Some time ago, my brother gifted me a lovely book called One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer
. The title alone urged me to pick up the book immediately and read it. And I must say, it is one the loveliest and most insightful books I’ve read since a long time. The book mainly deals with wisdom about Kaizen, which is a practice of continuous improvement.
In this blog post, I will try my best to put in the learnings I’ve come across in the book.
How often do we initiate to achieve something significantly huge with iron determination, only to see all the will crumble before our eyes within a short span of time? What we do wrong is setting targets so gigantic and unattainable that we find it almost impossible to achieve.
In this crazy rush to be able to attain so many things in life, the essence of why such goals are to be realised is forgotten. The key here is essentially to reach our goals.
And how is that done? Simply by taking tiny, and easy to achieve steps regularly. Yes, it will take time, but the outcome will not disappoint you. Picture this, say you want to get fitter and lose weight. You see the amazingly inspiring social media posts about #fitspiration #fitness #weightloss and what not. You get this surge of excitement from within and you promise yourself to stick to your resolve. Meanwhile you read an article on how walking 10000 steps per day is the key to a healthy and fit body. Now, imagine this, if you are a person who has a pretty sedentary lifestyle, can you walk 10000 steps immediately from the next day? You might try too, only resulting in injuries and aches so bad that you’ll give up on it.
NOW picture this, instead of setting the impossible target of 10000 steps, why not promise yourself to walk 3000 steps for a week and gradually increase it to 10000 over a month or two? Doesn’t that sound much more comforting? What the main idea here is to fix very, very small goals. So small that you may even laugh at its insignificance. That will happen initially. You will easily and comfortably be able to achieve those minuscule goals, without a lot of hard work. That’s when you slowly ease yourself into the next step, which is to increase the goal. Taking the same example as above, increase your goal to 5000 steps per day. Soon, that too, will not seem much of a botheration. As you steadily raise your goals, the end result will be at your doorstep in no time.
I would love to give you an example on how I implemented the lessons I learnt from this book. The norm among the students pursuing the course which I am doing currently is to study for a minimum of 8-10 hours per day. Now, I am not the kind of person to study for such long hours. But there was a lot to study and I had to put in at least 8 hours of work each day. I knew that if I start studying 8 hours all of a sudden, I will give up easily. So what I did was promised myself to study for just 3 hours per day at the beginning. Yes, that sounded SO much nicer to me. And I did do it. In a matter of two weeks, I upped my study hours from 3 to 5 hours. And within a month or so, I was studying 7-8 hours comfortably, and without feeling pulled down or fatigued. That’s another thing that I never reached the 10 hours a day goal, except for the day before one of my exams😂. But yeah, I did manage to complete whatever I was supposed to study before time.
As humans, we tend to repel change quickly. That surely doesn’t mean that we must never accept changes. Some changes are required for your overall well-being. What we can do is to slowly coax our brains to get accustomed to the newly introduced change.
- Kaizen is a process of improving a habit using very small steps.
- Small steps can lead to big changes.
- Kaizen disarms the brain’s fear response making change come more naturally.
- By asking small, gentle questions, we keep the fight-or-flight response in the ‘off’ position.
- By taking steps so tiny that they seem trivial or even laughable, you’ll sail calmly past obstacles that have defeated you before.
A singular paragraph from the book which can easily sum up the crux of the whole book is:
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens-and when it happens, it lasts.”
When we introduce a change in our lifestyle, we are subconsciously creating a habit out of it. At the end, a repeated new practice leads to a habit. Do give a thought to what is that one change you want to bring into your life.
Of course, I do recommend reading the book I’ve linked above. It’s worth a read.
P.S. I am not promoting this book in any way, and neither am I getting paid for doing so. This is entirely my opinion about the book which I wish to share with my readers. 🙂
Until the next time, stay blessed!