08 June 2008

Living By Kaizen

Sunday 8Jun08 3:02pm

An article that I was going to post on my writing blog that also applies here. The full article by Jennifer Lawler is on her webpage. Her article is called Seeking Perfectioin: What it is...and isn't but I have a soft spot for Living by Kaizen, since I don't do any martial arts, I like the thought of applying the concept to life as a whole.

My favorite quotes from Jennifer's article are:

... in the martial arts, you train because you are a warrior. That’s what warriors do. And they do it because they’re warriors. That’s the only reason they have to have.

The idea of training just to train, of doing something for its own sake, is called kaizen in Japanese martial arts. It’s related to – although independent of – the concept of bushido, which is the ideal of the warrior, the way the warrior lives. Making kaizen and bushido a part of my life has been an ongoing experiment – and experience. Like most of us, I constantly struggle to balance all the demands on my time and the expectations – spoken and unspoken – that people (including me) have for me. But I am aided by my belief that the way of mastery will guide me in the direction I need to go, and I never stray from the path for very long or very far.

...living by kaizen creates a life filled with pleasure, validation that comes from within (and doesn’t depend on outside sources subject to whims), a life that feels more fulfilling and rewarding.

Moving towards perfection means deciding to care for your body as well as you can today, and then tomorrow and then the next day. It is about the process, not the end result. Each day, the attempt should feel good. You got enough rest for once; you meditated after work and that helped you feel relaxed; you had fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast and that felt nourishing. You’re taking care of yourself. It doesn’t matter if you ever fit into that size four. That is not the point.

Moving towards perfection requires

Living mindfully
Slowing down

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