Many success oriented and quality control groups, to help identify their mission statements and objectives, have adopted the word Kaizen.
In the martial arts, when you see an expert perform a kata, techniques, or kumite you notice the speed, power and grace of the movements and yet that proficiency did not occur over night. The process includes identifying things that need improvement and then working on them one at a time. Over time, you may see that level of progress. This is why people see karate as a lifelong journey, a path of constant and never-ending improvement.
The new student often has difficulty believing that they have the capabilities to perform in a manner that they see in some of the elite black belts. Yet, slowly but surely, with effort and dedication they proceed down the path and eventually find themselves a member of the black belt family. The pursuit of excellence is all about identifying what is important and working to improve those areas while at the same time identifying unnecessary or wasteful tasks in karate and life.
This same process works in other areas of one’s life as well. One must set goals based on what is truly important and then identify what attributes, tasks, skills, knowledge and actions will help reach those goals. At the same time a person needs to identify timewasters and unimportant activities, and either delegate them to others or eliminate them all together.
As we get closer to 2021, I encourage everyone to begin to work on things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Begin with values clarification and then proceed to overall goal setting. I think you will be impressed with the results if you set clearly defined written goals for the next 12 months.
The path of Kaizen no Michi or constant and never-ending improvement is a lifelong journey and needs to be directed by your personal goals and objectives. Like the journey of a thousand miles, great achievements are accomplished one step at a time. I encourage you to take that first step today.