Change for the Better with the Help of Kaizen

Kaizen is another Japanese concept known to people in the West, and it is interpreted as continuous improvement. However, what Steve Beauchamp learnt from his mentor, Sensei Nakao, kaizen can be understood as 'change for the better.' To achieve that, people must rebuild themselves to be in line with their authentic selves.

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You have to rebuild yourself to change for the better

Steve: Commonly, kaizen is interpreted in the Western world as continuous improvement. So in most circles, when people hear that word, that's immediately what comes to mind for them, which isn't necessarily wrong. 

However, I again, have spent a little bit more time researching this, I also had a mentor. That was from Japan that came over to Seattle, and worked with us for a few different visits, and his name was Sensei Nakao. 

And the way that he put it, I've loved so much that I've never forgotten it, and he liked to talk about it as change for the better. And he went on even further to help explain what he meant by that.

And if you think about your house, and if your kitchen or your bathroom needs remodeling, you're gonna have to completely destroy it before you can rebuild it. And so he used that analogy to kind of help us understand that sometimes, you're gonna have to completely dismantle a process, and then put it back together to be something that's better.

So sometimes that change isn't just building upon what's already there. Sometimes you have to completely dismantle things and rebuild it so that it's better. So that's why I think continuous improvement sometimes can mislead, a little bit in like what the actual interpretation of the word means.

So it's just again, you know, the nerd in me wanted to dig a little bit deeper into what that word really means and what it means to us and how we can make that more personal for us. Because I think kaizen isn't just about business, it's about the individual as well. And we all are going through our own transformation on a continual basis. 

And so I think it's important to realize that sometimes the parts of us that we've grown accustomed to, might be like our bathroom or kitchen that we're going to remodel and we need to completely dismantle parts of us and rebuild, so that we can become better and more in line with who we really are and our authentic selves

IKIGAI-KAN: Feel a Life Worth Living

Ikigai is a greatly misunderstood concept outside of Japan. It’s not a word from Okinawa. It’s not the Japanese secret to longevity. It’s not an entrepreneurial Venn diagram framework.

This evidence-based book clears up the misconceptions of Japan's most misunderstood word and culturally appropriated concept and offers an authentic perspective of the concept in the context of Japanese culture.

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