Starting Small, Growing Big
The Japanese Philosophy of Kaizen
Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that emphasizes continuous improvement in all areas of life.
It is based on the idea that small, incremental changes made consistently over time can lead to significant improvements and growth.
The term "kaizen" is derived from the Japanese words "kai," meaning "change," and "zen," meaning "good."
Kaizen can be applied to any single endeavor on a path to Mastery, or as a holistic approach to all aspects of your life.
There are many areas in Western society that might benefit from adopting this practice.
Hustle culture preaches the opposite of kaizen.
Diet culture preaches the opposite of kaizen.
Instagram & influencer culture promotes as much engagement - as fast as possible. The opposite of kaizen.
I come from the world of technology.
Startup culture is defined by rapid, disruptive innovation.
It is ingrained in the DNA of founders to move quickly, boldly and live in a state of risk.
There is a certain beauty in this. When done well, of course. We worship the gods of Silicon Valley. From unemployed in a garage to a billion dollar unicorn.
These stories are romantic and appealing.
But there is little beauty in failure. And most entrepreneurs fail. And failure, is overrated in my opinion.
Perhaps the world of Silicon Valley and the broader umbrella of Western commerce might benefit from a departure from the ‘rocket ship’ culture.
As I look to grow a business venture I’ve been methodically working towards for the last several months, I find great value in the philosophy of kaizen.
Stability & sustainability are appealing concepts when looking to grow something over time.
A company, a skill, a relationship. All would benefit from a slower, more engaged approach.
Last week I wrote about going Monk Mode to achieve personal transformation.
If Monk Mode is the short term reset button, then kaizen is your long-term stability strategy.
Whatever you’re working on, whatever you’re dreaming about…
Don’t be afraid to take the long road, just keep working diligently and patiently towards the end.
Remember, slow change is still change. And the consistent effort will surely compound over time.
While you might not be looking at the ‘new you’ in the mirror tomorrow. Paint the future and imagine that person 1 year from now, if you just keep going.
So, keep going, my friends. One small step at a time.
See you next week.