Job Satisfaction Is YOUR Job

You can enjoy your job no matter what you do. You can create, you can serve, you can inspire, in whatever line of work or circumstance you find yourself. Too many wait and say they’ll put in that extra effort, they’ll go the extra mile, after they find that perfect job or that perfect boss. The problem is that finding the perfect job is more of a mindset than a skillset, more of an attitude than an advertisement you respond to in the classifieds.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecc. 9:10)

Choose to do your best where ever you are and, whatever you set your hands to, set your heart to as well.

But You Don’t Know My Boss

What NOT to Say to Get Rich

Words have power. In the Hawaiian culture we call this power mana and believe that when we speak it’s released into the world around us. Words mean something more than their meaning and if we can grasp certain principles we can change the quality of our life through the words we speak.


There’s a verse in the Bible about words having the power to build up or destroy, to bring life or death and I believe that. There’s a lot of us out there that also believe that sticks and stones can certainly break our bones but words can hurt, too—maybe more and for much longer.

Now, before we get much further into this, let me clarify something. I’m not one of those name-it-claim-it people who think that just because you say something out loud X number of times it’ll happen. I am one of those people, though, that believe our words do have power to direct our thinking and, since our thinking directs our actions, our words have power to shape our future.

I want to share three simple principles with you related to the mana in our words that can increase the mana in our lives. Continue reading

Dream Instructions From Grandma

It was the second night in a row I dreamt about my grandmother, both dreams so vivid and real it felt like she was still alive, still present, still around in my life. She’s been gone for a little over 7 months now and I can’t tell if that feels like a long or short time. I’ve had other dreams involving my grandmother; in fact, just last night I had one and a week prior another. But this one I want to talk about was different. In fact, it’s probably the only dream of its kind that I can remember.

Grandma’s Instructions

If I can categorize dreams I would call this one instructional. It was a straight out lecture and it was something I was supposed to get. She was sitting down in my dream, just sitting there looking at me; there was no introduction that I can remember. One second I’m sleeping, the next she’s talking to me.

And what she was telling me was simple and powerful: Enjoy and appreciate life.

That’s it. Over and over, sometimes in different ways (and I can’t remember precisely how she put it) but always with the same understanding that I was to get up in the morning, every morning, and recognize the amazing gift that was simply waking up.

I was to remember this throughout the day and embrace the opportunities presented to me because I was ALIVE!

She was adamant and passionate that I have a grateful attitude and recognize that I had to choose this attitude daily.

Life Gratitude List

My grandma’s message to me, and my message to you, is to put on the attitude of appreciation, of thankfulness, of gratitude every single day.

I woke up that morning in awe of the dream and the message. I lay in bed and did what I was told. I began by expressing my thankfulness to God for the sun I could see peaking through my curtains—it was a indicator of another opportunity to appreciate life. I then started listing all that I was grateful for:
* My wife and children
* The roof over our heads
* Our jobs and the great year we’re having
* Papa and Grandma Millie
* The difficulties in our lives that have strengthened us
* Our dog, Kiana

It only took a few minutes to reflect on these and by the time I was finished, swung my feet over the side of the bed, stood up and greeted the world I felt like a different person than the one that had crawled into bed the night before.

When you wake up grateful you live the day grateful.

When you wake up grateful you live the day grateful. You see things through the day that you recognize as that which you should be thankful for. You appreciate the beauty around you. You look at the challenges in the people and problems you deal with as things you will be grateful for in the future. Grateful living is a whole different mindset and it’s a game changer.

My grandmother passed away on February 13, 2012. Of anyone she has contributed the most to my view and approach to life. She’s helped me be a better me by showing me how to process and understand, work through and release, accept and forgive. I don’t doubt that she’s proud of me, I know that she is. It doesn’t stop me from trying to work harder to show her how much she means to me and how thankful I am of her.

 My grandmother is always on my list. Who and what’s on yours?

Pearl Harbor Leadership Workshop

I’ve spent this past week at Pearl Harbor doing a 4-day training called “Leadership With Aloha.” It’s one of my favorite sessions because it combines leadership and management concepts with Hawaiian values and culture. We cover almost every topic imaginable for managers including delegation, communication, team-building, conflict resolution, developing trust, time management and motivation. Linking these topics in a meaningful way to concepts of the ahupua’a, konohiki, aloha, laulima and pono are incredibly rewarding for me.

Mahalo as always to Mark, Andrea and Donna for all your help in making this course possible. Thanks to all the participants for keeping it lively and exciting–especially you, Gino! Also,  fa’afetai tele to you, Lua, for the ulu recipe! Ono!


VMV is the HGH for Work Teams

If your group at work isn’t growing, isn’t performing or isn’t scoring, you need a shot of HGH for teams, what I call VMV, or, your Vision, Mission and Values . HGH stands for “Human Growth Hormone” and can only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. According to wikipedia, Growth Hormone (GH), is

a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals.

and is used to treat

children with growth disorders and adult hormone deficiency.

VMV is for teams what HGH is for the body. It stimulates, motivates, compels and unites.

Now, when I think of HGH I instantly flash to Sylvester Stallone and his, uh, preparation for the last (?) Rocky movie back in 2007 and his subsequent illegal drug bust down under at the Sydney Airport.. He was muscular and ripped for a man of any age much less a 60 year old. After admitting to using the illegal steroid he said that it was only to help his “recovery.” Duh.

I don’t even want to go there with this post. What I do want to look at though are the three key elements of vision, mission and values that must be in place for any team to get stronger and get the job done. Continue reading

2 Four Lessons on Work-Life Balance from Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Just back from a quick paddle on a holiday weekend! I was out in the water for only an hour but was gone for almost two because of some crazy traffic! The line of cars coming out of Lanikai Beach was as bad as I’ve ever seen it. 20 minutes to get 1/2 mile. Ugh.

Anyway, besides learning (re-learning?) why I should never go to the beach on a Labor Day holiday I also came up with a couple of lessons for us all relating to keeping our lives in alignment and balanced from my time on the water with my SUP.

Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language, Hoe he’e naluis one of the key components of my work-life balance portfolio. For me, there are very few other things that have all four of the elements of what I consider health in one activity. It’s of course a very physical thing with all that paddling, squatting and swimming (Everyone doesn’t get this opportunity while SUP-ing. Mostly just me when I fall off and have to chase my board). Continue reading

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