I’ve been researching into the question of: What is greatness?
In the first installment of Ho’omau, I talked about persistence.
Today, I will dive deeper into my 3P’s Towards Greatness by continuing with Perseverance. Before I start I wanted to open with these few phrases for you to reflect on;
Nana I kou maka – Look with your eyes (observe)
Ho’olohe i kou pepeiao – Listen with your ears (process)
Pa’a i kou waha – Close your mouth (understand)
Hana me ka lima – work with your hands (apply)
The Hawaiian way of Perseverance is known as Ahonui which can be translated as “patience”. The Hawaiian concept of “patience” holds a different meaning than the English meaning. According to the English dictionary patience means – the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. It is essentially seen as a passive concept where you allow something bad to happen to you and you tolerate it for as long as it takes.
My ancestors saw it differently. The “patience” we are looking at according to Serge Kahili King is:
It is not the patience of waiting out a storm. It is the perseverance of moving through a storm to your destination. It is not waiting to get healed. It is using everything you know and doing everything you can to make the healing happen.
When things go bad and not the way we planned, we sometimes tense up and go into panic mode. Patience, my friends. Like a surfer sitting on a board waiting for a set of waves to come in. He patiently waits calm, but when the waves start rolling in he paddles after the one he wants, stands up, rides the wave that was given to him, and then waits again for the next one to roll in. It’s just like life, wait patiently for opportunities and when they arrive, take them for a ride. Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10 and creator of The IMPACT! Body Plan, puts it this way, “Stay loose, let it flow, believe in yourself, persevere, and create the life you so desire.”
What is it that makes you happy? What are you passionate about? When I was in pre-school, for our graduation we were suppose to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wore shades, a white button down shirt, a clip on tie, black slacks, and black shoes. I wanted to be a Special Agent.
Then as I grew up, probably around the age of 10, I told my mom I no longer wanted to be a Special Agent, I now wanted to be a Garbage Man. She wasn’t too thrilled about that but was very curious why I changed my mind. The Garbage Men around my house were big, strong, and fit. I told my mom, “The Garbage Men exercise all morning, get to ride on the back of the truck holding on, they get all kinds of gifts from people, and when they are done working they go fishing and surfing.”
“Stay loose, let it flow, believe in yourself, persevere, and create the life you so desire.” – Todd Durkin
Even till today, my mom still tells people about my dream of becoming a Garbage Man. It all changed when they stopped having the guy riding on the back of the truck and only had one drive to press a button for a crane to grab the trash-can. The Garbage Man was no longer big, strong, fit, and active.
In High School, we had a course called career counseling. It was a simple class. All it asked for was to fill out a survey, and that survey will tell you what career path you are fit for. Now let me remind you, school wasn’t one of my strengths, I was a ‘C’ average student. When we got our results back, everyone thought it would be a good idea to go around the room and announcing what our career paths were going to be. So it started; Dentist, Lawyer, Doctor, Manager, Entrepreneur, Pharmacist. All these big time jobs. Then when it came for my turn, I turned over the paper. Farmer. There were a few chuckles here and there. One of my friends even said, “Farmer Aips.” I thought it made sense. I liked being outdoors, working with my hands, getting dirty, helping others, and doing something physical.
As time continued on, I found my true passion and love in strength and fitness. My biggest dreams, desires, and goals soon went towards one thing; to make a positive influence on people’s lives through strength and fitness while teaching how one can be not only strong physically, but also mentally and spiritually. And, that’s where ‘Build a Ku Body’ comes from.
Where am I today? I’m a Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at the University of Redlands, where I have the chance to train 21 collegiate sports and make a positive impact on our student-athletes’ lives. So, I ask you again, what makes you happy? What are your dreams, desires, and goals?
Perseverance and Love are the driving forces behind achieving your burning desire and goals. People think of love as all mushy romantic stuff. But it’s much deeper. Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
Greatness never comes quick or easy, it takes time and constant effort to achieve. Many people have heard the word Aloha, but only know of it as hello and good-bye. To me, to us Hawaiians, Aloha is much more than that. In this case, Aloha symbolizes the love you have for a goal(s) that you feel is so important, so great, so inspiring, something that will make a difference, that you hold it deep in your heart and mind and nothing can replace it.
If you have that sort of Aloha, you have the strength and perseverance to push through any discouragement, fear, disappointment, doubt, and people who tell you that it’s not possible. And with that, I would like to close with this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: