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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Kaizen and the Art of Improvement

The Japanese method of Kaizen, literally translating as 'good change', is a proven method for helping people to change their behavior. Rather than requiring you to do anything drastic, the emphasis is on changing habits in very incremental steps.

"Kaizen (improvement), shukanka – these are all things that are taken for granted. But they have the power to transform your life, and simplify aspects of it in the process. It's not about getting things perfect, or setting unrealistic standards for yourself.
"There is a saying, 'Naseba naru', which roughly translates as, 'If you take action, it will happen'. It's about the bigger picture. You tend to regret the things you don't do over the things you've done. And isn't that what living a happy and fulfilled life is all about? At the same time, things don't happen overnight. They take time, cultivation and dedication, as well as sweat and, possibly, some tears in the process."

With all of this in mind, the practice of Kaizen to develop a new habit or hobby, is to begin by spending only four or five minutes engaged with the new tasks when you first begin. That is, five minutes a day. After settling on a time and a place to engage in your work, each day you make sure to start on time. Every day, come in, sit down and begin, doing as much as possible for the time limit and then moving on to other needs and errands. 


Learn more about Kaizen on Wikipedia