Having just returned to “the real world” from spending a month visiting my sister in Hawaii, I feel compelled to write a post today about one thing I truly love over on that beautiful island: genuine human connection derived from compassion and love. The more the rest of the world chooses this practice the better off we’ll be.
I imagine writing a post about love sounds too fluffy and “lovey-dovey” for all those executives and business owners out there with a “let’s cut the bullshit” approach to things…but hear me out.
In Hawaii, they live with aloha – thinking of others before always thinking of themselves; coming from a place of compassion and connecting with another. Something that blew my mind when I first started visiting the island was when a car would literally stop a very long line of traffic to let another car headed in the opposite direction make a left-hand turn. They smile and wave to the oncoming car that it’s safe to make the turn; the wave and smile is reciprocated and everyone goes on about their day. That doesn’t happen much here in California (and my experience with my fellow Californians has always been very loving). The kindness with which a grocery clerk would connect with me when I was having a bad day (yes, you can have bad days in paradise, too, believe it or not) was remarkable. That aloha, that compassion, that…LOVE (there – I said it, again) is under-rated often in business.
Often we find ourselves setting “insane” (which is sometimes necessary to get out of your comfort zone) goals that mean we are going to be killing ourselves to achieve them, then we put everything into the highest gear until we wear out. Yes, there’s something to be said for working hard. Of course, if you have a goal to achieve, you must do the work to achieve it. And,yes, to do great things you must take great action. But I would like to interject that within all of your action and all of your work, taking on a sense of aloha both with others and with yourself can only help you achieve said goals. Understand that you and everyone else on this planet is doing their best in every moment (whether it’s your best or someone else’s best is none of your business). Stop making assumptions that the person is an idiot – he or she might be having a bad day. Do you know what you look like on a bad day? I know that my bad days are not pretty and I probably come across as a completely different person than I usually am.
Sometimes you’re just going to need a break – give it to yourself. Sometimes you’re not always going to be in a hurry and don’t have to “beat traffic” and can let someone else go ahead of you. Other times, asking the barista at the café how her day is and genuinely meaning it will change her entire week. Find ways to connect with others – spread some kindness for crying out loud!
In reigning in the new year, I sincerely invite you to take on the spirit of aloha in your daily life. Spread the love, ladies and gentlemen… and watch what happens.
“If you would be loved, love and be loveable.”
– Benjamin Franklin