Kaizen / by Joseph Nguyen

"Conditions are prime. Gear's packed. Looks like we're a go for tonight. Confirm status."

"We're down."

After waiting out a few days of rain and overcast we're finally on.

It's 10:30pm by the time our crew of four arrive at the trailhead. The night's agenda consists of a 6 mile hike out and back to our shooting location, a peak along the Santa Susanna Mountain ridge line overlooking the San Fernando Valley. Quick stretch, high fives, headlamps ON, and we're off into the darkness.

The sensation of night hikes get my blood pumping faster than ever. With all senses heightened we push our way up through 1200ft of elevation gain. As we reach the top, our patience is rewarded with clear skies, shiny stars, cool breezes floating by, and bright lights in the distance.

Kaizen, Japanese for "continuous improvement", is the practice of working smarter, not harder by making incremental changes towards efficiency and productivity while learning how to spot and eliminate waste. Dedicate a period of tranquil reflection to your daily regimen and connect with your inner wisdom for definition and direction about your life journey.

Take a moment each day to elevate your mind.

Retreat to your fortress of solitude.

Close your eyes.

Absorb the ambiance.

Notice your breath.

The past is done, the future has yet to come.

Be impeccably present within this moment.

Observe your mind.

Note points of balance, acknowledge areas imbalanced.

Accept the past, prepare for the future.

Push to be better than yesterday.

Repeat daily.

Namaste.