Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Beauty of Kaizen

If I cast my mind back several years, things were simpler. The worst case scenario was that I might fail in my career - so I just made sure I put plenty of hours in to succeed. The doubts weren't fun, but the effort paid off and over time it became easier to have fun with work. Outside of my career having fun was easier. I think it's because I wasn't doing much that I could fail at. (e.g. It would have been pretty difficult to fail at watching TV.) As soon as I started pursuing a vision of something new that I wanted, I started to experience doubts that I'd never make it. In my case I think it boils down to focus: *Trying isn't normally fun - only succeeding matters.* But trying is most of the journey, something doesn’t seem right if  the steps that get me to my goal aren't important or fun. How can I enjoy trying? How about a goal to constantly increase the beauty of the steps themselves?

Blog6 Slide1

Kind of like a Japanese tea ceremony. It's only tea, the Japanese could have rushed all the steps that lead up to the tea itself, but they don't. In The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma) I learned a concept I really liked called Kaizen, which means never ending daily improvement of oneself. So I'm talking about applying Kaizen to making each step beautiful. This could be applied a lot of different ways. For example, to the interactions I have with the people I meet. The plans I make - and how well these plans treat the people they involve. How new concepts are learned. The way ideas are crystallized - captured refined and communicated. It's savouring each bite rather than rushing to get to the end. Keeping sight of where I am right now, and who's there with me and recognizing how precious that is.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

I read this to D this morning. We both agree. You should keep writing! I learned the concept of Kaizen when I used to work in Tokyo. Back then it was applied to Software Engineering. Thanks for expanding the concept to day-to-day life.