Embrace Ikigai, Kaizen concepts in greatness pursuit

Hunt For Greatness Milton Kamwendo GREATNESS demands strategic thinking and focused action. Building greatness requires continuous growth and self-discovery. It requires robust tools. Two of these special building tools are the Japanese concepts of “Ikigai” and “Kaizen”. These provide a plumb line that you can follow. Ikigai Ikigai is a Japanese term that combines two […]

May 19, 2024 - 09:43
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Embrace Ikigai, Kaizen  concepts in greatness pursuit

Hunt For Greatness

Milton Kamwendo

GREATNESS demands strategic thinking and focused action. Building greatness requires continuous growth and self-discovery.

It requires robust tools. Two of these special building tools are the Japanese concepts of “Ikigai” and “Kaizen”.

These provide a plumb line that you can follow.

Ikigai

Ikigai is a Japanese term that combines two words: “iki”, meaning alive or life; and “gai”, meaning value or worth.

It is not enough to be alive. Life must be worthwhile.  Ikigai is often translated as “your reason for being”, or “the happiness of always being busy”. At its core, Ikigai is about finding joy and purpose in life through a balance of four key elements, namely:

What you love (your passion)

What you are good at and make a living doing (your vocation)

What the world needs (your mission)

What you can be paid for (your profession)

The Ikigai concept challenges you to explore the intersection of these four components of life: passion, vocation, mission and profession.

It suggests that true satisfaction comes from activities that incorporate all the four aspects.

By finding your centre core, your Ikigai, you align your pursuits with your personal strengths and passions. This leads to building momentum. Work does not become a drudgery.

You never need to retire from doing what you love and getting paid for it.

Kaizen

Kaizen could be translated to “change for the better”.  It is a strategy of continuous, incremental building and improvement.

Originally applied in Japanese business practices, particularly in manufacturing, Kaizen has now been embraced as a powerful and necessary building approach everywhere.

A way of thinking about Kaizen is building brick by brick.  Kaizen focuses on improving processes, enhancing efficiency and reducing waste through small, manageable steps. It emphasises that perpetual, small changes create significant long-term effects.

Build the Kaizen way. Maintain a steady pace of improvement. Small steps compound. Small improvements lead to sustainable change. Decide to work with these two tools.

Integrate Ikigai and Kaizen into your greatness journey.

Your Ikigai

Reflect on the four elements of Ikigai.

Write down what you are passionate about, skills you excel in, what you believe the world needs and what can provide you with a livelihood. This introspection can help you identify a career path or personal pursuits that are both fulfilling and sustainable.  You may choose to work with a coach. Understanding your Ikigai will guide you in setting goals that resonate with your innermost desires and strengths.

It could help you make the career transitions that you need.

Intentional goals

With your Ikigai as a personal compass, set long-term goals that align with your life’s purpose. Break these down into smaller, actionable objectives. Make each objective attainable but stretching.

Feel the weight of each brick. Each brick should contribute towards the larger goal.

This ensures that every step taken is meaningful and directed.

Daily application

Implement the principles of Kaizen by identifying key areas in your daily routine that can be made better. Start small but keep growing. The key is consistency and persistence. Take small daily improvements that compound to create substantial changes over time.

Continuous learning

The journey towards greatness is a continuous learning process. With every small step forward, aim to acquire new knowledge or refine your skills.  Use whatever method of learning is available to you. Continuous learning gives you the cutting edge and motivation.

Seek feedback

Feedback is a cornerstone of Kaizen. It is essential for personal and professional development. Actively seek feedback from peers, mentors or customers and use it constructively. Consider taking a personality profile every few years. Regular feedback guides your incremental improvements and helps you to avoid complacency.

Small wins

Recognise and celebrate each small achievement on your path. The small victories are milestones that cumulatively lead to significant accomplishments. Regular celebrations help maintain motivation and enthusiasm. Take time to reflect on lessons from each stage of your journey. Reflection helps you understand the improvements that have been effective and the areas that still need attention.

Balance bricks

As you strive for greatness, maintain a balance that honours your well-being and help you create important boundaries.

Integrating principles from Ikigai and Kaizen helps you to manage stress and prevent burnout. Ensure that your daily activities include elements that nurture your spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health.

Balance the bricks in your life so that the building does not tumble.

Be patient

The journey to greatness has challenges, delays and detours. Embrace patience and resilience as you face obstacles. With the mindset encouraged by Ikigai and Kaizen, view each challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. Growth takes time; therefore, pace it. Resilience keeps you moving forward despite setbacks.  Build greatness brick by brick.  Embrace the wisdom of Ikigai and Kaizen.

Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and an accomplished workshop facilitator. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. He can be reached at: mkamwendo@gmail.com

 

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David Lee Munemo David Lee Munemo is a rising Zimbabwean journalist with a passion for making complex news discoveries accessible to the public. Driven by a belief in the importance of information communication, David's work tackles a variety of news fields, from groundbreaking entertainment research to the latest political news.