The Bailout Failure need NOT be Your Failure

Today I am sending my Ho‘ohana ‘ÅŒlelo subscribers my e-letter a day early. Actually, they will get my normal issue tomorrow as usual too, this is a preface; the first of two parts this month. I would like to share a copy with you today. (2009 Update: My Ho‘ohana ‘ÅŒlelo e-letter is on hiatus as I concentrate on writing another book, so I have stripped that link out, however this post is still a great butt-kicker for me :-)

Context, and where we go from here

I’d like to start with two quotes, one for some context we are all painfully aware of now, and another about where we go from here. The context first:

“House leaders say they’re reconvening Thursday instead of adjourning for the year as planned, after dealing a $700 billion financial market bailout a stunning defeat. The fate of the rescue package remained in doubt as Democrats and Republicans both said they wanted to resurrect it. They were locked in a brutal round of partisan finger-pointing over why it failed. The Senate had planned a Wednesday vote on the measure. President Bush and his economic advisers, as well as congressional leaders in both parties say it’s vital to insulate ordinary Americans from the effects of Wall Street’s bad bets.”
KGMB9 News

And about where we go from here:

You see things; and you say “why?”

But I dream of things that never were, and I say “Why not?”

George Bernard Shaw

Funny How Your Feet in Dreams Never Touch the Earth by Thomas Hawk on Flickr
Funny How Your Feet in Dreams Never Touch the Earth by Thomas Hawk on Flickr

Worth repeating: I dream of things that never were, and I say “Why not?”

To President Bush and his economic advisers I say, you have a long way to go in ‘insulating’ this ordinary American, so get busy, and I have also sent that message to our Hawai‘i representatives and senators. To the rest of us I say, there is no use commiserating with the doom and gloom right now, let’s get to better work too —all of us.

In times like these I think about George Bernard Shaw’s words for the coaching I might need, so I can refuse to be a pessimist; I have to look for opportunity. I have to get out of bed every day with a positive expectancy about the world, whatever might be going on in it. I have to live my life with a positive expectation about me, and about my place in the world. I don’t want to wring my hands; I want them to be more useful than that. I want to feel more confident about my own circle of influence, and I want to know it won’t fail me. I have to know that I won’t fail me.

I am quite certain that you want those things too.

Your Ho‘ohana is your future

I’d like to repeat something from my Day One Essay this past September 1st, for the news of the day makes it more relevant than ever before:

“I believe that self-entrepreneurship of some kind one day down the pike (or to be more accurate, self-financing), is the new inevitability of our generation: In today’s economy, scores of people are finding they’ve been good working citizens and contributors to society their entire lives with very little to show for it. Their retirement dream never came true. They played the game of life following all the rules: What went wrong?

In short, what went wrong is that they followed someone else’s Ho‘ohana instead of authoring their own, something everyone will eventually have to do (and just as the leaders among you authored your self-leadership growth plan in August.)

The good news is this: It is never too late. Really.”

You may have to work a little harder right now, but it is never too late.

We are in a recession. Today’s news is depressing; it’s scary. The question is, would you rather succumb to commiserating with others on the doom and gloom, or would you rather look ahead, and very realistically do something about it?

“There is an old joke. If your neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession. If you lose your job, it’s a depression. Like many jokes, this one hints at a truth. For you personally, it’s all about what happens to you. And your own economic situation depends mostly on whether you have a job.”
—Howard Dicus, in a blog post asking, How Bad Can Our economy Get?

I agree and disagree. It may depend mostly on whether you have a job, but not entirely. It depends on how you define job, and how you define work: Our Ho’ohana Language of Intention: Are we talking about the same thing?

We can work together as the Ho’ohana Community

Back on September 1st, I asked you to work with me on getting a new Ho’ohana Statement of positive expectancy in front of you, for I know this: Your Ho’ohana is your future AND our future.

Because the last day of the month happened to fall on a Tuesday, today is our wrap-up on Managing with Aloha Coaching. Please take a look at it, and think about the opportunity that is in front of you today, an opportunity you need to consider whatever happens when the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes this Thursday.

Here’s the link: Finalizing your Ho’ohana Statement into Workable Form

What I write on MWAC is free for you, always has been. I am not trying to sell you; I am trying to help you and serve you as best I know how.

What can YOU be doing to “work better” right now?

We Ho’ohana together, Kākou.



More from George Bernard Shaw in the Talking Story Archives:

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die.”

RFL Sept. Edition #2: My 90-Day Experiment at Day 15

RFL stands for Rapid Fire Learning. It’s an exercise we learn by on Joyful Jubilant Learning on the 25th of each month. My participation is there within this comment, and is my ‘Edition #1.’

What follows is my RFL for September just 15 days into a “Going Short and Deep” experiment I jumped into somewhat impulsively this month —an impulse I am now glad I gave in to! My goal was to cut back smartly on the time I spend online (which has been substantial). If you have the same goal but this is the first you are hearing about this, I encourage you to read this first and then come back here: Going Short and Deep, a 90-Day Experiment.

This past August 23rd was the 4th birthday of Talking Story.

I had a web site up for my business before August 23rd of 2004, however it was little more than an online brochure back then.

Therefore, I have always thought of Talking Story as the first born of what today is known as Ho‘ohana Publishing (HP), the publishing arm of my business that I refer to as Writing with Aloha, which is the tagline of HP. Since this blog was born HP has flourished in several different ways, with Managing with Aloha and Joyful Jubilant Learning as just two more sites in the family, and you are likely to hear about some current-generation reinventions quite soon.

For now however, this all serves as intro to what has become fact of life for me: I spend a LOT of time online. Our Ho‘ohana Community has blossomed into a very global one, and I think of the web as my backyard, one in a very large, fascinating, and dynamically changing neighborhood. It is a Sense of Place I could never have imagined I would have until it began to play out: This a great place to be.

A Mantra to Keep: Attention With Intention

Still, our attention may be one of the most valuable things we have, and I was finding I needed to honor mine.

You have seen this both here (in connection to the value of Ho‘ohana) and on Joyful Jubilant Learning this month (in connection to the theme of Citizen Publishing) and I think it is worth repeating, a definite keeper in my learning this month:

We each have a two-fold decision to make about our personal use of the web:


To who, what, where, and when do I give the most valuable gift I can give someone publishing online for me?


Why do I bother in the first place? What’s in it for me? What will be the outcome that I am intentionally pursuing?

A 90-Day Experiment Seeking Attention Focus

In short, my 90-Day Experiment was to cut my time online down to only three hours per day and no more.

I feel this intense need to concentrate better, to think better, to stay away from the equivalent of energy bars and fast food meals, and to simmer within focused, intentional concentration on my work (on my Ho‘ohana).

My attentions right now are all over the place, at all times of day,
and I have to pare down, quality over quantity, going short and deep
with my learning.
Less choices, smart, careful choices, and each revered. Each intensely savored.

I have heard from several of you who have decided to dabble in a similar experiment of your own, and so I thought I’d log some of my early observations just 15 days into it.

Perhaps you can add any of yours?

1. First, I should have done this a long time ago! It is working for me because of the way my own daily rhythms seem to happen. I am a big planner, one of those people who likes to map her next day out by charting it with a review of the calendar the night before. Plotting my 3 hours is now part of the game for me; it’s become fun (and I am not one to ever discount having a bit more fun however I can find it!)

Continue Reading

Good book? What was it about?

If you look at the best writers on time management and productivity,
Personal Taylorism [getting caught in the ‘efficiency trap’ under the guise of being busy /rs-my bracket] is not what they intended. They teach us to manage
the small stuff in order to free ourselves for bigger challenges.

Steven Covey tells us to prioritise ‘important but not urgent’ tasks over the ephemeral demands of the moment. David Allen
recommends taking time out to look at your life ‘from 50,000 feet’ and
‘intuiting your life purpose and how to maximise its expression’.

Leo Babauta reminds us to put the ‘big rocks’ into your schedule before the time is filled up with ‘pebbles and sand’. Tim Ferriss
takes this to extremes, advising us to eliminate all tasks apart from
the mission-critical 20% that delivers 80% of the results.

~ Mark McGuinness, Beyond Getting Things Done: Lateral Action | Lateral Action

How many of us can do this? Yes, the substance of the quote itself, but also, can you reduce the essence of what you read in a book, or from a thought leader, to a lesson-learned and personal take-away as Mark McGuinness has done?

I think this is one of the things that Rapid Fire Learning helps us with, for it forces us to look back and reflect habitually, and just in the context of a month at a time. It is manageable and it is reasonable. Most of all, you honor your own time by asking yourself, Okay, now what did I just get out of this?

Easy question every time someone re-joins your team huddle after a business trip away, or attending some training session that H.R. put on and mandated: Can you tell us in a sentence or two what you got out of it?

When I look at my own bookshelf right now, I wonder if I could…

Red Pops the Books

Ho‘ohana; Your Intentional Work

Preface: I was asked if I would submit an essay on Ho‘ohana for a community-based newspaper which is seeking to redefine the Aloha-based living within that community. The editor has read Managing with Aloha, and in particular our work with Ho‘ohana this month resonated strongly. I was thrilled to do so, and I thought you might want to read a copy of my submission as well for another dose of in-progress coaching with our current month’s study. All of this is likely to sound familiar to you, but as we have learned before, “spaced repetition” can help where-ever you might be with your self-paced self-coaching!

Ho‘ohana; Your Intentional Work

Our value for this month is very dear to my heart. When asked to choose only one value representative of the entire Managing with Aloha movement I choose this one, second only to the value of Aloha itself. This month, I’d like to talk story with you about Ho‘ohana, the value of intentional work.

Hana is the word for ‘work’ in Hawaiian, primarily as a noun. Ho‘o is a prefix of causation, roughly meaning, “to make it happen.” Thus ho‘o turns hana into a very intentional verb, one begging action directed toward the work you do —whatever that work may be, make it happen. I define ‘work’ broadly; it is a word much bigger than ‘task’ or ‘job.’ There are collections of tasks and jobs in the work you do which you would describe as your Ho‘ohana.

This is the connection I feel exists between Aloha and Ho‘ohana, a connection where one strengthens the other;

ALOHA is about you living with authenticity in a world populated with other people. We human beings were not meant to live alone; we thrive in each other’s company. Your Aloha celebrates everything which makes you, YOU. As a very intuitive 17-year old told me once, “I get that; Aloha is me keeping it real.” I loved hearing him; he knew his ‘real’ is good stuff!

HO‘OHANA is about you making your living in our world in the way that gives you daily direction and intention, and leaves you with a feeling of personal fulfillment every day —not just when you have accomplished large goals. Ho‘ohana is not about your job or career, though they may be included within it. Ho‘ohana is about best-possible livelihood in total.

Think of WORK as something you want to get done. With this new definition in mind, Ho‘ohana then includes your work with all your finances, with your church, with your children’s school, with your neighborhood association, and more. Ho‘ohana includes the work you do within your job, within your hobbies, within your studies, and within each of your other values.


Kitten at work found on Flickr by anzaq78.

Note in regard to my Preface:
Photo only included here on Talking Story.

When a person chooses to incorporate Aloha and Ho‘ohana into their working lives, there is no more “going through the motions,” no more “paying my dues” or “earning my stripes,” and no more “biding my time.” All your attentions are somehow connected to your work —even if it is work within a job which is currently temporary for you; Ho‘ohana is work-in-progress. You no longer call it work; you call it “my Ho‘ohana.”

I find that it is very helpful to think about Ho‘ohana work in the context of your ATTENTION and your INTENTION. Together, the partnership of attention/intention is powerful. For instance, if you have read this far, this article is part of your chosen attentions; what is the personal connection for you? What do you intend to get out of it? Are you just reading, or are you reading with Ho‘ohana, and the intention to ‘work it’ until you get something useful out of it? Do you just nalu it (go with the flow) or do you reflect, talk story about Ho‘ohana with a friend or your family so it becomes a new word in your vocabulary, and then try to apply it somehow?

Here is my suggestion: Use the month between this issue and the next one to redefine the word ‘work’ and make it yours: Do so by enlarging it to all of your life’s work. Make any work you do truly yours, and truly worthwhile, with the new language of intention that is Ho‘ohana. You will be living the Hawaiian value of intentional and worthwhile work.

For after all, as foundational as it gets, what is more important than your own life? I love the notion that living with the value of Ho‘ohana is like saying, “Thank you for the gift of my great life.” Don’t you?


Rosa Say is a workplace Aloha coach, and the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business. You can learn more about her and the Hawaiian values we share as a community at