One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
By Robert Maurer, Ph.D

Are you stuck in a rut or have you hit a plateau? Are you stressed about multiple projects or one seemingly unachievable goal? Then this book may help.

Now I’m not usually a fan of self-help books. But after seeing this one mentioned multiple times, I decided to give it a read. I’m so glad I did.

Kaizen is a Japanese word, whose essence is captured in one of my favorite quotes: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step.”- Lao Tzu.

It simply means taking small, manageable steps toward your goal. (Notice Lao Tzu said step, not leap.) Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady increments.  Kaizen is the tortoise versus the hare.

Breaking big projects into smaller steps isn’t exactly new advice. I’ve tried to do it many times before, but it never seemed to really work for me. What’s different about Kaizen? Think smallest, not just small.

This book focuses on: asking small questions, thinking small thoughts, taking small actions, and solving small problems. This is a different way of approaching problem solving and goal setting than we’re used to. It doesn’t require Herculean effort.

But taking very small actions goes against our hard-charging culture. We praise big & bold. We crave instant gratification. We‘re rooting for the Hare.

Dr. Maurer speaks about how kaizen and innovation are the two major strategies people use to create change. “Where innovation demands shocking and radical reform, all kaizen asks is that you take small, comfortable steps toward improvement.”

“Kaizen is an effective, enjoyable way to achieve a specific goal, but also extends a more profound challenge: to meet life’s constant demands for change by seeking out continual – but always small – improvement.”

I’ve started (slowly) applying the principles in both my business and my life. I’ve taken the first small steps on my new journey. And I’m already amazed at how much less stress I feel.

The book is relatively short (as you would expect) and very easy to read.  I highly recommend you get a copy:
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

How about you – are you a tortoise or a hare?

 

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