Knowledge is power. They said. And then we saw Japan, we said. But what's the truth? We believe knowledge is freedom. And then there's the curse of knowledge. What is the truth then? It all starts with Zen. We're kidding. It's "Kaizen." Japan is built on a culture of philosophy, a positive philosophy, and respect towards life and what they do. Japan is also the Land Of The Rising Sun. So, what is this "Kaizen"?
Change For The Better
Kaizen literally translates to change for the better. "Kai" means change, while Zen means "good." Whether it's a comic book store, music shop, hospital, or just an animation studio, you'll notice Japanese are highly efficient in everything they do. There are low crime rates in Japan compared to other industrialized countries but the secret behind what they do, or literally, the secret ingredient to a happy and awesome life, no matter how big or small is - cha-ching
, Kaizen! There's a saying: if you can't do big things, do the small things big.
What Can I Do By Knowing Kaizen?
This is a good question. Kaizen can be applied to all areas of life. One thing that stands out is that Japan is a highly positive society. Sure, there's hikikomori
, and some bad people in society (isn't there everywhere?), but for the most part, they're the leaders in anime and technology. You can find awesome robots being built in Japan, museums, amusement parks etc, that technically you can call Japan The Land Of Creation. And we all know creation comes from a place of positivity. If it's health, you can apply Kaizen to the little things in life. Changing what you eat, how you go to work, listen to good music to improve productivity and so on. If you have RSI, rather than relying on medication, do hand exercises, improve muscle memory and efficiency. If you're depressed, rather than heavily numbing yourself with drugs/medication - exercise, meet up with friends, visit a library, watch a funny video, or start working towards what you really want in life. When people have expectations from you, forget about them. Life is about moving like water. Even Bruce Lee said it: Be like water.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. -Bruce Lee
Take your own pace, time, and explore. It's not just wasted movement. Efficiency really does lie in the little things. It's the little things that make the biggest differences. I remember reading from a book about the 80/20 rule. Put in 20% focused effort, and it can maximize results. However, if you put in tons of effort and it's not of quality, it doesn't add up. Forced effort of high quality
also doesn't help. And you know what's the best part? You'll know that in your bones, no matter whatever others tell you. No matter how everyone judges you. Your gut will tell you. Think of a baby. The baby learns to crawl and walk on his/her own. We don't force him/her. Think of a plant - we water it, give it the sunshine, care, and love, and voila! It blossoms into something beautiful - a tree. The discipline in this is that you water it every single day, without fail. It's the discipline of little things. And sometimes this discipline may be hard, there may be days when you don't feel like watering it, however, just the act of watering, is what gives rise to this amazing phenomenon. Wouldn't it be nice if these little things were applied to our own country or life? We don't expect anything from the baby or the plant and the natural order of things happen. That's what happens when you apply Kaizen, things just happen naturally. The important take from this is non-judgemental progress. Progress without expectations. It's not the short-term things that matter, it's the long term things. It's not about winning the battle, it's about winning the war. It's not how scattered the dots are that drive you crazy, it's believing they will somehow connect in this vast ocean of life. It's all for the long haul and the art of kaizen teaches us all that. How Do You Apply Kaizen To Your Life?
Let's say you wanted to reduce your carbon footprint. You'd rather ride a bicycle to work than take a bus. Or to put it even simpler, take the bus over the car if you can't afford a bicycle. Small, but when this small action builds up, it leads to larger, more positive consequences. It starts with the little things and believing those little things will add up over time and seeing them making things happen - is what Kaizen is at its core. Now, this is not an article that lectures about Kaizen. Don't get me wrong. This is a post meant to inspire and take action. Believing in what you do, and let the action do the talking. My Hero Academia
is a good example of what the true meaning of believing in is. Examples Of Kaizen
- Robert Downey Jr's life shattered. If you read his biography or even the wiki page, you'll find out how he became a drug addict, lost his career, and made a comeback way late in life.
- Think of a NEET/hikkimori who does good later in life, that's also Kaizen happening there.
- Think of a business or a start-up that's small and it becomes awesome later on - Kaizen magic.
- Think of a successful business that went broke and made a comeback later on
- Taichi, Qi Gong, and mixed martial arts
- World Order
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcBXtwGexNc&w=560&h=315] The point is - nothing's perfect. Being flexible and open to new and creative ways of thinking, shifting perspectives, and the most important part - constantly experimenting and exploring without judgment, that's what learning is about at the core. And work, life, in general, even passions - it's all about learning. As humans, we're wired to learn, whether unemployed, underemployed, or employed, or whatever it is. It all starts from there. The difference between complacency and fiery motivation and working constantly towards one's goals - that's Kaizen. I like to think of it as calm motion. Motion is the state of life. And the calm fire that you see in the eyes of others, that's a result of Kaizen. It's not too fiery, however it's calm. Fire and ice blended together. A nice blend of both characteristics - kind of like herbal tea. It's not the short-term things that matter, it's the long term things. It's not about winning the battle, it's about winning the war. It's not how scattered the dots are that drive you crazy, it's believing they will connect somehow in this vast ocean of life. It's all for the long haul and The Art Of Kaizen teaches us all that. On a final note, here's another video showing the beauty of Kaizen. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THcKJpXwqVM&w=560&h=315] Maybe this post wasn't perfect or maybe it lacked a lot of the little things but we hope this post made you smile and we hope you stay tuned to our blog. Thank you for visiting.
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