Counting blessings in mahalo: November Recap

Little wonder that November is a favorite month for so many:

We have counted the 30 days of this magnificent month with appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude.

We shared a glorious Thanksgiving Day, and we wrote of our joy; Some may have started a journal.

We have reflected on our blessings and realized how incredibly wealthy we are when it comes to our gifts and those things we value most in our lives.

We even gave ourselves a break or two, and fit in some revelationary time.


A November to December image found on Flickr.

These were the Top 5 Posts for November, as tracked by your visits to them:

11/01 Mahalo; We give thanks. Our November Ho‘ohana.

11/08 Mistakes are Cool.

11/09 Let’s Talk Story about GOOD Mistakes. Mistakes are Cool Part 2

11/06 Be Proactive: Values by Choice as Your Habit.

11/04 How to write Proactive, Considerate Emails – Please!

Mahalo nui loa for a November to cherish.
Please click back in tomorrow for our December Ho‘ohana.

Mahalo and Giving

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone the Christmas bombardment has begun in full force. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too.

Holiday trimmings seemed to have sprung up overnight, and most radio stations have dusted off the jewel cases of their holiday CDs so we can all begin to sing along with the Christmas classics. Current talk on most television news channels has been about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and whether or not retailers have destroyed their previous sales records with the upturn in the economy.

My oh my. Thanksgiving passes much too quickly.

Before the calendar turns to a new month, I ask you to help me keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive and well all year long. Keep thoughts of Mahalo close to you, and learn to live in thankfulness for all the gifts you have been given. Use your gifts to give to others in this holiday season and every day to come.

The gifts I am referring to don’t come off a store shelf. They aren’t bundled in tissue paper, candy-cane colored wrapping and velvet bows. You needn’t shop around for them, because you already have them in good supply. They are …

– your Values

– your Strengths

– your Talents, Skills, and Knowledge

– your Mana‘o (your deeply held beliefs and convictions),

– your Source and your Truth (nānā i ke kumu)

– your Genius (mahalo nui Dick for helping us understand this)

– your Purpose (your ho‘ohana)

– your Love for others and the desire you have to share yourself with them (your aloha)
– your Capacity (physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual)

– your Intention. For good, for better, and for the best possible.

Mmmmm. I feel rich; don’t you?

When you wish to give a meaningful gift to others, these are the things unique to you which make up a much more valuable kind of currency. This is the currency of your personal wealth and wellbeing, your abundance.

You have an incredible amount to give.

Mahalo. Thank you, as a way of living.

Live in thankfulness for the richness within you which makes life so precious.

Celebrate your own gifts by giving of them to others.
Managing with Aloha

Related posts:

Mahalo; We give thanks. Our November Ho‘ohana.

A Mahalo 3by3: Appreciation, Gratitude, Thankfulness.
What it means to “Look to Your Source.”
Strengths, Values, and that Pyramid.

What it means to “Look to Your Source”

“Look to your source, find your truth” is the short and quick English translation I most often use for a Hawaiian value called Nānā i ke kumu.

I have used the phrase “look to your source” as part of my own speech for so long now, I often neglect to explain it to others. The first time this oversight was called to my attention was by my editor for Managing with Aloha when he had asked, “Rosa, give us more. Exactly what is it you mean by that phrase, look to your source?” Up until the time of his question, this following excerpt from my book was missing; it’s now found on page 206:

When I hear the words Nānā i ke kumu, look to your source, it means I need to consider my emotional sense of place as well as my intellectual sense of reason.

When a child is troubled but hesitates to tell her parents just what the problem is, the elders will often say “Nānā i ke kumu.” They are saying to find a place where you can sit quietly, and look within yourself for the source of what troubles you, for there you will also find strength within your inner spirit with which to deal with the trouble.

There’s more. The chapter on Nānā i ke kumu is about 10 pages long, and I talk about sense of place, truth and authenticity, change and growth, vision and one’s personal philosophy of leadership. I ask you some questions about those things you consider your non-negotiables. And of course, we talk about values with Nānā i ke kumu, for today, managing with the values of Aloha is clearly my source and truth.

In the effort to truly understand ourselves, or to come to peace with the decisions we have made, we will often look to our personal values as our source, for it is our values which influence our choices and determine our behavior.

The question for each of us is this:

Which key values create our source, giving us the conviction of deeply rooted belief we will identify as our personal truth?

My additions to the chapter on Nānā i ke kumu worked out very well, for without doubt it has been the single chapter in my book that has surprised me most. I did not expect that so many readers would tell me it was one of their favorite ones, the one they found most useful to them personally. The most recent one it struck a chord with was Phil Gerbyshak; it came up in a review he recently did on Managing with Aloha:

“This [Nānā i ke kumu] is the chapter I just finished, and the one that will stick in my head the longest.”
– Phil Gerbyshak

However I do know that for others, the values connection doesn’t give them a complete enough answer because they are actively seeking to change their personal hierarchy of values as their lives change focus. During these times, it will come up in my coaching that people want some simpler answers to discovering their source of well being as they take their values assessment journey.

The analogy I use in the chapter on Nānā i ke kumu is the one I call the inner wellspring, and I find this helps many people, for we all have one. Imagine you have a fresh, pure artesian well ever bubbling within you; it nourishes you and refreshes you, and you take comfort knowing it will never, ever run dry. It keeps you feeling good. Feeling centered. It is your source. When you Mālama and take care of it, it takes care of you.

What does it look like? It’s different for all of us. I think we feel its effects more than we see it for what it is. The love of our family. The good health we take for granted. The faith we hold but rarely talk about. The friendships that allow us to be silly. We just have to learn to recognize our wellspring by allowing ourselves to feel good when it kicks into gear.

Sometimes, we get way too cerebral about things. We have to learn to give in to those times when what we think simply feels right. I’d bet that those are the times you have somehow physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally “gone to the well” and taken a drink of your internal bubbling spring.

For me, having connected to some sense of place wherever I am is a huge part of my own wellspring. [I’ve written about this before; if you’re curious, take this link: Places, Feelings and Learning. Learning Serenity.]

Learning is another one. Give me a book I will take a new thought or idea from and I feel I have drunk deeply from my well. This weekend I read God’s Debris by Scott Adams and felt like I had gotten enough nourishment to cure a famine. I believe this comes from the wellspring of having clarity. How does one come to clarity? Consider these questions, and jot some things down for yourself:

-How do you think best?
-What are the circumstances that must be taken care of for you, your conditions for fertile ground?
-When is it that you get the most clarity of thought, where things are crystal clear for you?
-When can you have a conversation inside your head, and feel you are giving yourself good, sound answers, the kind of answers you will not hesitate to take action on?
-When have your actions sprung from thought decisions that are not up for negotiation? You are so sure of them; end of story.

My own example: The draft for nearly every single chapter of Managing with Aloha was written in my head on the early morning run I take each morning. The first draft of my entire manuscript was done in less than three months because it was early summer and we had perfect running weather.

However when you understand the answer to this for yourself, you can go to the well whenever you need to, even when you aren’t as healthy in every realm of your life.

When I am feeling less than fit for some reason, walking as my daily morning exercise (as opposed to running) has magnificent benefits. I’m not “in the zone” blanking out everything else in concentration, but now I notice more; I’m more observant. I’m more willing to let creative and completely crazy non-logical thoughts into my consciousness. When I walk I make sure I have a pen and a small notebook with me, for inevitably, I’ll sit on a curb somewhere and have to get things out of my head; thoughts start to bounce around in there like the silver balls in a pinball machine. It’s a different kind of thought process than when I’m running; more whacky and creative, but I am just as sure about things.

The best advice I can give you on this is to give in. Give in to recognizing those times things feel right and good. They are not as random as you may think.

HC, why read business blogs?- updated

Had a friend ask me today how it feels knowing so many people read Talking Story whom I will never know, and may never hear from.

It feels just fine. In fact, it feels great to think that I may help them in some small way when they hear about managing with aloha and begin to understand just how much that means.

Come to think of it, my book is the same way: I haven’t met everyone who has read it, and I never will.  However unlike some authors, I’ve chosen to blog too because I want to be here for people if they decide they want to continue the conversation Managing with Aloha may have started for them. is about marketing my book; Talking Story is for talking story about everything in it, and our continued managing and leading journey since I had written it.

Just knowing you are out there keeps me going, keeps me writing, keeps me dreaming of how much better we can make things. You make me better.

I hope I can inspire people. Like this:

“Some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, I’ve never met.
A story of modern mentoring…”

— Hillary Johnson, Why I read business blogs.

You may have already read the article, for it was published in Inc. magazine back in August. However I’d bookmarked it once it became available online, and I’ve come back to reading it a few times, because it’s real nice to read what Johnson says from a reader’s perspective.

I particularly like what she had to say about being part of a virtual community. Like our Ho‘ohana Community.

I like to imagine those of you “out there” who read silently may feel much the same way she does, and like I said, it keeps me trying to live up to the expectation that you do.

And you know what else is great? I don’t do this alone anymore; I’ve got a lot of company now when it comes to trying to inspire those who do read these pages: Just check out the comments, the trackbacks, and the links to everyone else in our community.

So mahalo for reading, thank you. Very much.

A related post from the archives:
Aloha to the Silent and Faithful.
And another …
Talking Story Readers are in the most unexpected places.

Post updated: Okay, at the risk of you completely losing your train of thought and clicking away (4 link choices follow…), another reason to read business blogs is the new Dilbert blog by Scott Adams. You wouldn’t call me a wild fan of his cartoon strip, and I’ve never bought a Scott Adams book, but I may now. I’m loving his new blog way more than his cartoons; I don’t think his strip is big enough to contain him.

So there, another reason to read business blogs; you discover way more about the people you thought you may have knew well enough, but you really didn’t and don’t. Business is more colorful and imaginative these days than it’s ever been before. Business just rocks, and so do business blogs.

Reading this for the first time? The original title of this post was, Ho‘ohana Community, why do you read business blogs?