The Oxymoron of Change.
We hear a lot about change.
“For things to change, we must change some things”. “Insanity is to believe that if you keep doing the same things
you will get a different result”. We hear “practice makes perfect”. But if we keep practicing the same mistakes
over and over again we just get better at making those mistakes. Better to understand, it is “perfect practice,
We think that change is the
answer, but I am discovering in my own personal life that change is something I resist as well as everyone around
me. However, growth is something we all embrace. We want the garden to
grow, we notice how much the kids have grown, we want our relationships to deepen (grow) and we want better
friendships (growth) we want our super fund to grow.
If there is anything in your
life you are looking to change — your health, your job, your financial situation, your weight, your relationship,
ANYTHING - lets look at growing instead of “change” which can be a negative. “Who you are now is not good enough –
is not acceptable” is the connotation of “you need to change”. My belief is that “right now you are already good
enough, and tomorrow you will be more than you are today. The reason I believe you will be more than you are today
is because you will keep growing and kaizen is the miracle that's going to empower you
to really grow perfectly, once and for all”.
We've been programmed to
believe that change is a "battle" — you have to “fight” hard to win, that change demands struggle and sacrifice.
This is why we resist change so much. But growth is something that happens naturally when in the right environment.
Only and few things grow “suddenly”. They go through the metamorphism
of growth (change) each day becoming more than they were the day before. The word to describe this gradual growth
process is called “kaizen”.
It is a word from Asia where our son lives. Anyone who uses kaizen can tell you that this growth change is
effortless, simple, and inevitable.
The secret and science
The secret to
kaizen's power is the fact
that it engages the brain in a much smarter completely different, and infinitely more effective way than
innovation does. And by doing so, it is. It is a oxymoron.
kaizen disarms the brain's
fear response. For example, instead of going on a diet to loose 10 pounds like we have done in the past, lost
the weight and then gain it all back (painful negative alert to the brain), we are simply adjusting our
beliefs about the kind of food we eat, how much we eat and why we eat. When I learn to love and appreciate
myself, I want to look after my “temple” – my body. I want to reward my “temple” for giving me the energy it
does to achieve all that I do, I want to reward my “temple” for giving me the stamina and imagination to
create new articles and programs.
When we reward or recognize
someone or want to say thankyou we always look for things that we know will be appreciated by that
person. In the same way, when I reward my body I want to give it
something that I know it will appreciate and benefit from. So I don’t reward it with a huge triple dip ice cream
cone which only lasts on the taste buds for a few seconds but on my hips for years, but instead with a beautiful
fresh fruit salad and a little scoop of ice cream or preferably yoghurt.
My body appreciates it and in turn performs beautifully for me again. Instead of activating the fear that I am
going to be deprived and starve, kaizen "tiptoes" around it, presenting ideas for
change in a way that virtually melts the brain's resistance and makes it impossible for it not to do what you want
it to do.
Soon after you start using
kaizen, your brain begins to create
new neural pathways. It is like the grooves in the old fashioned record. It is like the program on the computer.
You press this button and automatically the chosen page or program comes up. In effect, you develop whole new
mental software that automatically propels you toward the change you seek, without any anxiety or resistance on
your part! It is not hard to introduce one extra green vegetable on your plate and reduce the quantity of higher
value carbs. It is not hard to take a small serve instead of a large serve. Instead of having 2 slices of bread,
have one. Instead of putting butter or margarine on your bread, put a healthy alternative or nothing. Instead of
having full cream milk, take skimmer. Instead of eating a large dessert, I have a smaller one. I do this not to loose weight, but to value my body and say thank you to it for
giving me so much energy and such good health.
Without trying, without even
really thinking about it, you will automatically take the steps and actions that
will get you the results you're looking for. You are growing into this new person.
The benefits of
kaizen are truly amazing. The
idea is profound and yet so simple to start applying it. You'll find that, without even realizing you are
doing it, you're creating and maintaining changes you may have considered too difficult or even impossible
before. Instead of thinking I have to go to the gym and work out for an hour and then go for a long walk, I
focus on some movement everyday, each hour getting up from the computer and having a nice stretch and a few
run on the spot for about 5 minutes. Works for me - a little often! By having a bottle of water on the desk
and a beautiful crystal glass, I can get through so much more water, by just sipping away every time I stop
to proof read, take a sip. Before you know it, the bottle of
water is gone. Just by simply starting to do small things in the direction that you want to
Simply by understanding and
applying this previously little-known Japanese technique, you can make ANY change and achieve ANY goal you want to, no matter how
hard it has been for you in the past. And you can do it with virtually no effort or struggle whatsoever. For
instance, you can:
PROCRASTINATION — even if it's a challenge you've struggled to overcome your entire life – start with doing
something little to begin the task. Break the task into small sizes bits and work on that little bit one
little bit at a time. Stick with that bit until you finish it and the pride that you feel when you see the
completed task, spurs you on to the next little task. One more thing - Celebrate each
- ELIMINATE DEBT — even if you've racked
up huge credit card bills and can't see a time when you'll ever be able to pay them off – start by paying
off small extra amounts off the highest interest rate credit card debt first. When that one is down to 0,
take the money you were using to pay off that card and start paying off the next card, and keep doing that
until you are out of debt. You can create a new business and turn it into a thriving profit machine or get
out of the job rut and start experiencing true fulfilment.
RICH — even if you've found it impossible to save money or build up wealth– start by putting 10% away in a
savings investment account. By getting out of debt or can then build up a substantial savings without ever
having a sense of struggling or sacrificing. Notice where all the little bits of wasted money go and add
that to your investment fund.
- CREATE A
MORE BALANCED LIFE — even if you can't see any way to redistribute your time and energy. Start by spending
10 minutes in the morning just in meditation and gratitude for your blessed life. Start doing what you love
— even if you don't know what it is or can't imagine how it could ever become your main job – each week set
aside time to relax and enjoy your hobby. Pick up the phone and call just one old friend and chat for just
10 minutes. Schedule in a massage to care for yourself.
WEIGHT — even if you hate dieting and have never been able to stick to a weight-loss program before– forget
the diets, start eating healthier foods – foods to give you energy and vitality and eat foods to say thank
you to your body. Get in shape a little at a time by doing a little exercise – perhaps just stretches to
the legs while watching your favourite TV show — even if you feel that you have no time to fit an exercise
routine into your life, and even less desire to do it – begin each day with just a few stretches.
- END BAD
HABITS BY CREATING REPLACEMENT GOOD HABITS - like smoking— even if you've tried over and over again without
success – see yourself in a healthy body, go outside and breathe deeply and exhale slowly 10 times. Put
your arms around yourself and tell yourself that you love and appreciate yourself and all the good that you
do for yourself and others. Easily adopt and maintain those simple but hard-to-stick-with habits like
flossing, drinking water, and eating five fruits and vegetables a day by starting slowly.
DAMAGED RELATINSHIPS with loved ones that seemed beyond repair by changing the way you think about that
person. Put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. Be a little less judgemental and
be a little more forgiving. Heal a seemingly broken marriage and rediscover love that had been thought of
as gone forever. I did it and I know that you can too.
The list could go on and on
because the fact is, there's no limit to what kaizen's power has done or can do. Just start
finding ways to start slowly and then build up as you go and you will be amazed at the distance you have
travelled. The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.
In my coaching practice, I've
watched men and women from all walks of life use the secrets of kaizen to easily, effortlessly achieve the kinds of
goals that some people dream of and work toward their entire lives without ever achieving.
Sometimes innovation can and
does work. Sometimes the report from the doctor that says you have 3 months to live if you don’t quit smoking can
be the alarm that stops you in your tracks. And when it does, it's
great. (Too bad it had to go that far before something happened) However, Innovation where we are
taking big, radical steps to achieve change
Innovation fails not because of
weak willpower or lack of discipline. It's actually simple biology. More simply put, the thought of change ignites
fear. When you present an innovation (in the form of a large, intimidating goal or dramatic routine change) to your
brain, a series of complex neurological processes are set in motion that work against the achievement of
Innovation triggers the alarm
mechanism in the amygdala section of the brain that's known as the fight-or-flight response. Because the
fight-or-flight response is meant to enable you to physically escape danger, it effectively shuts down all
nonessential brain functions, including creative thinking.
That can be a good idea when
the source of fear is a dangerous animal or a car careening toward you. You don't want anything to get in the way
of your instinct to move. But when the source of fear is something like radically changing your diet, finding a new
job, or eliminating tens of thousands of dollars in debt, the instinct to run in the opposite direction is the most
counterproductive thing you can do. And yet the instinct to run is all you can come up with!
That tightening in your chest ... that feeling of being
frozen – paralysed - that mounting sense of panic and anxiety ...... when you've thought about a "big thing" you
needed to do - that’s the body in reaction. It's not just a feeling; it is this complex biological/neurological
process at work. In a very real way, you ARE
paralysed! This is why innovation so
often results in failure and kaizen could be the better way to go. Grow – choose the oxymoron of change - instead of facing the fear of
change, and as nature intended when you see yourself one year from today, you will be that 10 pounds lighter,
you will be a better person, you will be a better conversationalist, you will be able to save money and you
will have better relationships. Why? Because you have grown into them. You have become the person. Kaizen.