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Make Mine Personal

Make Mine Personal

When I do book-signings for Managing with Aloha I am continually surprised by the different things people will dictate to me as the inscriptions they want when purchasing the book as a gift for someone else. I’ve even had someone ask me to sign it as Rosalie to pretend that my real name was the same as the person the book was intended for.

Other times, it’s extremely rewarding. I’m able to discover what the book has done for people oand what it has meant to them.

After a presentation I did last week, a young woman came up to me with two copies of my book. One was hers, and she took great delight in showing me how she had underlined and flagged any reference I’d made about my feelings that work is personal. There were stars and happy faces in bright colored pens all over page 97 where those three words show up as a chapter sub-heading. The second copy of my book was to be a gift for her dad. She’d flagged and highlighted the same parts, and she asked me to write,

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“With my aloha for George, because work is so very personal. Ho‘ohana (work with passion, purpose, and full intention) and ‘Imi ola (seek your best life at work). It will lighten your load and make your heart sing, and it will make your daughter happy. Manage with aloha, and live with aloha, Rosa Say.”

She then explained how she’d had a long standing difference of opinion with her dad about how work was indeed such a personal thing for her, when he’d instead advised her repeatedly that she’d never be
a) happy that way or
b) thought of as professional enough by everyone else if she continued to think like that.

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She felt that my book was a huge acknowledgement for her, that yes, she could be happy making her work personal, and she had every intention of doing so. As much as she loved and respected her dad, she wanted to be happy at work, and she wanted her work to be about her.

Well, this time, I happily did the inscription she wanted, because George, I do agree with your daughter. Work IS personal for people, and it always will be. It consumes a significant part of our lives, and because it affects so much of what we do, who we are, what we are identified with, and perhaps most importantly how we think, it is VERY personal. Generally my experience is that the more personal we allow our jobs to be, putting a signature on our work, the more fulfilling our professional roles tend to be for us.

Now I’ll grant you that there are many people who are much happier at work because they have deliberately worked at not making it personal. They prefer the detachment, or they have other good reasons why they’ve chosen to keep their work as separate as possible from the realm of their personal lives. If that works for them great, and I’m not one to argue the point and try to convince them that they are somehow deluded or cheating themselves out of richer possibilities (even when that might be my opinion.) However I’d bet they just have a job, not something they consider to possibly be their life’s work; build-a-legacy, make-a-difference work.

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Where I strongly and vocally differ with George is in telling someone else who wants to personally invest in their work not to do so. For goodness sake, don’t be the one to rain on someone’s parade! I completely concur with these words written by Sally Hogshead:


“A career worth loving is not an indulgence, a privilege, or a fluke. Passion is an imperative. Joy is an imperative. Loving your career is a non-negotiable necessity for breaking through client and consumer skepticism. And for reaching your own greatest potential. And for making any kind of difference in this world.”

I’m with Sally, and I’m wholeheartedly in support of George’s daughter and all of you who want work to be personal. You better believe my work is personal and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I love to teach timeless principles and mentor with values, and in particular, I love coaching managers. I love maximizing strengths in people and helping them in the self discovery of their innate talents. I love the science of business and the democracy of free enterprise, where ultimately the customer rules. I love reading, I love the written word and I love the study of how language can influence relationships between people. I love the new global possibilities of networking and the synergy of community. I love the notion that we can choose our own destiny and create it. I get passionate about all these things, and you bet I make them personal. By indulging my passions I gave life to Managing with Aloha.

Just imagine what you can do when you make your work personal.

Thank you for reading, I’ll be back next Thursday. On every other day, you can visit me on Talking Story, or on www.ManagingWithAloha.com. Aloha!

Rosa Say
, author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

Previous Thursday Column:
The Real Rules of Engagement.

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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