I remember about kaizen, the Japanese word for improvement, referring in the corporate environment more specifically to continuous improvement through small steps. The concept has been fleshed out more philosophically and psychologically in Robert Maurer’s 2014 book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way. Maurer recognizes that while big goals can feel intimidating, one small step toward that goal always feels doable.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a big job or goal? Maybe you need to lose 50 pounds, clean out the garage, or find a new job. For me, it’s often writing projects. Let’s say I want to write a book-length account of ways to become a more positive thinker. Flashes of brilliance flow through me and I take note of all the marvelous possibilities! I’m eager to dive in and make it happen. But then comes the hitch in my thinking: That sounds daunting! A book is, after all, a huge undertaking. Then I think of kaizen, and am reminded that writing even one sentence is a step toward the book.
This thought actually prompted me to start the “Bad Thoughts Blog” you’re reading now. Here I can identify commonly experienced bad thought phenomena, and briefly elaborate each one. A single entry on its own may not be very substantial, but thought-by-thought, point-by-point, I am creating a larger work. A series of small steps, added together, becomes a full-sized accomplishment.
Next time you feel overwhelmed at the thought of a big goal, ask yourself what one small step you can take toward that goal. Then do that, and revel in the idea that you are already on your way.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/store
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