Yes, yes. None of us are new to this concept, a sentiment so close and strangely widely accepted. We don’t really challenge or question this claim, we just accept it. It was a place many of us have gone through and fought so hard to climb over. Shit’s not easy!
In this ever-evolving industry, we are constantly pressed to keep up with changes in technologies, we are demanded to be inquisitive individuals, we are pressured to be a strong communicator and “a lifelong-learner” have earned its own spot to become one of the most sought traits these days. To fulfill these seemingly mountainous demands, we often question ourselves.
How can I grow and be on my most elevated level?
In the 1980s, Japan’s Kaizen philosophy was starting to grab center attention amongst Japanese management. Kaizen (改善) is the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement” which could also be translated generally as “to break apart, investigate and to improve upon current circumstances”. Kaizen assumes that every aspect of our lives deserves to be improved.
Foundation of Kaizen philosophy lies in central elements which consist of collaboration, raised morale, grit, and suggestion for improvements. It’s a philosophy of always not being satisfied with what we have accomplished a week or a year ago. Its main purpose is to make our work easier by taking them apart, examining them and making upgrades. Sounded awfully close to one of our favorite buzzword yet? Agile.
A quick read on the Kaizen way of life may prove to be beneficial for many of us. Kaizen produces process-oriented rationale and people-centered. It starts the whole process by acknowledging the first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one, which opens the door for change. It revolves around continuous improvement and to a great extent depend and trust on their respective cross function groups.
You can be a Designer, Engineer, Sales or any other roles really. Kaizen’s hold applicable essences that we can easily grasp and implements to our unending work sprints!
Kaizen believes in using teeny-weeny steps to improve habits and processes.
Many times we wanted to set a big goal to get us motivated, however many of us usually ended up not doing it more than a few first times because we deemed it too hard.
Do not start with 10 km morning jog if you are just starting out and wanting to get into the habit of exercising, you might find it too time-consuming, too sweaty, too much effort. Go for a short 5min walk on the first day, 3 min jog followed by a 2 min walk on the second day.
Start small and gradually increases your goal. You will keep increasing your goal every time you achieved your goal and if there is anything I learn about human’s nature. We always strive to be “more”.
Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.
Whether you want to change the world or drop a few pounds, below are the succeeding chapters devoted to the personal application of Kaizen by Robert Maurer, Ph.D:
- Starts by asking small questions to dismiss doubts and inspire creativity.
- Try to think small thoughts to develop new skills and habits.
- Taking small actions that guarantee success.
- It starts by solving even the tiniest problem, even when it feels like an impossible task.
- There are tiny moments each and every day that many of us tend to ignore, be observant and recognize them.
My father’s stroke taught me that it takes small steps to make a giant leap. He had a major stroke, one that hits the brain stem which happens to controls all basic activities of the central nervous system, consciousness, blood pressure, and breathing.
He made it through the critical phase. However, his entire lower part of the body was paralyzed. It will require possibly years to relearn his mobility. He did just that for the next 3 years. During his therapy, he fell, he picks up his head up, dust himself off, and he kept going.
It was heartbreaking but his relentless effort did become the defining lessons in my life. I am constantly reminded of how much he keeps pushing himself whenever I am faced with a challenge. You will never know what life will pummel you with, what we need to do is to take that small steps.
One step at a time and persevere.
My dad has finally made a semi-recovery now. He is able to walk albeit wobbly, always told me that it felt like space-walking (he was not an astronaut). Thank you as always for taking the time reading, really appreciate it.