Kaizen – Continuous Improvement
Seems to me…
- Figuratively at least… that it’s easy to step on the very toes that are supposed to move you forward.
- That working towards better takes a lot of damn work!
- That sometimes the things that we think we want aren’t actually the things that in the end will really make us happy.
🆙… goes the ✈️
There is no alternative. From take-off until that airplane finds its place to land and even then in landing it has to maintain its momentum. Our lives are actually quite similar to the way an airplane gets up and off the ground and then back down to earth. The engines provide the thrust (our motivations) that move it forward on the runway thus giving the wings the ability to lift (our actions) this monster of a machine into the sky.
Momentum is a powerful force. A Boeing 747’s take-off speed is 180 mph and can safely leave the ground with only 9/10’s of a mile worth of runway. We can’t move that fast in our lives so we slowly build up the momentum necessary to move us forward to where we want to end up. Each step gets us one step closer to ‘that place’. Sometimes we think that we take a step forward then two or even three steps backwards making it more difficult but in my opinion all of these steps (and missteps) are necessary.
Each facit of our lives deserves the same amount of Kaizen.
- Work: If we could start at the top then we would not have the satisfaction of knowing that we put in the time to actually know our role and where we fit into the organization. We grow within with each step, we give ourselves the ability to learn and in turn we can then teach others therefore empowering them to take those same steps toward better. This is ultimately what builds a stronger you (and me) and company. So keep working to close those big accounts, you’ll be taking yourself to better and when they do close your company will be better off as well. Then tackle the next one. What are your motivations? Think about it… act! The following piece might actually help you build a little momentum so you can step forward in your work life. A Message to Garcia, written by Elbert Hubbard, circa 1899.
- Relationships: Love is the single most powerful emotion in the universe. With it too, momentum is requisite. Finding yourself in love doesn’t mean that you are equipped to love or to be loved. It takes quite a bit of work to get that balance. Whether it is loving your children (or spouse) through their ignorance or trying to figure out if ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the one you have been seeking your whole life, the challenge of maintaining the moral responsibility that comes with it is very real. So you have a bad day, you wake up and realize that you have spent nearly a lifetime with someone that you can’t remember ever truly loving. Is it a fleeting thought? Does it mean you call it quits? Or is there a way to get back to better? Personally, I was married for 10 years and have now been divorced for almost 7. In a letter from my ex-wife the words, “I don’t know that I truly ever loved you” ring loudly. Makes me think though. Because that’s what I do. Think. I struggled for a good while when I read those words but then I wondered, did I ever truly know this person? I did not. I could not for the life of me remember her favorite color. I do now of course, it is Green. Love relationships are about the only things in our lives that seem to take off like that airplane. Seems so anyways, you get up in the air quickly then it gets real. Slow and steady wins the race says the billionaire. In life. In love. In everything. Do you truly know them? In time I hope that answer is yes. I am certain this applies to any relationship whether personal or professional. Oh yeah, and I am talking to me here… Know thy self.
- Life: So I walk into Taco Bell. Couple sitting in the corner have a black plastic bag. Who knows what it contains. Doesn’t matter. Might be all they own. They only want a glass of ice so they can go to the bathroom and fill it with sink water. Guy at the counter says, “Sorry Ma’am!” … She sits back down, anxious eyes looking around wondering how many more times she will hear no. This is an example of two lives with zero momentum or to say the least an expectation of relying on others to build that momentum for them. Whatever the case, I want you to know that helping either knowingly or anonymously is a good option here. I called the guy working over to me. I said, “Please get two of those Frito burritoes and two medium sodas for those folks sitting over there asking everyone for something to eat.” He took my card and did as I had asked. Then they left. Too ashamed to ask anyone else. Not knowing that a stranger cared enough to actually notice their need. So I told the worker that they left. He grabbed two cups and ran out behind them and yelled, “Sir!” waving the cups. We can be that thrust that just might propel others forward. It’s their choice to act. A helping hand is sometimes all that is necessary for us to realize that we are valuable and that we matter. Take those two peoples shoes and wear them for just a bit. Be glad they’re not yours but don’t overlook their need. Everybody else does that. Not you.
Stepping forward is not optional. Unless you’re sitting still, too many do that. Help me help you isn’t just some cliché, it’s how we all move forward. The things of one’s doing in the past gave you the ability to do today. So step forward my friend. I’m listening too, I promise.
Original Article by J. E., circa 2017