Friday, August 19, 2011

Axiom 10: Kaizen

"Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -William Durant

"Study, study, study, study...." -Golden Boy

It irritates me when people act like know-it-alls. In life these are usually the people that know the least. The term kaizen is a japanese concept meaning, "continual improvement." It means that no matter how much you know or how good you are at what you do there is always room for improvement. The times when we feel like our level of improvement has leveled off are the times that we need to push ourselves the hardest. 

Here are a few ways to implement kaizen into your life if you are feeling stuck: 
  • Take on more responsibility - Whether at work or school, taking on more responsibility opens up new learning experiences. It may put you in a situation where you are working harder for the same amount of money, but you may learn new skills and your bosses will take notice of your hard work. The efforts of your extra labor will eventually payoff.
  • Find a new hobby - A new hobby allows you to learn a new skill and possibly meet new people. Every new hobby you acquire broadens your understanding of the world and opens up new opportunities.
  • Find a mentor - You can improve by learning from someone that is a master in their own field. It may be a living person or a deceased author. Once you go to the right source and ask the right questions you will find the answers you are looking for.
  • Push yourself outside of your comfort zone - If over a long period of time you fall into too much of a rhythm it becomes harder to continually improve. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you overcome this. So for example if you are nervous about travelling force yourself on a road trip. Forcing yourself into uncharted territory emotionally will help you learn about the world and about yourself. It will also overwhelm you with intense emotions. Emotions that we sometimes lose when we get too much into a rhythym.