One of the perks of being a Kindle owner is being able to download free ebooks. (I think this is where Amazon puts new and aspiring authors to test the waters, you know, before they charge for their book … But I’m just taking a wild guess here 😁).
Anyhow, I’ve downloaded quite a few free ebooks in the past and find that most of them should [perhaps] just remain free. I don’t say this to be mean, I know writing takes a lot of work but, there’s something to be said for quality and talent (or real good editors & proofreaders). I just think that quality and talent deserve distinction, price be one of them.
I digress because I can’t imagine this book, authored by Clinical Psychologist Robert Maurer, would stay free for very long*. It is well-written and well-organized. I wasn’t distracted by errors in grammar and composition (which I sadly often find even in books that aren’t free), and the thought process represented by the chapters flows logically and smoothly.
But good grammar and composition is definitely not all this book has to offer. The content itself, while not something novel or ground-breaking, is gold.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Tao Te Ching
Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, is very familiar in the field of work. Kaizen advocates using very small steps to improve a habit, a process or product using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions. Because it is so identified with efficiency at work, it just totally escaped me that Kaizen could also be applied to your personal and daily life. (Yes, I’m looking at you flabby, post-baby body! 😠).
“Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” ~ Tao Te Ching
Chances are, there’s something in your life that you want to change or improve but have been dithering on. According to the author: “All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”
The key idea here is how fear (of change/improvement) can be conquered by something small. The book helps the reader explore how small can be very potent through chapters on asking small questions, thinking small thoughts, taking small actions, solving small problems, bestowing small rewards, and identifying small moments.
Even problems such as pessimism can be subdued by the question: What is one thing about me (or my spouse, or my place of work) that is special?
The book ends with the chapter “Kaizen for Life” and encourages the reader to hold on to the essence of Kaizen, which is an optimistic belief in our potential for continuous improvement.
Like earlier mentioned this book was an easy yet stimulating read. I love books that give pragmatic and sound advice, more so this one where the recommendations do not involve drastic actions or shelling out money. I highly recommend this 🙂
In ending I’d like to share with you one of the phrases that I highlighted and which is, I think, my favorite in the entire book:
“If you spend a minute or two each day writing a kind note to tuck into a loved one’s briefcase or a child’s lunchbox, you may save yourself the headache that comes when relationships grow cool from a lack of nurturance and daily care”.
Now excuse me, I gotta go give my eldest a hug 🙂
‘* as of this blogpost, the Kindle edition is now priced at $7.23 … aww, drats! 😶