June Ho‘ohana: ‘ōpala ‘ole

Over the years I’ve picked up pretty good ‘personal productivity’ practices, for I’ve been swept away in time management fanaticism now and then, where ‘organized’ could have been my middle name.

However the monthly Ho‘ohana we have for Talking Story is one thing I don’t plan too far ahead. Instead, I try to pick themes that are current with what most of us seem to be talking about, and it usually happens that the next month’s theme just falls in my lap about the middle of the month prior. Of course I also look for connections to Managing with Aloha (which isn’t too hard for me!)

So it was for June, with our Ho‘ohana for this month falling in on my consciousness while I was on a business trip doing a lot of what I most love to do — talk story with you. Remember this?

May 14th

What I’m hearing from everyone I meet with is this:

The more global we get in thinking about our world, and the more we agree that we want to be continually learning and seeking some greater good for ourselves, the more overwhelmed and frustrated we are.

It’s all just too much.

From there, this would be a glimpse into my late May mind map:
First Things First ” Stephen Covey ” principles and values ” habits ” proactivity versus reactivity ” self-renewal ” It’s never too late to Begin with the End in Mind ” David Allen ” one item at a time … is it actionable? ” the in-basket is not a storage bin … get clean, clear, current, and complete.

This is the good stuff that collides in one’s brain when learning begins to get sticky.

But before I can deal with it more comprehensively, ‘ōpala ‘ole, I need to take out the trash. I want good sticky, not messy sticky.

Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Set any goals or objectives for 2005 at all?

It’s June 1st today, so five months in (151 days to be exact), how are you doing with them?

I bet you were pretty charged up, ambitious, and excited about them when you set them. How are you feeling now?

A month from now we’ll be on the downslope of this year, embarking on the second half. Will you be ahead of the game, catching up, or — gulp! — just starting?

If you don’t care for your answers you are not alone: I’m guessing about 95% of us won’t.

Take heart. Our June Ho‘ohana is for you — and me.

We’re going to set an intermediary goal that by July 1st we are going to feel good about that turn of the calendar page because we’ve taken a first, very important step: we’ve de-cluttered our lives. We’re embracing sticky.

‘ōpala is the word for rubbish in Hawaii. (One reason the Chevy Opala was never that popular in the islands – why would someone name a car after trash?)

‘ole is the word for without, or in the absence of.

Put them together, and our Ho‘ohana ‘ōpala ‘ole in June is to streamline and be clutter-free. We will toss out the trash and clean up the mess that may be weighing us down.

As David Allen might say, we are going to collect all the random stuff, and eliminate the trash, so we can start to get things done.

As Stephen Covey might say, we need to put first things first, for it’s the habit of personal management. It’s never too late to begin with the end in mind.

This is how I’ve been saying it;

“The reality of a strengths and values-based management practice like Managing with Aloha is that it requires you to focus on “higher-level thinking.” Doing that can be very frustrating when there is still too much lower-level “stuff” clogging up those thought channels you want to otherwise direct.”

Last week I saw that someone else in our Ho‘ohana Community may have been thinking somewhat along these same lines, and I don’t believe he’s alone.

“Many people make New Years resolutions, and vow to change their ways ‘round the beginning of each year.   Not me — it seems that I become introspective about this time every year.   I’m not sure why that is — maybe the long days remind me there is so much more I could be doing; maybe it’s some hold-over from when I was a kid and summer always seemed like a new start.”

“Whatever the reason, I’ve been reflecting on the aspects of my life that I want to change ” as summer comes, I encourage you consider who you are, who you want to become, what you’ve been doing for yourself and others, and what actions you can take to improve.”

Dwayne Melancon of Genuine Curiosity writes on The coming of summer.”

So I’m proposing we start by cleaning up the clutter Hawaiian style, ‘ōpala ‘ole.

As Dwayne tells us, summer is coming and we need to get ready.

Slide that trash can over here, Ho‘ohana with us, and Let’s Talk Story.

Lahaina_1 Mahalo nui to Robin for the new picture this month of Lahaina harbor on the island of Maui. You can click on the thumbnail I’ve added here for a larger view so you can see the great detail of her shot.

If you are new to Talking Story, Ho‘ohana „¢ is the monthly newsletter of Say Leadership Coaching, sent on the first of each month to our email subscribers. Talking Story is home to the Ho‘ohana „¢ online essay of each issue, and we explore more on the newsletter’s theme periodically through-out the rest of the month. The best way to sort out the Ho‘ohana „¢ posts from the others, is to click on the Talking Story category link named Monthly Ho‘ohana: they’ll appear from newest to oldest.


  1. says

    I’m here now! Please let me take a deep breath and make myself at home; I’ve got a loaded month with exams, but could not resist reading this newsletter instantly. Now I need to get back to correcting exam papers for the coming oral bachelor exams, but I feel good after taking a virtual break and thinking things over…
    Rosa, I’ve posted a thank you letter for that warm welcome mail that I’ve had as soon as I joined the Ho’ohana community. Greetings to everyone here, and don’t forget to enjoy life with your dear ones; they deserve your attention now and then even if you feel too busy to care.