Originally published for the print edition of Ke Ola Magazine, March/April 2019 Hawai‘i Island issue.
Links are additions made expressly for the readers of this site and ManagingWithAloha.com.
Previously in this series: Mahalo, “Way of Living” (Seventeenth in Series 2)
Nānā i ke kumu Truth
“Look to your source.
Find your truth.”
Eighteenth in Series Two on Managing with Aloha | By Rosa Say
When we first talked about Nānā i ke kumu in this column, we concentrated on the first part of its translation, “look to your source,” recognizing an inner wellspring inside each and every one of us which nourishes our Aloha Spirit.
We talked about nature’s contribution to our well being, delving into sense of place and our “locational experiences.” Our Series 1 essay ended with this: “Not only does Nānā i ke kumu encompass source and explain local culture, it describes your full capacity moving forward.” I suggested you have that conversation with your workplace team.
Let’s continue that conversation, concentrating on the second part of Nānā i ke kumu’s translation, and urging that you “Find your truth.”
The value of Nānā i ke kumu has a lot of “love your history” connotations to it as “look to your source.” We collect our stories and dispel myths in fruitful attempts to ask ourselves why we conventionally and habitually will do what we do. We examine past practices which have served us well, which we are wise to perpetuate [Ho‘omau]. We assess what people count on us for, and we recommit to delivering on our promises.
Nānā i ke kumu also coaches us to look ahead into what drives us forward. Are we using our “full capacity” within our Managing with Aloha ethos to be true to our values?
In other words, are we truthful about who we have become (through the combination of our past learning and experiences)? Are we being true to who we intend to be as we move on (as we testify in our mission and vision, working future-forward)?
In this day and age of abundant possibility and complexity, truth is indeed a robust and noteworthy objective to have. Every business must articulate their truth with the same intensity they apply to specifying their mission and vision.
Your truth is your honesty and authenticity; it is your genuineness—how you’re “the real deal.”
Beyond those basics, your truth is your veracity—your accuracy, correctness and precision with making your truth happen realistically and consistently, so you are always viewed as being truthful and trustworthy.
Truth is tangible. Ask anyone who expects it from you.
Without truth, there is no integrity. In our of-Hawai‘i way of thinking and being, without Nānā i ke kumu there can be no Pono, rightness and balance.
The value coaching of Nānā i ke kumu suggests you look at the fullness of your truth going forward in two regards, today and tomorrow;
Today—in the presence (Alo) of mind (mana‘o), body (kino), spirit (‘uhane, your ancestral soul), and intuition (na‘au). You trust in your ever-present Aloha Spirit to be your truthful guide in the here and now.
Tomorrow—in your 4-fold capacity for further growth. This capacity is also intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual—it’s just as human, just as accessible—yet it’s more forward-looking. It anticipates the future evolution of your soul.
Your lens with each, can be both personal and professional.
To value Nānā i ke kumu is to practice Mahalo for your sense of self: Do you really know how extraordinary and naturally wise you are? Find out. Become more self-aware. It’s the best discovery you’ll ever make, and it opens a tap to increasing personal wealth (beyond mere finances, wealth is determined by your values as well.)
Extend this same coaching to your business, via the truth of your mission and vision. Practice Mahalo for sense of cause—why are you in business to begin with? Do you really understand how extraordinary being in business can be as an innovative model and viable plan? If not, find out and apply it to your cause wisely. Become more business-aware by exploring the 4-fold capacity of every business asset you possess, most notably the capital present in your people, and the service potential you can offer to your customers and to your community. Explore your strengths and build on them.
As my own years in management have gone by, Nānā i ke kumu has come to mean what’s true for me, my statement of professional truths combined into a personal manifesto of sorts. My fervent wish for all who read this column, is that Nānā i ke kumu will come to “Be Aloha” in that way for you as well.
Look to your source, and find your truth.
Next issue: We revisit Pono, the Hawaiian value of rightness and balance.
Read more about Nānā i ke kumu at www.ManagingWithAloha.com and in Series 1: Nānā i ke kumu, the value of source and well being.
Rosa Say is a workplace culture coach, a zealous advocate of the Alaka‘i Manager, and the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business. Contact Rosa at www.RosaSay.com, and discover more about the Managing with Aloha philosophy at www.ManagingWithAloha.com.
Postscript: Ke Ola is published 6 times a year, and distributed in print on Hawai‘i Island and by subscription. I have therefore made a practice of archiving the articles on RosaSay.com for those within our Ho‘ohana Community who may want to read them.
You can access all 20 articles I had written for Series 1 via this index. The inaugural column for Series 1 may be read here: Why Values? And Why “Manage with Aloha?” and here for Series 2: Aloha Intentions.