Monday, August 25, 2003

The Interlude

Ah... it's been a while. I can say I've been buried beneath tons of work. I always say I'm buried beneath mountains of things that need doing. But, nah. There's always time for things. And there has always been time to log in and jot down some thoughts.

But, characteristic of me, I just find it easier putting off things I need to do. It must be a component of my death wish (pipe organ music, please). That's right, Joanna and Ivanna, there is such a thing as a death wish (pipe organ music), and I believe every person has got it. But that's material for another entry, or perhaps the script for an action movie.

The fascinating thing I discovered about putting off making entries into this blog was that each day I spent procrastinating made it harder to get back to doing that thing that I put off. It's like I'm floating in the sea, and I know I have to paddle to get to the shore, and the tide is slowly pulling me away into the ocean, and I'm staring at the shore getting farther and farther away, and I say to myself, "Ah... I'll do that tomorrow."

"Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." ~ Mark Twain

The universe has a tidy little reality about this that applies to all matter, living or otherwise. It's called inertia. Simply put, it takes a lot of energy for something to get started, but once that thing gets going, it may take a lot to stop it.

Wisdom From The Orient

The Japanese have a tidy little concept themselves that they've put into practice, and with remarkable results. During the 60s and 70s, Japanese managers exhorted their personnel to practice kaizen. These managers encouraged their staff to make little improvements on little things they did in their work. Over time, these little bits of improvement added up into major innovations that helped Japanese become globally competitive, and turned Japan into the economic superpower that it is.

Just like the safety pin, kaizen's power is in its simplicity. Nature, too, has its version of kaizen, and it's called evolution through natural selection. It also works on the principle of gradual improvement, adding up to a dramatic adaptation to the surrounding environment. Using this principle, the Japanese evolved incredibly competitive business organizations. And nature produced such remarkable adaptations as cockroaches and spiders and viruses.

Object Lessons

So there you go. A couple of lessons I ought to learn. Do it now, and go for the gradual improvements. The dramatic changes will come in time. Take this blog, for instance. I should write little nuggets of my personal realities daily, rather than go for the great Asian intellectual explosion I delude myself with. I must remember that next time.

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