Believe in Your Dreams and Believe in Yourself

Rome was not built in a day. Like the Romans, you are creating something that will take incredible amounts of time and effort. You are working on yourself. Making you a smarter, stronger, wiser, healthier, more loving, believing, hard working, patient, and understanding person takes time. You absolutely can improve yourself in a day. You absolutely cannot create your ultimate desired outcome for yourself in a day.

As I’ve said in plenty of previous posts, kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that essentially means small, daily improvements. It is a way of life, not a quick fix. If you want to be all that you can be… If you want to maximize your life, than you must plan and follow through over decades! Baby steps is the simple answer to creating the best you.

My favorite analogy to improving yourself is, oddly enough, like learning to drive a car with a manual transmission. I’m a stick-shift fan.

Soon, this analogy won’t be relevant, because it seems that the manual transmission is becoming extinct. For now, I will stick (no pun intended) with my story…

Assuming you know how to drive a stick… These days, it is basically second nature for you to shift gears. We can easily drink coffee, listen to the radio, think about work, think about family, hold a conversation with the passenger(s), and simply switch from first to second gear without any hesitation or actual thought.

However, it was not always so easy. As a matter of fact, if you’re honest with yourself, it was downright tough as nails to drive a stick-shift car when you first started out. Close your eyes for a moment and gradually slip back in time to your very first day in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with a manual transmission. During that very first experience, you were learning and you couldn’t do any of things we listed above. Not only could you not do them, you had to concentrate and focus completely on switching gears and switching gears alone.

Nervously, you gripped the wheel and struggled along. When it was time to change from first to second, you adjusted your hands shakily on the steering wheel so that the right hand was off the wheel and had access to the shifter. From there, you eased your foot off the gas while slowly pressing the clutch in with the other foot. Once that tedious part was done, you gripped the shift knob as sweat started to form on your forehead. Pulling the lever with just enough force, you popped the transmission out of first gear and into neutral momentarily. Finally, you kept pressure on the shifter, sliding it carefully into second gear. As if all of that wasn’t enough, now you had to time smoothly pulling the clutch back out while applying gas incrementally.

Do you remember that first time? Getting your stick-shift cherry popped?? Wasn’t it kind of like that?

Even after that first time, we still had to practice this carefully for hours, days, weeks, or even months before we perfected it enough to feel comfortable. Small gains and improvements were made over time before we could finally switch gears without thinking about it. Over time muscle memory took over and we were finally able to do it without a second thought. These days, you don’t even think about the entire process and can juggle in a bunch of additional tasks. Heck I wrote this blog article while driving a stick-shift, eating an Egg McMuffin, and singing along with the tunes jamming out of my stereo… Ok, I made that part up, and I would never condone blogging while driving… But, you get my point!

Improving ourselves is done much in the same way. When we first dabble into an improvement, it often feels foreign and impossible to accomplish. However, with determination and drive you quickly get past that feeling and over time you create a desired result that feels like second nature today.

Remember to carefully choose your improvements. Then, draw out goals along the way to achieve your dreams. The last piece of the puzzle is to not only stay focused on your dreams, but to dig deep inside yourself and find the willpower to follow through!

Nothing is impossible to a person who believes in their dreams and believes in themselves.

Dream it! Write it! Plan it! Do it!
(I’ll let you in on a little secret… It can be anything… The sky is the limit)

Your daily dose of inspiration was brought to you by,
Mr. V

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Sugared Water

Many moons ago, Apple Computer wanted John Sculley to join them as CEO and apply his marketing skills to the personal computer market. Sculley was not sure that he wanted to join Apple and Steve Jobs sealed the deal when he made his legendary pitch to John, “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or, do you want to come with me and change the world?”

This quote has stuck with me through the years and it is always a powerful reminder for me: I think that 99.9% of what we humans do to earn a living is selling sugared water. Think deep and hard about what you are doing in your job. Does it embody your high level of standards? Does it fill your heart with gladness? Does it inspire you to be even more? If so, then congratulations! If you are doing your dream job and making the world a better place, it is my belief that you are among 0.1% of the population of this small blue dot we affectionately call “Earth.”

If on the other hand, you are like most of us and unsure of what you are doing to make the world better, than maybe you should ask yourself the Steve Jobs’ question… And, if you do ask that question, you might get a sinking feeling in your stomach that says, “You are not doing everything in your power to accomplish great things.”

Supposing you do get that tummy ache, I suggest that instead of pouting and feeling sorry for yourself, you decide to make a change! Think about it… We are all capable of controlling our destiny. You! And, you alone can determine what path you take each day. Sure there are outside influences that will try to knock you off your path. But I believe that you can either let those influences alter your course, or you can stand up to them and say, “No.”

Together we are capable of anything. I mean that. You and I can make the world a better place. I choose to believe this, and I choose to do something about it. I’m doing it right now in fact. My blog is one of the ways that I strive to inspire my friends, family, and complete strangers who follow my shenanigans. This is one of my many ideas to make the world a better place. Come join me!!!

For what it’s worth… When Steve asked John that question, he thought about it and then accepted the job. Powerful words with an even more powerful meaning!

So tell me, Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or, do you want to come with me and change the world?

All the best,
Vaughn “the world changer” Ripley

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Life Balance

Balancing the different pieces of your life is a surefire way to improve and become successful. I strive to improve aspects of my life and therefore build a better balance. This goes back to a few previous articles I’ve written about kaizen, and constantly working to improve yourself on a daily basis.

One popular method of working on your balance is called a “circle of life” or a “wheel of life.” Usually these circles will consist of eight (or so) slices of your life. These slices are categories from your life; which can be used for improvement. They are often some form or fashion of these: family, friends, spirituality, finances, self esteem, fitness, nutrition, stress mastery, hobbies, relationships, life purpose, and so on.

Each person’s categories (regardless of whether they are six, eight, ten, or some other arbitrary number) are different. I chose the eight most significant parts of my life: spirituality, family, finances, health, work, friends, hobbies, and community.

In the circle of life, my selections would look something like this:

Once you have your pie designed, sliced, and labeled, then you rate each category on a scale of one to ten, with ten being absolute perfection (level ten is practically impossible to achieve, but a great goal area to keep improving toward). Using this scale, you dissect each slice by drawing a line representative of this rating. This new line will literally shrink each piece of pie, based on how good you are doing in that aspect of your life. I currently rate my pieces like this: family=7, finances=4, hobbies=8, health=8, work=7, friends=6, community=6, and spirituality=3.

Drawn and filled out, my “circle of life” would look something like this:

As you can easily see, this is not close to being a perfectly round circle. Many of the motivational speakers ask you to visualize this completed circle of life as a wheel on your car. Now imagine trying to drive along with a wheel that is shaped like this. As you can see, you would have a bumpy ride to say the least! This “bumpy ride” translates to your life… Without balance, your life will be a crazy and bumpy ride.

To simplify this drawing, I created a scale (that was derived from my own ideas mixed with those of countless self-improvement coaches, family, and friends) that I follow with the most important aspects of my life. I rate each of these eight parts individually with a number from one to ten, where one is horrible, and ten is the absolute best. I add all of my category ratings together and then divide by the number of categories to give me a balance “average.” I call this my life balance value.

If we go back to my previous numbers, it would look like this:
family=7 + finances=4 + hobbies=8 + health=8 + work=7 + friends=6 + community=6 + spirituality=3

These all add together to equal 49.

From there, I divide by the number of categories; which in my case is eight.

49/8 = 6.125

I round down and find that my life balance average is 6. So, my overall “life balance value” is only a six. I consider an average of eight to be an exceptional life and that is where my goal is set. So, I need to work on each thing to get them to create an average of eight. It is my belief that each of these pieces should be at least equal to six (above average) in order to achieve true success. And, my overall score should be eight in order to lead an exceptional life.

Now that I have that life balance value, I use Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s cycle of improvement to work on each of these areas (categories). Simply put, his cycle is: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. In this way, I can continually improve any part of my life by simply repeating this cycle in a never-ending pattern. You can read more about Deming and kaizen in my previous article: healthywealthytribe.com/kaizen

I am working on it, but it is a tough thing to improve one’s quality of life.

What is your life balance value?

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Kotowaza AKA Japanese Proverb

As you all know, I refer to kaizen on a regular basis. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means daily improvement. I strive on a daily basis to improve myself. Today, I’d like to introduce you to another Japanese word… Kotowaza. Essentially, kotowaza translates to “proverb.” I am fascinated with Japanese philosophy and one of the main things I gain from the Japanese is their inspirational proverbs. To me, the proverb is a powerful message that I can relate to my life and use it to inspire me. I am constantly finding myself motivated by neat proverbs (Japanese or any others). A few posts ago I put up some of my favorite passages and quotes.

One of my all time favorite kotowaza is: chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru. This translates to “even specks of dust become mountains” (or, “even dust if piled, can become a mountain”). It is not merely my favorite because it has the word, yama (mountain) in it. I love this one, because it seems to be the ageless proverb. In English, we have a similar one, “many a little makes a mickle.” To me, it means that regardless of your current state, you can rise, like the Phoenix, from the ashes and make something more of yourself. I experienced this precise thing many moons ago, when I was 19 years old and my doctor gave me a death sentence. I rose from the ashes and turned a speck of dust into a mountain. That said, perhaps I should be more fond of kishi kaisei; which literally means “wake from death and return to life.”

If you think about it by wearing someone else’s shoes, you can also see that “chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru” is important as you meet people. Everyone that you meet (regardless of status, or stature) has the potential of becoming a mountain. It’s vital to remember this as you greet folks for the first time. Think about the possibility of meeting someone at the very bottom of the ladder in a large corporation. You might look down on them, and think they will amount to nothing. However, it’s entirely possible that this person will be running the same company in twenty years. And, also possible is the fact that they might remember that you looked down on them. Look down on NO ONE, and you will avoid this situation. Think: Golden Rule.

Here are some of my other kotowaza favorites:

saru mo ki kara ochiru — even monkeys fall from trees
deru kugi wa utareru — the protruding nail will be hammered down
ropu no kireta tozansha mitai — like a mountaineer who’s rope has broken
ashita yama wa itsumo soko de aru — the mountain will always be there tomorrow
nana korobi ya oki — fall down seven times, get up eight
hitsuyou wa hatsumei no haha — necessity is the mother of invention
kane wa tenka no mawarimono — no problems because money always goes around
ichi nichi, ichi zen — every day, do one good (do a good turn daily)
Here’s a fun/funny one (yet true): ninjabashiri o suru toki, kutsuhimo ga yurundeiru to hisan na koto o maneku — when running ninja-style, having loose shoe strings invites misery.

Ganbatte kudasai is another cool Japanese saying that I use often. It can translate to many meanings, but they are all related. My favorite (simple) translation of ganbatte kudasai is, “keep your chin up.” That is just a sweet thing to say to a person who is striving to improve themselves and stumbling over the pitfalls of life. In other words, any one of us!

Do you have any favorite proverbs (English, Japanese, or any other nationality)?

I hope you enjoyed this!

Dewa mata,
Vaan san

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How to Boil a Frog

I thought about titling this article, ”A Look at Why Some People Thrive, and Others Do Not.” However, that seemed a bit wordy, unclassy, and simply pompous… Talking about frogs on the other hand is fun, goofy, and downright cool. Hence… The title is what it is. I’m sure everyone knows how to boil a frog, but I will waste one minute and explain it… You boil a frog by slowly turning up the temperature. With that in mind, if you were to throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out. At least that’s how the story goes. Honestly, I have never boiled a frog so I don’t know if this is true. What I do know is that if a frog jumped out of a boiling pot of water he would be one burned-up dude!

Ego digresso.

Today’s article is meant to show how some of us thrive in life and others struggle to thrive. I believe it is the boiled frog syndrome. And, I recently had this very discussion (to some degree or another) with a group of friends. I do not think that anyone purposefully tries to fail or do bad or quit in the blink of an eye. Rather I think it is a series of small doses of negativity, disappointment, struggling, and so on. Thinking along those lines leads me to logically conclude that I can also succeed, do good, or accomplish with this same exact pattern.

A strange epiphany hit me today. A friend said something along these lines, “I reached a turning point in my life when I realized that I’ve lived sick for longer then I’ve lived healthy.” She has Lupus (among other things) and what she meant was that she has lived longer with Lupus than without it. When she said it I was like, “Wow.” Then I thought a moment and realized that I was in the same category with my HIV. I was healthy and leading a fairly (relatively) normal life for 18 or so years. Since then, I have lived for about 28 years with HIV. For some reason, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I have almost lived twice as long sick as healthy!!! So, then I started thinking, How?

Next, another friend in the same group said, “If your problem changes from a physical to mental illness, you’re hosed.” Ha! That is freaking brilliant! That got me thinking real deep and I started formulating how I (and others like me) have survived. Next thing I knew I had another article idea.

Since I am such a firm believer in incantations, and I also talk with those close to me about how I believe in “I Can’t Tations” too, I formulated what I think is the secret to my longevity. It is not one single thing that can be pointed to. Think about it. No one wakes up and has such a negative thought process that they simply die or fail to live. It takes days, weeks, or even years to get there mentally. I believe that how we react to life on a daily basis is the key to our longevity. That’s right, I said it … Prolonged doses of negativity will eventually kill you.

I look back at my life and realize that I’ve had my share of negative beliefs and thoughts. However, my positive thoughts and actions far outweigh the negative ones.

I have heard people routinely say things like:
– I am unlucky
– The world is against me
– I can’t
– A black cloud follows me
– This is just my lot in life

And so on and so forth. Long ago I discovered (or at least I believe I did) that these folks are a part of creating their own destiny. Take responsibility for your thoughts. Take responsibility for your actions. Take responsibility in how you convey yourself to you and others.

Responsible said another way is “Able to respond.” Think about it… You are able to respond. This is in all of us. And, like Rush says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Make your choice to succeed. Make your choice to improve yourself. Make your choice to inspire others. Make your choice to think positively on a daily basis.

The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, think about your answer carefully. Instead of saying, “Okay” or “Been better” or “Can’t complain” try coming up with something upbeat. You don’t have to say, “I’m freaking unbelievable and have never felt better in my whole entire existence on Earth!” But you could say something along the lines of, “I feel great.” Say it, believe it, live it.

Brought to you with a dose of love,
Vaughn

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Inspirational Passages and Quotes

Quotes and passages can be incredibly uplifting and inspirational. I like to read inspirational quotes every day. I start my day by reading the following quotes… They instill my spirit with motivation and lift me to a higher level. Check ’em out, and let me know what you think!

“Come not between the dragon and his wrath.”
-William Shakespeare / King Lear, act I, scene 1

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
-James Dean

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
-Amelia Earhart

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
-Albert Einstein

“Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.”
-Amelia Earhart

“Remember: Life is short, break the rules”
-James Dean

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
-William Shakespeare / Measure by Measure, act I, scene 4

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
-Amelia Earhart

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.”
-Helen Keller

“Excellence sucks!”
-Tony Robbins

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
-Benjamin Franklin

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

“Temet Nosce. It means, know thyself.”
-the Oracle

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
-Helen Keller

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
-George Eliot

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
-Benjamin Franklin

“Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work.”
-David Sarnoff

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
-Yoda

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
-Gandalf the Grey

“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”
-Amelia Earhart

“Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
-Albus Dumbledor (care of J. K. Rowling)

I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of my own personal quotes… Enjoy!

“Dum spiro somnium”
-Vaughn Ripley

“We’re all going through something… The trick is to go through it anyway!”
-Vaughn Ripley

“Life has its ups and downs… Ride the downs and climb the ups!”
-Vaughn Ripley

“Chivalry is not just a fancy word with a neat meaning… It’s a way of life.”
-Vaughn Ripley

“Life throws punches. It’s not about punching back… It’s about taking ’em, and still standing.”
-Vaughn Ripley

Do you have a favorite quote or passage? Please share and chime-in!

Hoping this inspired or motivated you!

-Vaughn

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Dum Spiro Somnium

Perhaps it’s time that you created a life motto for yourself. Maybe you already have one. Could be that you have no idea what I’m talking about… Let’s discuss the potential of this very powerful tool.

Dum spiro somnium is my life motto. It means, “While I breathe, I dream.” Actually… I do not know for certain that it means that, because I simply made it up based on Google translate and a little Latin knowledge. But, it is my interpretation and best-guess as to converting my life motto to Latin. Why did I convert my life motto to Latin? you ask. Well, mostly because Latin is a cool way of saying things in life that are important to us. At least I think so. I do know that somnium means to dream, or daydream. This was close enough for me!

I was able to piece this translation together because I know my family motto, dum spiro spero; which translates to “While I breathe, I hope.” This is a great family motto and a wonderful creed to live by. However, I thought about it carefully and realized that it doesn’t totally encompass my beliefs and motto. I’m a dreamer. Life is a dream of sorts for me, and my imagination is the key to making it day-in day-out. Hence making my very own personal life motto.

Do you have a life motto?

Life motto, vision, mission… All of these things are so important to our continued improvement and success. Along with these powerful tools, I think that short and long-term goals are incredibly beneficial as well. Expect a post in the near future that discusses goals, missions, and vision statements.

If you don’t have one, or are interested in some motto ideas, checkout this list: motto.biz/list-of-life-mottos-to-live-by.

Another great resource, and the article that inspired me to create this one, can be found here: birdsontheblog.co.uk/whats-your-life-motto.

Make sure you chime in and tell me what your thoughts are on this subject, and if you have a life motto.

Until we chat again,
Vaughn

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Getting Results

For better or for worse, ALL of the things we do have results or an outcome. Wouldn’t it be cool to shape your life to provide positive and desired/wanted results? This post is related to one of my passions… Improving yourself. I am going to spend a little bit of time here, and hopefully help you get closer to achieving your dreams.

Many moons ago, a saying became very popular and has seemingly stuck with us… The saying is: “Knowledge equals power.”

While this is a potent statement, I do not feel that it applies as well today as it may have eons ago. It’s my belief that it takes a good deal more than knowledge to give you power. Along with this statement, another one comes to mind: “Just Do It!” While this is another potent saying, it isn’t really possible without some planning and focus… Right?

Let’s talk about my trademark super-secret formula that gives you more than knowledge equals power and/or just do it… My formula gives you the entire bluprint and allows you to accomplish any dream!

My formula is: KFD=R

or:

Knowledge
Focus
Drive

(equals)
Results

What? You may be asking… Let’s break it down!

What is knowledge?
Knowledge is information, facts, or data that is gathered through many areas like:

  • Internet searches (Google it, but beware fiction);
  • Books, videos, audio recordings, and other media;
  • Life lessons;
  • Peers, friends, and family members;
  • Church;
  • Schools and training;
  • Your own thought process.
  •  

    Try some of the following ideas to utilize the knowledge that you gather:

  • Gather information and ideas;
  • Select an optimal approach to tackle tasks;
  • Utilize friends, mentors, coaches, and peers (bounce ideas off each other);
  • Learn by doing (“sharpen the saw” as Covey likes to say);
  • Avoid analysis paralysis.
  •  

    When a baby touches a hot stove, she does not need KFD (Knowledge, Focus, and Drive) to learn and follow through. In most cases, when extreme pain is involved, the focus and drive come naturally.

    Unfortunately, most things in life will not be powerful (painful) enough to ensure we will do what it takes to accomplish our desired result or outcome.

    Be proactive instead of reactive!!! The baby scenario aside, we all deserve and desire a healthy and happy life… So, make that your focus and drive. Instead of waiting for a doctor to tell you that you’ll need a walker, or are going to die… I challenge you to walk away from this discussion and be proactive in creating a healthier you!

    What is focus?

  • Concentration;
  • Motivation;
  • Application;
  • Thinking or pondering;
  • Hard work;
  • Devotion;
  • Believing.
  •  

    Design a doable plan to achieve your desired outcome (avoid analysis paralysis). Once your plan is in place, utilize focus to stay on track with what you know and make adjustments as necessary to achieve your final outcome. Keeping a journal and tracking your progress will make a big difference in accomplishing things that you set out to achieve. Make sure that you watch out for time stealing distractions. Finally, surround yourself with like-minded people.

    Let me ask you something… When an airliner flies from Dulles Airport to Sea-Tac Airport do you think that it simply flies one straight path over the entire flight? Of course not. A flight across the country goes through thousands of course corrections. For similar reasons, you must stay in touch with your goals and ensure that your daily path is adjusted to get you to your final destination!

    “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.”
    — Henry Ford

    What is drive?

  • Willpower;
  • Gumption;
  • Determination;
  • Get-up-and-go;
  • Mental toughness;
  • Persistence;
  • Self-discipline;
  • Resolve;
  • Tenacity.
  •  

    Along this path, find some leverage. Often this leverage will be small, and other times it will be as big as a doctor telling you, “You will die if you don’t change.” Regardless of the size, leverage is a very powerful tool to help you follow through with goals. Concentrate! Dig deep when you must. Be persistent, and NEVER give up!!!

    Now we can say it… “Just do it!”

    What are results?

  • Outcome;
  • Consequences;
  • Goals;
  • Conclusion;
  • Effect;
  • Finale;
  • Product;
  • Accomplishment.
  •  

    Define your desired results or outcomes. Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Exercise and/or weight loss;
  • Get closer with God;
  • Financial success;
  • Happy home;
  • Improving at work;
  • Quit smoking;
  • Write a book;
  • Live a righteous life;
  • Become a successful entrepreneur.
  •  

    Apply KFD=R today!

    In order to be successful at using KFD=R you need to know your “desired outcome” or the results you wish to achieve. These results need to be clearly outlined and defined.

    Once you know your results you will want to set short and long term goals. These goals will vary based on the desired outcome.

    “Climbing Our Mountains Takes Knowledge, Focus, and Drive”
    — Vaughn Ripley

    I hope this post was helpful, insightful, and most of all motivational! And —As always— Please give me feedback and provide comments on your own life experiences!

    See ya soon,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Kaizen

    We’ll be discussing kaizen a lot in this blog… I even created a category specifically for it. So I figured I’d take a few minutes to define what kaizen is and tell you my take on it. Let’s start with a translation… Kaizen is Japanese for “good change.”

    = kai = change
    = zen = good (for the better)

    Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy. Even though the literal translation is good change, it has become more popularly known by the philosophical definition, continual improvement. Or, as Tony Robbins says, “Constant And Never-ending Improvement” or simply CANI. Essentially it is daily changes (regardless of how small) that make regular improvements in your life.

    Masaaki Imai made the term, kaizen, famous in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success. Over time, “good change” became “improvement”, or “change for the better.” It refers to a philosophy and/or practice that focuses on continuous improvement of business processes. That definition has morphed into the present day translation of improvement in business or on a personal level.

    William Edwards Deming helped popularize the idea of kaizen when he introduced PDCA (plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) to the Japanese businesses after Word War II. PDCA is an iterative four-step method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products. PDCA is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel.

    The steps in a PDCA cycle are:
    PLAN
    The word plan really doesn’t need a definition, but we’ll tackle it anyway… Use this stage to establish the objectives and create your desired result or output (the target or goals). By establishing realistic output expectations, the improvement is easily tracked and managed. When possible, start small with your objectives.

    DO
    Pretty straight forward… Implement the plan, execute the process, make the product. Collect data for charting and analysis in the following “CHECK” and “ACT” steps.

    CHECK
    Review the actual results (measured and collected in “DO” above) and compare against the expected results (targets or goals from the “PLAN”) to find any differences. Look for deviation in implementation from the “PLAN” and also look for the execution, i.e., “DO”. Charting data can make this considerably easier to unveil trends over several PDCA cycles and in order to convert the data into information. Information is what you need for the next step “ACT”.

    ACT
    Request corrective actions on significant differences between actual and planned results. Act is sometimes called “Adjust” by modern trainers. Determine where to apply changes to ensure improvement of the process or product. Stephen R. Covey called this stage, “Sharpen the Saw” in his Seven Habits book.

    What do you think about kaizen? And, do you strive on a daily basis to improve yourself in some form or fashion?

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