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One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way – Robert Maurer

16th May 2020


One Small Step Can Change Your Life is a book about kaizen. My purpose of reading this book is to learn the way to use kaizen to realize personal dreams, as stated in the preface of this book.


Robert Maurer is a Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Family Practice Residency Program at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and a faculty member with the UCLA School of Medicine. He also runs a consulting firm known as The Science of Excellence. He has contributed his knowledge of personal happiness and success to corporations, hospital patients and staff, theatrical companies, and the British government.


One Small Step Can Change Your Life has a preface and 8 chapters.

The chapters are 1) Why Kaizen Works, 2) Ask Small Questions, 3) Think Small Thoughts, 4) Take Small Actions, 5) Solve Small Problems, 6) Bestow Small Rewards, 7) Identify Small Moments, and 8) Kaizen for Life.


First of all, let’s see the author’s definition of kaizen. Kaizen is small steps for continual improvement. Contrast this to innovation which is a drastic process of change. These are the two major strategies humans use to create change. Nonetheless, innovation frequently leads to failure in sustaining change according to the author. Kaizen works because the low-key change helps the human mind circumnavigate the fear which blocks success and creativity.

The author talks about the anatomy and physiology of the human brain. He employs this knowledge to explain how the kaizen strategies below can help to achieve our personal targets.

The strategies are as follows:

1. Ask small questions. Questions are better in shaping ideas and solutions than commands.

2. Think small thoughts to develop new skills and habits.

3. Take small actions that guarantee success.

4. Solve small problems, even in a crisis.

5. Give small rewards to produce best results.

6. Recognize the small but crucial moments that are ignored by everyone else.

Although we are taking small steps, the author acknowledges that sometimes we will hit wall of resistance. The solution is to scale back the size of our step and do not give up.

There are kaizen tips and techniques throughout this book. An interesting thing that I notice in this book is that the summary of a chapter is at the start of the chapter and it is a succinct summary. From this book, I learn that it is better to take small steps and improve continuously instead of making a big change if we want to achieve our goals.


  1. But one of the most solid predictors of success in life is whether a person turns to another human for support in times of trouble or fear.
  2. People who are most successful at improving their health habits are those who can transform exercise or eating well into a source of excitement and pride.
  3. Kaizen offers the possibility that through small acts of kindness, and even small moments of compassion and curiosity, we can change ourselves – and, eventually, humanity.


3 out of 3 stars

Interested in One Small Step Can Change Your Life?

You may get the book from Kinokuniya Malaysia through the link below*.

Get the book here

*Disclosure: The above link is Involve Asia affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through this link.


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