Everyone should read this book. It’s simple and quick, but very insightful and life changing. I feel so empowered, like I can actually make the millions of changes in my life that I want and need to make. This book teaches Kaizen principles — the concept that small steps have a much longer lasting effect in our lives than when we try to make big leaps. One small step truly can change our lives. I loved it. I’m not one for self help books, and I would consider this in that category, but it really was good.
But it can. And it did.
I think I read about Maurer’s book in Elle magazine, right when it was published, in 2004. At the time I was in a big rut. I barely managed to start anything, let alone finish it. I read 2-3 books a year. I “didn’t have time” to exercise, or to make anything, or even to visit a museum occasionally. I had to work; I had to do what needed to be done for my family.
The review struck a chord, so to speak, so I took the book out of the library. I mangaged somehow to read it completely through before it was due.
The ideas it contains are simple, and we’ve certainly heard them stated in many different ways before. But, as McArdle says, “…that doesn’t mean they don’t bear repeating.”
Just do a little bit. Five minutes a day–anyone can carve out that much time. So I would read on the bus or the subway. And sometimes it was only 5 or 10 minutes. I did 10 minutes on the exercise bike. I worked on an unfinished project for 10 minutes.
A few things happened. I got into the habit of doing these things. Sometimes I managed to make a bit more time for them. And even with only 10 minutes a day, I started to see real progress after a couple weeks. All of a sudden I was far enough along that I could picture actually completely something, which made it more likely that I would.
I have not tried Kaizen to confront my fears, although Maurer gives advice and examples for that too.
Recently, I ran across the book again and decided to give it another look. It’s hard for me to remember a time when I wasn’t reading a book a week, when I didn’t begin my day with some exercise, when I didn’t expect to finish at least some of the things I started. Even if that moment is months away.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao Tzu
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
“Whatever saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
We HAVE heard it before. But sometimes we just need to hear it again, in a different voice, at the right time.
You can buy the book from here: One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer
The title is no exaggeration - this book really can change your life, in teeny-tiny baby steps that build up into something big and paradigm-shifting.
An easy and enjoyable read that I finished in a few hours. Highly recommended, especially for teachers, but for anybody in pursuit of any kind of improvement in anything or anybody, most especially oneself.
Introducing the practical and inspirational guide to incorporating Kaizen and its powerful principles into one's daily life. Rooted in the two thousand-year-old wisdom of the Tao Te Ching--"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"--Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady increments. Kaizen is the tortoise versus the hare. Kaizen is the eleven Fortune 500 companies that significantly outperformed the market through moderate, step-by-step actions. Kaizen is losing weight not by a crash diet (which more often than not crashes) but by eating one bite less at each meal--then, a month later, eating two bites less. Kaizen is starting a life-changing exercise program by standing--just standing--on a treadmill for one minute a day.
Written by an expert on Kaizen--Dr. Robert Maurer, a psychologist on the staff at the UCLA medical school who speaks and consults nationally--"One Small Step" is the gentle but potent way to effect change. Beginning by outlining the all-important role that fear plays in all types of change--and Kaizen's ability to circumvent it--Dr. Maurer then explains the 7 Small Steps: how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, Solve Small Problems, and more. He shows how to perform mind sculpture--visualizing virtual change so that real change comes more naturally. Why small rewards motivate better than big rewards. How great discoveries are made by paying attention to the little details most of us overlook. Hundreds of examples of Kaizen at work grace the book, as well as quotes from W. Edwards Deming (who brought Kaizen to Japanese industry), Peter Drucker, coach John Wooden, and others.