Burnout Solution 16: Kaizen and a thousand steps

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement. Kai stands for ‘Change’ and Zen for ‘Good’. We often use it to describe a common theme in Japans business practice; a lot of small steps will lead to big changes. It’s the perfect analogy for how to get out of your burnout. You take a thousand tiny steps to reach that one big goal: feeling great again.

One thing your burnout will teach you is patience. Most of us want this bad feeling to pass this instance. Yet it won’t. That’s because the burnout is your signal to change things in your life. As long as you haven’t succeeded in that, the burnout stays.

Fortunately there is a great way out of this; embracing the idea of Kaizen. By taking a large amount of very small steps that help you feel better and improve small parts of your family, career and love life, you’ll start to climb out again. It has the added advantage of also lowering expectations, which is always a good thing to do.

Quite a while after my burnout, I still use this Japanese work philosophy to its fullest. I do many ‘big’ projects like writing books, making albums and creating films. The bar always seems to be very high with those activities. However by taking a lot of smaller steps everyday towards those goals, life becomes manageable, stress is greatly reduced and the end result gets within reach.

And yes, the same principles apply for your love and family life as well. So embracing Kaizen is not just good for those in a burnout. It’s a great way to live and work in general.

And take it easy. Love.