February’s Strengthening. We know it as Love.

Oh February, you are so predictable!

As a song goes… you are my funny Valentine…

As so many of us do, when February arrives I immediately think of LOVE, and of what the word currently means to me. Not in its usual, universal definitions, for we keep those with us all year through, but in its more passionate flare-ups: Year after year, like some voodoo magic, February causes me to “fish or cut bait” with something which is a current love affair, or has the potential to be one. Opportunities present themselves as long as I pay attention.

Photo Credit: Weekend Love on Flickr by Always Bë Cool

Passionate Flare-ups can reveal great things

For example, that is how A Love Affair with Books started here on Talking Story back in 2005 as our Ho‘ohana (intentional focus), before it became the featured learning anchor on Joyful Jubilant Learning each March for another four years.

This year, you get to decide how A Love Affair with Books will continue for you without the JJL prompting, and that’s okay: As we both know, if reading books is truly a love affair of yours, no such annual trigger is needed —not to at all discount the splendour of what ALAWB had come to be! If you love books, you will continue to learn by reading, and you’ll get swept off your feet by countless more book-contained adventures. My for-2010 iteration of ALAWB was to finally indulge in the purchase of a Kindle, and I’m pleased to say I’ve read more books in recent weeks than I had at this time last year (we’ll likely talk story about it later.)

So, I wonder… what love affair will present itself to us this February?

There are a ton of possibilities… is there some passionate flare-up you should pay attention to?

Oooh… could your work become a passionate flare-up?

Love is abundant and inclusive. No wonder it is strong.

Over the decades of my lifetime, love has proven to be so generously abundant and inclusive, and so amenable to being applied to all kinds of passions. We can have a love affair with virtually anyone or anything we feel moved toward loving; animals and people, ideas and fantasies, concepts and colours, principles and values” nothing is off limits when it comes to opening our hearts and deciding we will be passionate, heart, mind and soul. We will indulge, and we will get immersed in a near total abandonment of reason in favour of the purely innate wisdom of emotional, love infused feelings.

Go ahead. You know you want to.

Yeah, even at work. Heck, especially at work!

I believe we are able to do so, to give in to capital-L LOVE as we do, without any advance guarantee of success, because no matter what the final outcome, the act of loving is a strengthener. Love is something we give of ourselves generously, but we do expect we will benefit in some way and be the better for it.

“Love” is a strong word. We cannot help but feel it strengthen us when we are bold enough, and sure enough, to say it out loud and have it heard, or write it clearly, and have it read.

Aloha (our Hawaiian value of love) is strong; exceptionally so. So are all the words we use for other values. They are dynamic and vibrant. They motivate and inspire.

The passion of loving, and feeling something passionately, attracts other strengths.

Silence is strong, but conversation is stronger. (So if I may, hurrah for our love of talking story!)

Managing is strong; so is Leading. Consistently improving both practices is our mission because missions can’t be wimpy; they must be strong and sure. We must love pursuing them, and say so, if we are to do them well.

Self-managing is even stronger; so is self-leading.

Belief and conviction are strong by nature and nurture (in Hawai‘i we call this mana‘o).
Commitment to the actions of a positive belief is stronger (you hear me refer to this arrival as Ho‘ohana).

Where am I going with this? We shall see”

I’m not holding out on you. I have to figure it out too. I have to sort through my own passionate flare-ups, and decide where to award my attentions, just as you have to do.

We have time, for February has just begun. More fun to do it kākou, together.

Several weeks ago, as 2009 was nearing its end, I had made a promise to you without exactly knowing when I would begin, and I think today is a good day to start. I’d written,

In 2010 we will again honor our MWA value-alignment in our Language of Intention and our Hawaiian value themes will return. They may not always conform to precise monthly windows, but you will again be hearing much more of the 19 values of Managing with Aloha, I promise you.

From: Take 5 in 2010: A Game-Changing Ho‘ohana

Well, I woke up to yesterday’s February voodoo magic, to its predictable and reliable strengthening of spirit, made even stronger by the decision to retire Joyful Jubilant Learning, and realized we had to start with love, and with Aloha. For the next few weeks, let’s take a look at some current love affairs connected to the other themes I often speak of with Managing with Aloha. Let’s explore how love is strong, and how it strengthens us. And let’s talk story about what we learn.

Sound good?

Thank you so much for being here with me. Any early thoughts to share?


sayalakai_rosasayI am not duplicating my normal Tuesday posting for Say “Alaka‘i” here on Talking Story today in favor of this posting, and since it was specifically written for my Hawai‘i audience. If you would like to read it, please click directly over to The Honolulu Advertiser. Here is how it begins:

At Root Cause of our Public Education Woes
February 1st, 2010 by Rosa Say

“When you have a problem, solve it by getting to its root cause” is a management concept as old as the hills; TQM and Six Sigma simply became its poster children in the 1940’s.

The question of whether or not we have dared to reveal root cause in Hawaii’s public education woes, is FINALLY getting better exposed as a consequence of all the political posturing and finger pointing gone chronic since our first Furlough Friday”


  1. says

    In the context of work and based upon experience, the word love does not compute for me. The only relevance and meaning for me to the words love and work, are what I read by all others who have found it.

    I love your sentence Rosa: “Opportunities present themselves as long as I pay attention.” This paying attention part is half of the equation towards success. The other part is “doing.”

    And as the Grateful Dead once so eloquently said: “…and you know that notion just crossed my mind.”

    The act of loving is a strengthener reminds me of “its not about the destination, its about the journey.” And it reminds me of the simple act of paying attention to things in our life which we should be grateful for.

    I can’t help but to think of the Bud Light commercials where the guy tries to get the word love out of his mouth while talking to the girl. The waitress comes by and the guy says he’d LOVE another beer. For me, the girl is work and the next beer is reading a good book. (good thing I’m not single :-)

    • Rosa Say says

      What a rich comment Dave, there is so much here! You are so spot-on about this:

      This paying attention part is half of the equation towards success. The other part is “doing.”

      I laughed out loud readng your final bit about that Bud Light commercial :-)

      While I fully intend to be like a dog with a bone about “the act of loving as a strengthener” (knowing me as you do, you can probably tell I really, really like that concept…) I must tell you that your favoured references to The Road not Taken and The Yellow Brick Road always come to me with any mention of “its not about the destination, its about the journey.”

      Then there was this little funny from Hugh MacLeod as @gapingvoid on Twitter this morning:

      Note to Web 2.0 peeps: Please never again use the word “Journey” unless you’re actually doing some traveling, thanks.


  1. You’ll Be the Company you Keep…

    And “keep them” or not, you’ll be the company you love with Aloha. We have all heard the sentiment of my post title in some form. Perhaps our parents said it to us first, as they protectively watched us choose our earliest budding friendships, fully kn…