Ronaldo endorses Kaizen philosophy - so what is it and how has it helped the Juventus star?

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It's been a tough few weeks for Cristiano Ronaldo with the Portuguese attacker forced into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19. 

While asymptomatic and now in the clear, the positive tests saw Ronaldo denied the chance to face off against Lionel Messi in the Champions League, with the Argentine star ultimately scoring in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Juventus. 

Prior to his enforced lockdown, Ronaldo had been in fine form for club and country, scoring three goals in his first two Serie A appearances of the new season. 

Though a situation that would test even the most patient of individuals, the 35-year-old found a way to stay mentally strong and recently hinted that Kaizen philosophy played its part in keeping him positive on social media

What is Kaizen philosophy?

Kaizen is the Sino-Japanese word for "improvement" and is widely referenced as a business approach of continuous improvement that involves all aspects of a company. 

Though beginning as a way to improve manufacturing processes in Japan after World War II, Kaizen has since been adopted as a wider philosophical approach to life in general. 

Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute, stating: "Kaizen means improvement. Moreover, it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone – managers and workers alike."

Japanese company Toyota have been big advocates for a Kaizen approach to business, while Ronaldo has seemingly benefitted from the philosophy on a personal level. 

How does Kaizen philosophy help Ronaldo?

Kaizen philosophy is essentially about shifting one's focus to long-term improvement rather than getting caught up in momentary success or setbacks.

In Ronaldo's case, he's likely leaned on the philosophy recently to remind himself that though he's missed a few big games, he can still have a telling impact on the rest of Juventus' season. Andrea Pirlo's side have struggled in his absence, winning just one of their past four games in all competitions. 

Over the length of his career, Kaizen philosophy has also likely played a part in cementing Ronaldo's strong work ethic as it calls for consistent hard work to ensure future gains. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has routinely been applauded for his unrivaled commitment to training.  

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Ronaldo is no stranger to the occasional philosophical message on social message either and after seeing Messi claim the Ballon d'Or in 2019, posted a message on Instagram that echoed key principles of Kaizen.  

"Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur," he wrote.

"Everything that is big today has started small. You can't do everything, but do everything you can to make your dreams come true. And keep in mind that after night always comes dawn."