Reflecting on 30 Years: Continuous Improvement

Yesterday, I wrote the first post in a serious of five leading up to my birthday that reflects on my 30 years on this planet. It’s been a wild ride with plenty of ups and downs, but I feel like the ups have greatly outweighed the downs especially in recent years. Maybe that’s called maturing and is just part of the process of growing up, but I really believe that it just took me 30ish years to figure out what makes me happy.

I had to identify and build the framework and infrastructure for my own personal happiness that keeps me motivated and inspired, and I’ve broken it down into the 4 categories in yesterday’s post — the 4 areas that are at the center of everything I am.

The first (and perhaps most important) is Continuous Improvement.

Continuous Improvement is defined as an on-going effort to seek incremental improvements over time based on many, small changes. It became famous through the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen — change for the better.

I became completely fascinated with this idea a few years ago. Continuous improvement truly stuck with me when I started to think about it in terms of making myself a little bit better every single day. Tomorrow, I will be a slightly better version of me. If I could pull that off, just think of how much better I would be in 1 year, 5 years, 50 years. If I am able to make just some tiny improvement today in any area of my life, these seemingly minor, insignificant changes will begin to compound and really add up over time. It’s the penny doubling for 30 days to become $5,368,709.12! Simply amazing.

Every day. Just some small little improvement. It doesn’t seem that difficult. It seems much easier than making radical lifestyle changes. A small improvement a day while most of the world remains the same or even goes backwards. I like it.

As a child of the Nintendo era who grew up with Super Mario, I couldn’t think of a better image to support continuous improvement.

Super Mario and me — making continuous improvements everyday in an effort to save the world and rescue the princess.