Friday, October 21, 2016

Kaizen: Constant and Gradual Improvement


By Kai Musashi

Kai Zen: “Assess how you can improve things, act on them, and then continue the improvement process constantly.”

Set New Standards

Constant revision and upgrade. Only key elements should be focused on.

Japanese society prefers the gradual improvement. Americans on the other hand prefer giant leaps forward. It’s like constantly trying to hit home runs but striking out as a result.

We think that working to exhaustion is a virtue. All that does is burn you out and make you miserable.

Perform work better rather than performing more work. In other words, quality over quantity.

Kaizen in Personal Life

“Little grains of sand make the mighty desert.”

Since humans are naturally resistant to change, it’s more beneficial to us to make gradual steps instead of giant leaps.

This includes, maintaining, hanging in there, not giving up when things aren’t going your way.

Learn to master your craft rather than running on to something new whenever things don’t go your way.

Improve your Personal Workflow

Take on easy tasks first. This goes against what we are taught because knocking out easy tasks firsts puts you in a rhythm. Small wins create a mindset where you are ready to advance to harder tasks.

Look for better ways to work rather than continuing something just because it’s familiar.

Goals Through Kaizen

Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bounded

Set goals in increments. For example, set an annual goal by pointing out what you hope to accomplish in 3 months. Establish simple goals with the big goal in mind.

When people try to quit something “cold turkey” they have the unrealistic belief that their willpower is strong enough. They have the mindset that they are giving up something.

Breaking down goals makes it easier to change. Gradually improve, gradually make changes, and gradually cut out unhealthy activities

Improve Health Habits

Radical changes activate the fear response in us, while kaizen is so gradual that the fear of change is not triggered.

Change the words “I like to” to ‘I will.” Consume healthy and positive thoughts. This is not being unrealistic. Rather optimism is realism. This positive self-talk will gradually cause your sub-conscious to believe in your own personal greatness.


Creating lasting change cannot be done by leaping into something because the human brain simply cannot adjust that way. Our Western mentality of instant gratification makes it difficult to comprehend Gradual Improvement.

 But lasting change comes from taking small steps. Working your ass off is not the way to improve yourself. Work gradually, consistently, and improve daily. And when it’s too tough for them. It’ll be JUST RIGHT FOR YOU.

“Focus on the bullseye and not the trophy.”

-Chin Ning Chu

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