Kaizn is an abbreviation of the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, which means change for the better, or consistent daily self-improvement. It is a call to arms to not settle for good and to keep on striving for greatness within your life.
In short, this was another name for one of our favourite topics developing a Growth Mindset.
Mindset refers to our natural beliefs toward basic qualities like intelligence and athletic talent. Researchers discovered that we all have one of two mindsets.
·Fixed mindsets: People with a fixed mindset believe abilities like intelligence and athletic talent are innate and unchangeable.
Growth mindsets: People who believe abilities are gained through dedication and hard work, and that natural-born talent is merely a starting point for a much longer process of development.
We all know people ( I used to be one) who are consumed, with the goal of proving ourselves - at school, in work, and in our personal relationships. Every occasion offered a chance for the following validation: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look clever or stupid? Will I be accepted or rebuffed? Will you feel like a champion or a failure?
All of this based on a self-limiting belief that we all have a finite amount of talent, intelligence, or skill, which we are born with. When you believe that your qualities are what they are and cannot change (fixed mindset) you set out to constantly prove yourself right, correct over mistakes, rather than learn from them.
In doing so you miss the opportunity to grow, creating a self-fulfilling (and frustrating) prophecy.
In stark contrast, a growth mindset believes that the cards you are dealt with (talent, intelligence, or skills) are simply just the starting point of your development, and basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.
The impact of believing that you can become more, become better, become masterful (Kaizen), actually unlocks the very learning skills you are looking for because you give yourself permission to learn and grow.
The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.
This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. To be able to say to yourself that a failure or a shortcoming is not an absolute reflection of YOU as a person, but rather as just another invaluable piece of data or insight into your chosen challenge, is both the hallmark of great self-coaching, but also the moment you start to reduce your anxiety from your day to day lives.
Carol Dweck, who coined Fixed and Growth mindsets, has spent the last 30 years studying performance and motivation in high performers and children. In 2007 Dweck and Bentley's cars became curious as to whether this was true for professional drivers. So in 2007 they took 40 drivers, tested which mindset there were, and then tested before and after each season. The results were significant - Across the board, they were winning drivers.
“When you think about it this makes sense. If like those with a growth mindset, you believe you can develop yourself then you’re open to accurate information about your current abilities, even if it’s unflattering.
What’s more, if you’re oriented towards learning, you need accurate information about your current abilities in order to learn effectively. However, if everything is either good news or bad news- as it is with fixed mindset people - distortion almost inevitably enters the picture. Some outcomes are magnified, others explained away, and before you know it, you don’t know yourself at all”.
Carol Dweck - professor of Psychology at Stanford University, and the author of 'Mindset'
How does this work:
Neuroscience research into the Neuroplasticity has demonstrated that the brain is highly malleable. Using the latest technology for looking under the hood (inside the brain) we can see that the connectivity of your neurons changes through experience. When people practice something we actually see how your brain grows new neural networks, strengthens existing networks, and builds insulation that increases the speed of transmission (signal impulses). In short, our development speed is based on:
Changing the way we think about ourselves and our ability to learn and grow.
Asking the right questions to generate perspective.
Committing to a Mindset where practice, not just talent is the prerequisite for long-term success.
Through good nutrition and sleep protocols (this supports Neuroplasticity of the brain).
Major Benefits of a Growth Mindset:
Less likely to suffer from mental health issues.
Greater access to your true creativity.
More likely to be able to enter the flow state (more on this in the next month)
Better leadership skills.
Increased learning capacity.
You become a Challenge Artist.
One of the most important points about Growth v’s Fixed Mindsets is often overlooked. The reality is that most have more or less of a growth mindset in different areas of our lives.
Where we have the most confidence, certainty, and acting in alignment with our highest values we generally have a growth mindset. Conversely, where we have the least confidence, certainty, and are not actin in our highest values we are more likely to have a growth mindset.
As such, like most things in our lives, our hierarchy is personal values is a key component to unlocking our full potential. To find out more about values, click here, to read out personal values blog.
Links for further information:
Carol Dweck Ted - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X0mgOOSpLU&t=190s
Carol Dweck - Google Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-71zdXCMU6A
Jono & Alex