Want Better? Ho‘omau. Adversity makes us stronger.

You have likely heard it said that persistence is often the defining quality between those who fail and those who succeed. I believe it too, and to take it a bit further, I believe that adversity makes us stronger.

Adversity is something most of us are reacquainting ourselves with lately (do the words global recession ring any bells with you?) and it can give us discomfort, or it can give us useful discontent.

Leader Tim Milburn wrote a guest posting for us back in 2006 that is well worth a reread today. It has always been one of my favorites, about the "learning paradox" which exists between contentment and discontent. Here is a short excerpt:


Being content doesn’t come naturally, it’s not simply a matter of genetic disposition.  One must learn
to be content.  It is in the circumstances and experiences of living that
I am finding the lessons of contentedness.  The content person lives
with an internal sense of security that is fueled by the understanding
that "what happens to me isn’t as important as what happens in me."
Contentedness is a matter of character and integrity.  The content
person has learned to live with him or herself everyday, not reacting
to life, but rather, responding to it with an intentionality and

"Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be
content with what you have."
– Doris Mortman

But there’s another side to this thing: the discontent people have something to teach me as well.

Read the entire posting at: Content or Discontent – Which Tent Do You Live In?

Second, please consider our value study on Ho‘omau this month.

Ho‘omau is "useful discontent" as a Values Coach

Ho‘omau is our value for the month of November: It is presented in Chapter 4 of Managing with Aloha as the Hawaiian value of persistence and perseverance.

I have posted the Tuesday Coaching Schedule for MWA Coaching which will be the construct of our value of the month program there. The posting (which doubles as my Day One Essay) is called Ho‘omau: Reveal the Good, and Make it Last.

IF you are a MWAC “regular,” our value for the month of November should prove to be a good complement to the past month’s study of Nānā i ke kumu. In short, we will move from “Source and Truth” to “best continuity.”

IF you are new to MWAC, you will find that this value is immediately applicable for you given the current state of affairs in the world. It is a value I think of as a kind of “anchor in the storm.”

I am looking forward to the month to come for both reasons. Ho‘omau is the value of persistence and perseverance. The objective of this value is getting all which is good in our lives to be more pervasive and long lasting.

Doesn’t that sound great?

Ho‘omau is about wanting better and not waiting for it. We rise above any hesitancy, and we harness the useful discontent of the adversity which potentially makes us stronger. We take action, immediately intent on making things better proactively.

Waiting for better conditions is like wishing and hoping… wishing, hoping, waiting… those are not strategic words, and they are not very exciting ones; they do not create and marshal our energies. When we talk story in November, we will talk about Ho‘omau, the value which makes us winners no matter what is going on around us.

Trust me on this: All that you need you already have.

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We will Ho‘ohana together, Kākou.




  1. Dean Boyer says

    I love the timing of this! As we have discussed, it is during this time of the school year that teachers experience the pain of the survival stage. The next stage is dissolusionment, which can last through January. How a teacher deals with the survival stage affects the impact of the dissolusionment stage. I have positioned the value of Ho‘omau in the survival stage because I see its preserving qualities. Adversity does make us stronger while preserving the best.