Revealed: The Success Formula That’s Made In Japan…

26th March, 2019Success


When you buy electronic goods or a car and you see it’s made in Japan, what does that make you think about the quality of your purchase?

What if I told you that, less than 50 years ago, the general response was quite different when people saw that ‘Made In Japan’ sticker? It signified cheaply made goods, the same way people react to the ‘Made In Taiwan’ label today…

So how did this turnaround happen?

No doubt, an insistence on restoring national pride after the decimation of World War 2 played a considerable part. Honour and pride in your work are two characteristics that form the backbone of the Japanese identity. Yet there’s another concept that transformed Japan’s standing on the world stage, and turned a World War 2 enemy into a firm ally of our modern, Western civilisation.

It’s a single word, known as kaizen.

This word features constantly in their language and can apply to any number of pursuits- kaizen in their relationships, kaizen in their martial arts training, kaizen in their business ventures or their production line. Essentially, it’s the principle of getting a little better in some way, every day. The idea is that if you don’t see a man for three days, when you see him on the 4th day you should be able to notice a subtle change in him.

Tony Robbins loved the idea of this concept so much he coined his own term for it: CANI (short for Constant And Notable Improvement). Business, like life itself, should grow following this concept.

It’s like being on a golf-course: If you aim to get a hole in 1 and settle for nothing less, how many times do you think you’ll have to swing at that tee with your wood until you pull it off? How much time will you waste trying to achieve it? Good luck getting that hole in 1 before dark!

The real goal is to move forward, 1 putt at a time. Make just one little improvement each day. It may not feel like real progress of any sort after just one day- or even a week. But after a year? You’ll definitely notice an improvement…


All through Highschool, I was a skinny streak of a guy. I remember in Year 11, some (then) friends of mine found the time to draw a picture of a guy with a body like one of those malnourished African kids- ribs sticking out- but they depicted my head on it. This at a time when I thought girls were only interested in guys with the buff surfie/ footy player physique. So needless to say, my self-esteem around that time was already pretty low. I was 6″1 with no chest and while it wasn’t hard to build definition if I exercised, in terms of actual mass I remained stagnant. Throughout my 20’s I’d weigh in around the early 70’s on the scales, and during a hectic 2016 I weighed in around 67kg at times.

I began to figure maybe this was just something I’d have to live with…

But last winter, I returned to the gym after a 5 year absence. I’d regularly go for walks, ride my bike, do floor routines at home- but I wanted to push myself further, see what was capable and if long-held fitness and weight goals could be realised with a change to my training and my supplements. So I joined the local gym, found the protein supplement that suited my needs- and off I went.


The first week training, I was sore in a whole bunch of places. My ribs tingled, my arms ached constantly. I expected as much. Looking in the mirror, no notable difference. On through the rest of the winter, right on throughout spring and into the summertime I went, training 3 times a week, usually at night when it was cooler and less crowded. The aching vanished after that first week and slowly I could lift heavier loads, ad more weight to the equipment I used. The scales told half the story- soon my lightest weigh-ins were still heavier than I’d ever been until a couple of months earlier. People would comment on how I looked different. Pants felt tighter around my waist, and when peeling off t-shirts I had to be careful not to rip them!

But it didn’t really hit home until one night in December when I snapped a selfie while I was training, to show my progress to an old friend from interstate. I snapped the photo-  looked at it- and stopped a moment.

Have you ever seen a photo of you and not recognised yourself? Like obviously you know its’ you- but looking at that photo, it feels as if you’re looking at another person. Because that’s how I felt in that moment. It was a surreal feeling- to see this guy with a shaved head, well-kept facial hair and solidly defined arms who looked like other blokes I’d seen over the years-  guys I once would’ve thought of as “one of those gym junkie douchebags”- and to realise the guy in that photo was me

All those individual sessions, those supplements I’d take before training- and here was the result after just a few months. What could the results be after a year?

To get the big results, maybe ones you’ve dreamed of for years but never quite managed, the real goal is to move forward, one putt at a time. Just one small improvement each day. It may not feel like much improvment, but give it a year and you may have a life you barely recognise when you look in the mirror- so choose wisely!

Whether it’s in your finances…

Or your career…

Or in your relationships…

If you can improve in some small way each day, then that’s success.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step, and the game of life gets better with just one putt forward per day!





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