The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen


Master potter at work near Hiroshima, Japan.

During our first day in Japan, the Changemaker curricular team sat in a corner pagoda at the Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima and began our mindfulness exercise with a discussion of the famous Japanese philosophy of Kaizen. Kaizen – continuous improvement — not to beat anyone, not to be competitive, but to grow, to enhance your life, to be better than you were the previous day and continued to improve

Kaizen is one our Core Values at THINK Global School and is understood as continuous improvement. It is something that we hope everyone in our organization can holistically embrace in their professional and personal lives. It’s important to comprehend that the idea of continuous improvement is not to beat anyone or to be a better competitor. But instead, it is an internal battle to grow, to enhance your life, and to be better than you were the previous day at whatever you decide is important. 

Artists, martial or otherwise, athletes, and chefs all understand that there are things in this world that take more than a lifetime to learn. To improve, they must practice every day to improve their craft. We discussed how we could start our year as a Curriculum Development team with this philosophy in mind. Not that we only grow as a team and develop an excellent curriculum, but that we improve daily in our ability to communicate with each other and the people we encounter as we travel the world. Ultimately we aim to embrace the philosophy and become better people as we travel extensively for the year. 

Sounds great huh, but how do you do apply this philosophy to your life? 

You see each day as an opportunity, not a burden. Kaizen is not a mandate it is a promise you make to yourself to improve. Each day you may choose a different area of growth. View each day as an opportunity to make better decisions, to treat people better, to enhance the lives of others, and to grow in areas that you prioritize.  

Believe in yourself, and happy improving.

To learn more about Kaizen and its application in a business sense, check out this .pdf


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