Mastering Motivation: 5 Proven Japanese Techniques To Overcome Laziness
Discover how ancient and modern methods from Japan can transform your struggle against procrastination into a productive adventure. From Ikigai to Shoshin, these five Japanese techniques offer you unique tools to cultivate discipline, find your passion, and maximize your efficiency.
Ikigai: Finding One's Reason for Being
Ikigai, a Japanese concept, translates to "reason for being". This technique encourages individuals to find a balance between passion, profession, vocation, and mission.
To discover your Ikigai, start by making four lists: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Then, look for the intersection of these elements.
For example, if you love writing, you are skilled in storytelling, the world needs educational content, and you can be paid to write articles, your Ikigai could be being an educational writer.
2. Kaizen: The Art of Continuous Improvement
Kaizen, meaning "continuous improvement," is a Japanese philosophy adopted in the business world and beyond. It involves making small regular changes to achieve significant results. To apply Kaizen, break down a big goal into small steps. For example, if you want to run a marathon but often get paralyzed by laziness, start by setting the goal of running just 5 minutes a day. Once that is mastered, gradually increase the duration.
3. Pomodoro Technique: Time Management by Intervals
Although the Pomodoro Technique is not originally from Japan, it fits perfectly into the country's methodical work ethic. This method involves working with concentration for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. Use a timer to apply the Pomodoro Technique. Choose a task, set the timer for 25 minutes, and work without interruption. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. This can be ideal for tasks like studying for an exam or making progress on a work project.
Hara Hachi Bu: Balance through Moderation.
"Hara Hachi Bu", a common practice in Okinawa, means eating until you are 80% full. Apply the principle of Hara Hachi Bu by setting reasonable limits for yourself. For example, instead of exhausting yourself by working very late, decide to stop when you have achieved 80% of your daily goals. This helps you maintain balance and avoid burnout.
5. Shoshin: The Beginner's Mind
Shoshin, or "the beginner's mind," involves approaching tasks with openness, enthusiasm, and without prejudice, as a beginner would. To cultivate Shoshin, approach a familiar task as if you were doing it for the first time.
For example, if you regularly go jogging, try noticing new details on your route or experimenting with a new playlist. This can reignite your interest and motivate you to continue.
By incorporating these Japanese techniques into your daily life, you can not only overcome laziness but also enrich your existence with newfound depth and meaning.
Each method offers a unique approach to stimulate motivation and efficiency, allowing you to fully embrace challenges with a revitalized mindset and strengthened discipline.