I had a magnificent day yesterday.
I met Skip and Caroline Andrews of our Ho’ohana Community for the first time. They live on the mainland, and were here for a week, and Skip had sent me an email asking if the timing would be good for us to meet. They would be on the east side of the island (I live on the west side).
The short version of our day is this: We did meet, and we spent most of the day together. Conversation in a coffee place, then lunch, then shopping along Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue downtown, then a tour of a remote mountainside retreat that overlooks Hilo Bay. A beautiful, sunny day in normally-rainy Hilo became soul-warming sunshine in my life.
Skip bought my book, Managing with Aloha, while here in Hawaii two years ago. When he took the initiative to email me, and triggered off the correspondence between us that eventually led to yesterday, he started a relationship with me where I didn’t even think twice about the fact that making it happen would require one of my rare Saturdays at home and about four hours of driving alone. In fact, it gave me another reason to stock up my iPod with a new audio book and pack a bag for a roadtrip.
This has happened to me before, and no matter how many times it continues to happen it will amaze and delight me. By ‘this’ I mean having the immense good fortune to meet someone who has read and enjoyed my book, studying it enough to feel it somehow speaks to them. It is an experience which is a profoundly moving gift.
I have been a book addict for as long as I can remember. I have fallen in love with certain authors, often thinking about the thrill it would be to meet them. Yet somehow my thinking about this has never been big enough, bold enough, or of-course-you-can! enough.
I’ve never been the one to send the email.
The closest I’ve come has been approaching authors after they’ve spoken at a conference I was at. That was how I’d met Marcus Buckingham and Tim Sanders, two of my favorite business authors. However that was too easy; and a case where easy just wasn’t good enough. I didn’t work hard enough at it to be satisfied by it, and I certainly didn’t expect them to remember me … I was one of many queued up to speak with them.
And I certainly never dreamed that the day would come, that I’d be author someone else would think about meeting.
Managing with Aloha has changed so much for me, and I couldn’t be happier. If I do write another book, it won’t be for the sales, for the acclaim, for the prestige or for the credibility. It will probably still be about an ‘Imi ola mission, like the managing with aloha movement, and it will definitely be for more days like yesterday, sharing aloha with the Ho’ohana Community.
And since writing Managing with Aloha, I do now contact other authors (like Tom Ehrenfeld), wanting to give them these gifts too.
Thank you Skip and Caroline, and thank you to the many others I have met because you were brave enough, open enough, and confident enough. You have all become pure joy for me in being so lokomaika’i, (one with the generosity of good heart.)