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One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,293 ratings  ·  569 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Workman Publishing
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Divyanshu Shende Actually, it talks about both these things. It uses real life stories and examples to both suggest kaizen practices for daily life and convince you of…moreActually, it talks about both these things. It uses real life stories and examples to both suggest kaizen practices for daily life and convince you of its importance.(less)

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Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Last fall Megan McArdle wrote a piece for The Daily Beast titled "What's Wrong with Self-Help Books?" We all read them, and why not? As she says: "I have not noticed that the people who surround me at conferences and social gatherings are so perfect as to require no futher improvement." Yet for most people there is some shame involved in admitting they get useful advice from these kinds of books.

But it can. And it did.

I think I read about Maurer's book in Elle magazine, right when it was publish
Second read:

4.5 stars. If you're looking to make any type of change in your personal or work life, this is a great book to get hold of. It is a fast read and is filled with practical examples of kaizen, which is small changes put in place to bring about big changes down the line. This is my second read, and this time I've taken notes. I wouldn't be surprised if I read this book yet again in the future.

The concept here is that small, painless steps toward a goal are so easy that the mind gives n
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to 7jane by: Karen Chung
Rating: somewhere between 3.5 and 4, but leaning towards the latter.

This book introduces us to the Kaizen way of changing your life through small steps: small questions, small thoughts, small actions, solving small problems and giving small rewards. This works if it's about you as much it's about a group of people in a business. By doing so small steps it's almost ridiculous, we override the brain's natural resistance and fear of changes. It's true that there has been recommendations of breaking
Brandon Tom
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
In "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way," Robert Maurer, Ph.D., makes the case that, because people are resistant to dramatic changes, trying to improve your life through drastic measures (such as giving up smoking cold-turkey or going on a crash diet) usually leads to failure (although the author admits this is not always the case). Instead he recommends that we take small, almost insignificant steps towards our goals. In doing so, we lessen our resistance to change and therefor ...more
Karen Witzler
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, textbooks
Kaizen has taken over my workplace. I do find it somewhat intriguing and more realistic than the self-improvement books I read in my youth.

I read this for Book Riot Challenge 2019.
George Rodriguez
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: success
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way is a nice little book. It clocks in at under 200 pages and has a somewhat interesting premise. Based on the Japanese technique of Kaizen, or continuous improvement through small steps, the author lays out a plan that follows that logic.

I would classify this book as a Twitter book because you can sum it up in 140 characters or less. ”Start small and celebrate every improvement you make on the road to success.”

And when the author says small, he m
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Kaizen Way to deal with problems is to start with very simple steps that are very easy to accomplish and continuously improve in simple increments. This is especially applicable when the problems to be solved appear so daunting that we try to avoid taking any action at all. The author gives many examples where Kaizen way has helped individuals, organizations and societies solve seemingly difficult problems.
The advice offered by the author is very simple and practical. This is applicable in a
Andrey S
Sep 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, meh
Why is this a book and not a two-page booklet?
Hey, kids, let me tell you a secret. It is much easier to finish small tasks than big ones... whaaaat?! БДЫЩЩЩЩ! MIND BLOWN!!! This practice... no... philosophy! This philosophy is so awesome that it has its own name. And it works all the time except when it doesn't. And we know it is cool because the Japanese use it.
Wafa Foufa
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction, me, pdf-epub, eng
I've really enjoyed this book. It's simple, real and relatable.
I made a new year resolution list, and I'm planning to use this method for some of my goals. I also noticed I've been practicing it in some aspects of my life, so I'm sure it would be beneficial to use it for other aspects.
Highly recommended.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Good books inspire, soothe, excite, amaze, motivate, confound, delight, intrigue—or do any number of other good things—maybe not all at once, but without fail they bring something extra to the table. I would argue that every really good book will get you thinking, and some will even get you acting differently. By this measure, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way is a good book.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that refers to "achieving great and lasting success through small,
Karen Chung
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

Here's a great summary of the book's main points – I now use this in my teaching:
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Back in the nineties
when I was Deming fan
Kaizen was my favorite word
I read a lot about it
I approved of continuous improvement
How in the world
did I overlook the philosophy
of small affordable changes
rather than revolution?
Deyvessh Kumar
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed, paperback
The book presents an amazing way to look at CHANGE. It challenges the old saying, "Change is hard!" and presents a simpler, arguably better way to incorporate change without relying too much on motivation and willpower.

Great Change is made through small Steps -

* Ask Small questions
* Think Small thoughts
* Take small actions
* Solve small problems

and the science is irrefutable: "Small steps circumvent the brain's built-in resistance to new behavior"
So, no matter what the goat - losing weigh
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I actually really enjoyed this book, although I don't generally read self-help books I didn't have any trouble getting through it.

It isn't the best book, certainly. The author likes to pat himself on the back a lot (there is a lot of mention of Christmas cards he receives from past patients and mistakes multi-million dollar corporations have made that could have been avoided if they had only listened to him) which can be kind of irritating, and there were parts that I thought that the writing w
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this audio book in the library, I was a little skeptical, as it seemed like a kind of hokey self-improvement book. However, I was really impressed by both the general ideas and the specific actions suggested throughout.

Very often, we (particularly we in America or we in a "Western" culture) think of change in grand terms. We make New Year's resolutions that are hugely ambitious in scope--how we will go to the gym every day, while also strictly adhering to a perfect diet, and treating
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start each day with the question "What small step can I take today to make an improvement in the quality of my life?" It can be as trivial as walking up and down a few steps, flossing a tooth, reading one page of a book, spending five minutes to clean an area of the house, saving a dollar, or going to bed five minutes earlier. It is better to spend two minutes every day on improving something than trying to motivate yourself to spend 30 minutes a week for a bigger goal. These small, trivial step ...more
This book made me cry. Dr Robert Maurer is a physiologist and consultant. He weaves intimate stories of personal transformation, with case studies in organisational transformation. In doing so he links individuals' personal perspectives and feelings with the choices and actions we may take to benefit ourselves, our families and our organisations.
The 'Kaizen' and 'continuous improvement' information is provided in a gentle that supports the narratives of people overcoming their own difficulties
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 reall ...more
Derek Emerson
Mar 28, 2009 rated it liked it
A good, quick ready. Skimming would be fine. The idea is to focus on small goals in life instead of the large one which you give up on. I've heard the same idea in different ways, but this is a clear attempt at formulating a way of life based on the idea. At times the ideas seem like a stretch -- he addresses the idea of radical change just a bit and that really needs to be addressed. Chap. 2 was especially good.
Jin Kok
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An awesome book, it just shows that one small step per day can really shape some one's life, the author mentioned that humans brain are designed such a way to resist change, that's why even though we know going for exercise and continuously studying or even typing when your hands are tired can be good, but the body and mind would just resist it, but by doing small things that matters and gradually can lead to a big change for everyone.
Scott Miles
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
It seems simple. Take things one step at a time. Some of the ways this philosophy can be implemented are counter-intuitive, however. This book does a pretty good job of showing how the Kaizen way of small, incremental steps toward improvement applies to much more in life than one might imagine. Just get started. Do something, anything, and this will help establish a habit of activity and progress toward a goal.
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, nonfiction
I'm always reluctant to rate this type of book before giving the process a complete try, but this just sounds like it can't not work. And apparently I've been using a bit of a modified Kaizen method while reorganizing and it's been helpful.

Based off a Japanese method which they originally learned from us it entails starting a desired change by making the tiniest most insignificant steps possible.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good, for a self-help book. Nothing shocking (small changes are easier to implement than large ones!) but it's all laid out in a reasonable manner and I did find it a worth-while read. I like how the author really encourages you to keep your brain working at all times, even if it's only in tiny increments. (The "Ask Small Questions" chapter was one of my favorites.)
Narinder  Bhatia
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting, simple and practical book on how kaizen principles could be applied to solve problems not only in our professional(business) life but in personal life too. The simple approach of the book is commendable and the tips/ techniques mentioned in the book are indeed simple enough to be put to practice.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was fantastic for those looking to achieve goals of all sizes. I will definitely come back to this book in the future to read again.
Ryan Rodriquez
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do you when a sleeping dragon is lying in your path? Do you run straight at it, screaming and hollering? Or do you quietly tiptoe around it and avoid it's wrath altogether? In Robert Maurer's book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, he talks about methods we can impart in order to avoid awakening the sleeping dragon within us (fear and the fight/flight response) and take small steps that amount to large actions within our lives.

One interesting and seemingly ridiculously sm
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book and the philosophy it teaches. Goals seem so daunting to the point you just feel completely turned off from even trying. Maurer identifies this response as fear. When you put yourself up to a big task (doesn't even have to be "big" per say, just something you haven't been looking forward to), you might feel it seems impossible, or your scared of failing. So his suggestion is to start with something ridiculously easy. Even if it's only 1 minute a day. But by training yourself to ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A quick read and great concepts! It's a nice complement to books like The Slight Edge and Atomic Habits (some reiteration of the themes). On the downside, it's not the best writing and the supporting evidence is mostly anecdotal or uncited.

One Small Step promotes the philosophy of taking truly miniscule but continuous steps towards a goal. Trying to make a major change all at once can trigger our fight-or-flight response, and therefore feel overwhelming or scary, or simply be hard to keep up whe
Joseph Brigante
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool, and very interesting. I want to try to work this into my life to try to get that 1% better every day.

I made sure to mention the audiobook edition: It is apparently recordings of live seminars the author has done. I don't know what's in the book, but seriously, like 1/3rd of the way in it leaves Kaizen completely behind and moves into other self-help topics, and just meanders around there for a long time thereafter.

That said, the message is still great. It just feels like this could ha
Bhagyashree Srinivasan
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the good books to be read. The author (Robert) introduces to the concept of ''Kaizen'' which means that taking small, steady steps in life can help us to achieve long term goals. Starting the day with a question 'What small step can I take to improve the quality of my life?' will help us to boost the thinking power of brain & to progress towards the goal. Such small steps diminishes the fear in mind & allows us to think in a slow incremental way to make on to the road to success as it's s ...more
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