The kanji for “Kaizen” (改善) translates as reform / virtue, or to create change for higher virtue. The process of constant and never-ending improvement is the foundation for Black Belt Excellence in all areas of one’s life. The process is fairly simple to set up but takes discipline and planning to make it become a reality.
The first step is to identify what is truly important in your life and then create a written plan of action on how these important goals will be accomplished. As long as you constantly work on these prioritized goals and they are congruent with your personal values, you will eventually reach these goals. Like a journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step, huge accomplishments can be achieved one step at a time.
In order to generate quantum leaps towards the areas you are trying to improve in, it is necessary to identify every action that you are currently doing and then to prioritize them based on their level of importance and which ones create the most significant levels of improvement. The final step in the process is to concentrate on those tasks that produce the best results and begin handing off or even deleting those tasks that do not help you reach your goals.
The process of eliminating all wasteful actions and behaviors are also important. Some actions tend to bring about tremendous improvements, such as setting aside 30 minutes to an hour a day in a quiet place reading in your specific field of interest. Another method is to use your time driving as learning time by listening to audios that help educate or motivate you in a variety of subjects. Simply following these two tactics can accelerate you to the top 10% in your chosen field in as little as two – three years.
In combat, these principles are identical. The strategy of planning on the most effective tactics with minimum risks is the optimum plan of action. Again, it is imperative to keep the tactics simple, concentrating on the sure thing, while eliminating any tactics that you are not sure of. Basic movements are constantly improved by eliminating unnecessary or wasteful actions while trying to improve those actions that add power, speed and accuracy.
Kaizen no Michi is the path of constant and never-ending improvement. Kaizen no Michi is the foundation of karate-do and all future successes in your life.