Ask yourself questions: Another technique of daily life Kaizen is the “small questions” method. Asking yourself questions is more motivating than telling yourself what to do. You should always try to invite yourself to think and your brain to realize that you actually need something, instead of forcing it to understand or do something.
- Take care of the small quickly: We usually procrastinate, since the small tasks look so innocent and easy to do. We tend to ignore such simple obligations until they pile up and become difficult to deal with quickly, consuming precious time we could be using doing the things we like the most. If you really feel motivated to change, start taking care of these tiny tasks quickly.
- Feel motivated: Realize that if you want to change your life you have to start today and stick to it every day. There is no room for excuses if you understand that patience and an open mind can take you anywhere. Every day you will make small progress, and the best part is that you won’t even notice it. You will learn in time that you have deeply changed and you will be calm enough to take new steps, just because they are so small you won’t easily trip and fall.
To read more about how to apply Kaizen in your daily life, click here.