Finding Inspiration through kaizen

This is probably my last post for the next seven days.  The topic for the day is Kaizen, and I embrace it more as each day passes.

Kaizen is a Japanese term which has no exact English translation, but loosely translated, it means continuous improvement over time.  In practical terms, small steps forward lead to noticeable improvements.

It was  the concept Toyota used to rise from being a non-threat to the U.S. auto companies to becoming the number 1 selling car company.

It is also the name of my friend's karate dojo.

So, I had been familiar with the term, but never really gave it a serious thought as to how it applied to my life.

But around a year ago, September 2013, I decided to try walking without a cane, for the most part, and to walk a long distance of around four or five miles.  I succeeded.  But from that point on, for several months, I didn't notice any improvements, until around springtime of 2014, when I seemed to have made sudden significant improvement in my abilities.  What happened was that I decided to time myself on certain tasks, such as going to the supermarket. Although I didn't feel like I was walking faster since the last time i had timed myself, I was walking considerably faster.

This did not happen by itself.  It was the result of small unnoticeable improvements I had been making the previous six months.

I tried a way to think of about this improvement, and realized is the term, "Kaizen."  To know that every little improvement does its part to manifest into a big noticeable change did a lot to motivate and inspire me to work harder at my recovery.

I thought this term was so significant, that I named a chapter in my book, "Kaizen," to describe this period of my recovery.

Leave a comment

Add comment