So I recently wrote about how I was going to start trying to apply Kaizen theory in my life. In my blog post, I said I was going to read a small section of the book every day and then reflect on it in my journal.
This may come as a surprise (not), but I haven't been doing it.
Because, against the spirit of kaizen, that was way too big of a step. I've been beating myself up about this, and feeling bad because I've thought about it almost every day, and then not done it.
There are a few red flags you may have noticed here if you know about kaizen.
I committed to several steps at once.
I was thinking about it, but not doing it.
I've been beating myself up and feeling bad about it.
Last night I had a small epiphany where all these red flags tied together and I finally got it.
side note: I actually sort of hate the word epiphany, because I feel like its too grand for this type of event, but I also feel like realization is not quite powerful enough. Also, because epiphany sounds smart, and most of the time these moments make feel like "duh, Briana. What took you so long to get this simple concept?!", in other words, I usually feel like an idiot because it took so long for something so simple to make sense to me. Got an idea for a better word I can use? Leave me a comment!
I was getting ready for bed and decided that it was going to be the night that I finally did my kaizen commitment: read a bit, then reflect on it in a journal. So, I read a bit, picked one question from the list in the Small Questions chapter and then wrote it down in my journal.
Then, I briefly checked my phone to see if I had completed my step-count goal for the day. I hadn't. So, I decided that I would do some laps in my bedroom to finish my steps, I was very close to complete, and think about the question while I paced. So I did this. And a few minutes later as I finished my steps, I had my epiphany
Side note: shocker, walking made my brain work better. This is a real thing, in so many books, I will write about this another day because its fascinating to me.
Epiphany: The spirit of kaizen is to take steps so small that you can't possibly fail at them. What I committed to doing is NOT that small. The chapter about questions specifically says to JUST ask yourself the questions.
So my kaizen act for the day should literally be to just read over the questions once per day and then go about my day. The book does not say ask the questions and then try to answer them immediately, or sit down and write essays about them.
So my new kaizen commitment is to literally just read the questions at minimum once per day for a little while. And then we'll move to the next step.