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Slowly Turn the Key to Your Mind and Avoid Stress

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Identify Small Moments

An American Airlines flight attendant noticed that the passengers she served did not like olives in their salads. She thought it could be useful and passed it on as a tip to save some money. Later on she was rewarded and recognized for saving $500,000 a year - the airline just stopped putting them in their meals. On every flight, everywhere in the world.

This is a quick example of how little things can be pivotal. The concept of Kaizen (small steps applied over time) changed manufacturing first as early as 1940 when Edward Deming applied it to factories in WWII. Over the years it has been studied and modified, but recently it has been applied in many ways to people. You can find out a lot about it on You Tube if you want to pursue it for your own benefit in daily life.

It requires little effort on you part, but it also requires regularity in daily practice. it is simple, easy to do and here is why you can adopt it without undue stress.

Two Types of Change

Sudden change - for most people, change means that you have an epiphany and completely stop doing one thing vs another. Quitting smoking, or over imbibing, or any addiction are examples. Or sudden change could be innovation - the wheel was obviously better than than the alternative methods. Sudden change is often remarkable, partially because it is so sudden a departure from the past.

Slow change. For gentle creatures like most of us, we need the other kind of change - slow and incremental, or there is too much sudden stress, too much recidivism, guilt, and annoyance at ourselves and others. The relapse and follow-through-failure pattern destroys confidence and self image. Instead, be kind and curious, and enjoy the ride to the new you. Call it Kaizen if you wish, or just My Joy Ride. Giving it a name can make it friendly!

Doing and Enjoying Your Joy Ride

Here are six approaches to your ride, in no particular order:

  • Ask small questions (of your self and others) to dispel fear and get creativity started

  • Think small thoughts about developing new skills and habits - without moving a muscle

  • Take small actions you know you can make

  • Solve small problems first, even when there are really big ones around

  • Bestow small rewards to yourself and others where ever possible to produce the best results

  • Recognize the small but crucial momentum changes that everyone else ignores.

Pick someplace small to start and keep going by noting the little successes in a little notebook in just a very few minutes at the end of the day.

Thanks for reading this and I know I would enjoy a very small comment in a very short voice mail or text. Cheers! I will read it while having a very small glass of California Cab.

PS. the six approaches are condensed from a very special book called One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. Spend a small amount of money and purchase it.

Happy Days Ahead

Joe Grant, MBA

Certified Retirement Coach

Contact me for a Free 45 minute Consultation at

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