Kaizen

Weather stripping away the outside to reveal what is inside.

 

In both my life and in my writing I have been looking for some inspiration. I am not one for big New Year resolutions as I am aware that most people don’t bother keeping them. That being said, I have been thinking of how to improve my martial arts, writing, relationship with my wife and just life in general.

The concept of small changes have been on my mind, big changes are usually too sweeping and don’t last. Too much trauma/drama in other words. But the small ones…yes the small ones, that might just work.

This morning surfing my favorite websites I came across the concept of Kaizen. Kaizen in a nutshell is this “small improvements and standardization yields large results in the form of compound productivity improvement”. (Bold print copied from Wikipedia)

This concept is from the Japanese and it speaks to the small and continuous improvement process that they put into place to rebuilt their economy and country after World War 2. Taken to the micro level (my personal/professional life) I thought why not use Kaizen to my advantage as well?

Because of my recent Achilles Tendon injury I have been taking my comeback to working out and training very slowly, not even realizing that I was already using Kaizen. My thoughts on training have changed as I get older and have been looking for and thinking of ways to “standardize” my training to make it easier on my body and use what little personal time that I do have to best advantage.

Reinventing the wheel is not my goal here but to make my life into a more streamlined model of what it has been. To paraphrase Bruce Lee, “take what is useful (to you) and discard the rest. Leonardo Da Vinci also spoke of Kaizen on the subject of sculpting. He talked about the statue already being in the marble, it was just his job to chip away the excess until the art that was already in the stone could be seen by others.

Much to think about here and small improvement to make every day.

JP

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