The concept of kaizen teaches us that making small, tiny changes to our routine and lifestyle can add up to overwhelming differences in your overall productivity, happiness, and performance.
An example of this might be to write a page of a novel every day. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you consider that an average novel might have 300 pages… well then you could easily write the whole thing in a year as a result!
Or what if you were to save just £10 a day? Again, it seems perfectly doable. But by the end of the year you’ll have putt away £3,650! Enough for an impressive holiday.
But kaizen is also about the way in which a single small deviation can have huge repercussions when it is amplified by time.
What do we mean by that?
Well, consider throwing a ball to a target. When we do this, our brains actually perform incredibly complex maths to begin.
When you throw that ball, you need to get the angle and the force precisely right. If your angle is 5 degrees off, then that might not seem like a lot, but as the ball travels, it will deviate from the intended course more and more.
The further it goes, the bigger the gap becomes.
Life is like this.
You might be doing something only very slightly differently every day, but over time that will add up to a greater and greater effect.
This is particularly true in scenarios where there is a cumulative effect.
But it gets even simpler than that.
When we consider the “butterfly effect,” we realise that even the smallest thing can add up to having huge repercussions.
Take for example brushing your hair in the morning. You might decide one morning not to brush your hair – because you’re in a hurry – or you might decide that you are going to brush your hair like you normally would.
Small difference right?
But what if on that day, you happen bump into someone in the street, an old colleague perhaps? You get to chatting and they think you are great – like you have your act together. They ask you some questions, and as a result, end up offering you to come and interview for a new job.
What if you hadn’t brushed your hair and you were all over the shop in that "hurry" world?
What if you were looking tired and totally unorganised? Might they not have given you that opportunity?
Now don't get me wrong, the human part of me says that I would be asking "you okay? you look in a rush? how are you feeling?" and ask you for a cuppa to check.
But the world isn't always like that.
That doesn't mean to say you have to hide who you are or what is going on. But the overall message of this blog is that the LITTLE THINGS ADD UP!
And while this example isn’t exactly what we mean by kaizen, it does highlight one very important truth: tiny differences add up to huge results.
So focus on the minutiae!