The Power of You

Posted by Daniel Aipa on 09/07/2012
Sep 072012
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I have a super power.

You heard me right.

I have a super power.

You have a super power.

Everyone and everything in the room around you has a super power.

But, not everyone thinks about it.

You inherited this super power when you were born and acquired more all the way up until now.  The only difference between you and me, are the experiences, lessons we’ve learned, and the Aloha Spirit we hold in our hearts.

My family brought me up immersed in the Hawaiian culture, so I knew about this since I was a young child but didn’t fully embody it’s potential.

So what is this super power?

My grandfather had more of a quiet strength approach.  Our family held him with great respect. Not only was he the elder of the family but also because he was a great man.  Although he passed away more than 10 years ago, his presence is still felt. When I speak of a true Hawaiian, I speak of him.

hawaiian mana

Wherever we went it seemed as if people gravitated towards him.  I remember going out to breakfast at Zippy’s and seeing other older men get out of their seat to say hello to him.  He would smile, say – Aloha, shake hands, and that was it.  The man would return back to his seat and my grandfather sat there peacefully.

So, what was it that made not just my family but other people around my grandfather respect him so much?

And, what is this super power?

This super power we all possess and are born with is – Mana.

In Hawaii, mana is defined in different ways.

  1. Supernatural or divine power
  2. to possess power and authority
  3. Power that comes from the spirit, something greater than us

Olohe Lua Thomas Kaulukukui Jr. taught me about mana and the responsibility of possessing a high level, when I took his ‘Ke Koa Alaka’i – The Warrior Leader’ course about 6 years ago.  Even today, I still refer back to those lessons. People who possess a high level of mana are naturally perceived as leaders.

Those with a high level of mana have a strong spirit of  Aloha and can sense the mana of others along with the sort of spirit they hold, good or bad.  The only way you can acquire mana is through learning, practicing, and your life experiences.

Hawaiians believe that a lot of their inherited mana comes from their ancestors.  My family can trace our lineage all the way to a high chief in ancient Hawaii.  We have the family tree to show how much generations the mana goes back.  With that, Hawaiians believe part of their mana is from the strength and power our ancestors give us when we are in need of help.

During my journey towards becoming a strength and conditioning coach I made it a point to learn as much as possible.  I constantly absorbed information and experimented different training protocols. During my journey towards my dream job, where I am today, I definitely called upon my ancestors for guidance.

oday, I’m a head strength and conditioning coach which as a position has a lot of mana. But just because you have a position of mana, doesn’t necessarily mean you posses a high level.

John C. Maxwell wrote a book called, The 5 Levels of Leadership, where he shared the importance of mana, and mastering the ability to invest in people and inspire them.  The 5 Levels of Leadership according to Maxwell is:

  1. Position – People follow because they have to.
  2. Permission – People follow because they want to.
  3. Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
  5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

What level do you find yourself in?

Mana Account

Just like a bank account, everyone has a Mana Account.  This idea was introduced to me by Olohe Lua Kaulukukui.  I remember sitting in his class and thinking, “What is he talking about? Mana account?”

He continued with his analogy for Mana Account. Like a bank account, you have a certain amount you start off with (inherited).  Over a period of time your account goes up through saving and/or becoming more successful (acquired).  But every so often you may do something you are not proud of or out of your core values, which will then cause your mana to fall.

Think about it.

What is in your Mana Account? How can you access it? How do you use it? How do people view you?  More importantly, how do you view yourself? You should always have a daily check-in on your Mana Account.

Steps to checking your daily Mana Account:

  1. Start your mornings thinking about what you are grateful for or how awesome you are.  This will allow you to start the day with a high level of mana. You want to make sure you start every day as a 10.
  2. Have a morning ritual where you work on something meaningful that you are passionate about or want to make sure you do that day.  For example; go for a run, water your plants, write a book, or cook breakfast with a love one.
  3. Approach everything with a positive attitude and a higher purpose.  People around you will feel your mana and follow your lead.
  4. Go about your day with the goal of inspiring others and working with the mission to benefit others.
  5. Set aside times to check-in on your Mana Account: first thing in the morning, lunch time, and in the evening. Ask yourself this question: How did I add value to my day?

You have to be honest with yourself, which some people find hard to do.  I know I did.  Self-awareness is important in checking your Mana Account and self confidence.  If you aren’t happy with something you did, think of ways to make up for it to bring your account back to balance.

You Have the Power

Once you build your mana, one of the main questions I like to ask myself is – How can I access my account? My dad told me of a story when he was heading in a very important meaning with a bunch of executives and he was going to be questioned.  He said, he thought about all those who came before him;  my mom’s dad who passed, his parents who passed, and the rest of our family’s ancestors.  He asked for strength and guidance.

As he sat in the meeting room, he said he could feel as if the room was really crowded but there were only 5 in there.  Then he felt warmth on his shoulders and back as if people were standing by him.  He then felt a surge of confidence.  He was able to access his mana, and our ancestors responded.

Others can access their mana through prayer, affirmations, going for a run, meditating, or just simply flipping the switch.  Checking your Mana Account should be done on a daily basis.  If you follow the simple 5 steps of checking your mana, you will notice how much of an impact you make on people every day.


Mahalo. Aloha. A Hui Hou.

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