What is the work you do?

Who, me? Okay, I’ll go first, but only if you promise to take a turn too.

I teach people about Ho‘ohana and Aloha.

As I do so, I work to maximize the grown-in talents of other people, helping them articulate their talents in a language of values, strengths, and intention.

Water Lily Pot

I am intent on making workplaces better, and by ‘better,’ I mean that they are healthier. By ‘healthier,’ I mean that all the people involved with those workplaces feel they are thriving within them; they can be their best.

I work ever mindful of sense of place; yours, mine, and ours.

I help others ‘walk their talk’ in a more deliberate way, teaching them to wear their visibility more comfortably, and with Ho‘ohanohano (the Aloha of dignity, respect and humility).

My needs are similar to yours, so I do for me what I do for you. I am constantly learning to invest in the strengths of my personal values, using them, and exploring them as fully as I possibly can.

I teach others about the things I know to be true, and I ask them to teach me about what they know to be true.

I keep my curiosity front and center, so it will help me listen better. I want to respond to others instead of preach to them, for I feel I learn best from other people.

I honor conversation as our best communication, sharing Talking Story and something I call The Daily 5 Minutes. These are my tools, yet they are also goals I share with you, for I work on them too.

I write. A lot.

Notice something?

Though it is ever present, and is necessary, a job was never mentioned in my answers.

Job is simply a fringe player to the things you really do. However job might be described on paper is usually way too small for us; too limiting. In organizations it can be censored in the politically correct way that usually isn’t specific enough, or passionate enough.

You try it. Write your own list of things you do from your source of personal well being, and not ‘by the book’ or looking at some page in your employee manual.

Then tell me: What is it that you do?

Oriental Nesting

Don’t allow your art to get smothered by your job.

Allow your job to express your art.

Moderns backed to the wall

What our world needs is you, and what you manifest and create.

Use whatever you have to work with.

Pot of Polished Pebbles

Expression can take different forms.

It’s the work itself that is beautiful, making the job more meaningful.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Footnote: Mondays are devoted to Managing with Aloha here on Talking Story. I set out to write a professional business book, and I feel I did. What I notice, is that it works best for people who read it, and use it in a highly personal way.

There is more backstory to MWA Mondays here if you are interested, including an index of relevant resource pages: Monday is for Managing with Aloha. My Book Page is here.

On Previous Mondays, Pō‘akahi kākou:


  1. says

    What a beautiful post – in every way. So clean, clear, elegant and wise.
    Sometimes the questions, in this case, What is the work that you do, are so impactful as to lead to a cascade of equally powerful questions.
    Considering that the question – what do you do – is still in the top 3 when first meeting someone – gaining a deeper understanding of what our “work” really is should be our internal starting point.
    I also love your description of healthier – supporting others in being all they can be.
    A rich post!
    Thx for it,

    • Rosa Say says

      Perceptive Louise, for this posting did arise from thoughts about that inevitable “cocktail party question” and as you say, it flowed toward much more!

      Where jobs are still far and few between for many, work is always within, waiting to be expressed and released! The bright side of these economic times is that our work can now come out to play :-)

  2. says

    I am reminded of a few paragraphs in Carol S. Pearson’s wonderful book, Awakening the Heroes Within. She writes:

    “Each of us has a piece of the puzzle of solving the great world problems of our time and creating a more just, humane, and beautiful world. We know what our part is by what feels not just familiar, but deeply true and right when we do it. We know it by what we love and what makes us feel fulfilled. We know it by what we cling to when everything around us and sometimes in us is falling apart.”

    “If everyone who loved to create beauty did so, we would live in a beautiful world. If everyone who loved cleanliness and order, cleaned up, we would live in a clean and orderly world. If everyone who yearned to heal the sick did so, we would live in a healthier world. If everyone who cared about world hunger shared his or her creative ideas and acted to alleviate the problem, people would all be fed.”

    “If we could learn that the wisdom of the Self coded within each of us is never wrong, that what we yearn to do is what we are to do, we would co-create a better world. But that does not mean that your conscious mind knows the answer. Certainly few of us are given a map. To the degree that we trust our own process on a moment-to-moment basis, doing what seems right and authentic, we will grow into what we are meant to be.”

    • Rosa Say says

      Thank you for sharing this passage with us Dan. I have been reading it and re-reading it over and over again, feeling her words sit with me. Quite the gift.