7 Japanese Habits to Change Your Life - Deepstash
7 Japanese Habits to Change Your Life

7 Japanese Habits to Change Your Life

Curated from: Jim Kwik

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Who doesn't know the struggle with what Jim Kwik calls the "twin villains" of procrastination and laziness? While procrastination is a learned behavior which can be unlearned over time using the right techniques, it may help to learn about concepts that proved helpful over long years. 

According to Jim Kwik, the following philosophies and techniques can help overcoming regret and self-blame, poor performance, stagnation, your personal growth and decreased productivity. 

Each concept carries a unique philosophy, a cultural way of life and wisdom that stood the test of time.


174 reads

1. Kaizen

1. Kaizen

Kaizen is a Japanese term that translates to "continuous improvement" or "change for the better." It is a philosophy focused on continually making small, incremental improvements in processes, products, and practices. 

Kaizen, at its core, encourages us to focus on small improvements by taking tiny, yet consistent steps every day. 

Remember, by improving every day by 1 % over the course of a year, you become 37 % better! 

By setting small, achievable goals and embracing small gains, you pave the way for lasting success and increased productivity.


163 reads

2. Shinrin Yoku

2. Shinrin Yoku

Shinrin Yoku is a Japanese term that translates to "forest bathing." It involves immersing oneself in nature, particularly forests, and mindfully connecting with the natural environment. The practice is based on the belief that spending time in nature has calming and therapeutic effects on the mind and body.

Benefits of Shinrin Yoku include

  • reduced stress levels
  • improved mood, increased focus and creativity
  • strengthened immune system
  • overall feeling of well-being

By engaging in Shinrin Yoku regularly, individuals can experience a sense of peace, rejuvenation, and harmony with nature.


142 reads

3. Ikigai

3. Ikigai

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to "a reason for being" or "a reason to wake up in the morning." It refers to finding the intersection of passion, mission, profession, and vocation. By identifying your Ikigai, you can discover a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and happiness in life.

Benefits of living according to your Ikigai include

  • increased motivation
  • a sense of direction and clarit
  • improved overall well-being
  • a deeper connection to oneself and others.

Finding and living your Ikigai can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling existence.


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4. Wabi Sabi

4. Wabi Sabi

The fourth technique is Wabi Sabi, which encourages finding beauty in imperfections and flawed aspects of life.

Wabi Sabi celebrates imperfections and encourages us to embrace them. It symbolizes the magnificence found in life's imperfections, like a cracked ceramic filled with gold. Wabi Sabi teaches us to start without waiting for the perfect timing and to let our imperfections make us stand out.


132 reads

5. Shoshin

5. Shoshin

Shoshin is a Japanese term that translates to "beginner's mind" and is rooted in Zen Buddhism. It refers to approaching situations with an open mind, eagerness to learn, and lack of preconceptions.

Advantages of practicing Shoshin include

  • increased creativity, adaptability, and receptivity to new ideas and perspectives.
  • avoid limiting beliefs
  • remain open to growth and continuous learning
  • experience the world with a sense of wonder and freshness.

Cultivating a Shoshin mindset can lead to personal and professional growth, innovation, and a deeper understanding of oneself and others.


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6. Hara Hachi Bu

6. Hara Hachi Bu

Hara Hachi Bu translates to "eat until you are 80 % full". The principle behind Hara Hachi Bu is to stop eating before feeling completely full, which allows the body to better digest food and avoid overeating.

Benefits of practicing Hara Hachi Bu are

  • improved digestion
  • weight management
  • better nutrient absorption
  • reduced risk of various chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity

By eating mindfully and stopping before reaching fullness, individuals are more likely to consume a balanced and appropriate amount of food, leading to better overall health outcomes.


97 reads

7. Ganbaru

7. Ganbaru

Ganbaru is a Japanese term that roughly translates to "do your best" or "try hard". It is a cultural concept that emphasizes perseverance, determination, and giving one's all in any endeavor. Ganbaru encourages individuals to confront challenges, work diligently, and push through obstacles with a positive attitude and unwavering effort.

Some benefits are: 

  • increased resilience 
  • personal growth
  • self-discipline 
  • sense of accomplishment

By adopting the Ganbaru mindset, individuals are more likely to overcome setbacks and achieve their goals. It also fosters a strong work ethic and a sense of purpose.


103 reads



Renaissance learner, interested in subjects like psychology, arts & design, productivity, creativity, health, fitness, finances and meditation.


In this video, Jim Kwik (author of "Limitless") discusses seven Japanese techniques and philosophies to overcome laziness and improve productivity. It offers a great starting point for further research on each of these concepts.

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