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Here is my last installment about achieving greatness.  If you are just joining me, please check out my first 2 parts – Persistence and Perseverance.

The last “P” towards achieving greatness is, Prevail.  Also known as the Hawaiian word – Lanakila.

Prevail is the last of the 3P’s Towards Greatness because after you’ve gone through all of the persistence and perseverance, you will come out victorious and prevail.  Prevail, to me, means triumph, victory, and overcome.  There is a great quote that I’ve heard from a story about King Kamehameha during the battle of ‘Iao Valley.  He told his warriors as he led them into battle:

“Imua e na poki’i a inu i na wai ‘awa’awa; ’a'aole hoe e ho’i aku ai!”
- King Kamehameha

“Forward my little brothers, and drink the bitter waters; there is no paddling away.” Whenever I come across this quote, I feel an instant burst of energy.  What I’ve learned, is the biggest obstacle that many of us approach is Fear.  Fear plays a HUGE role in stopping us from achieving our goals, dreams, and greatness.  The saying - “A inu i na wai ‘awa’awa” -Drink the bitter waters – shows you that you have to let fear come into your inner world and not retreat from it. In order to prevail, fear must approach first.  If not, then you aren’t pushing yourself towards greatness.

achieve greatness

Jon Acuff a published author and public speaker, know for his book and event called ‘Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job‘ once said, “Fear only bothers you when you do things that matter.”

I just recently came across this on Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Podcast during a bike ride back home from work.  As I coasted down the road, it all just made sense to me.  It was as if someone just set off a time bomb in my head.  I’ve always known that facing your fears was important, but for some reason the way Acuff spoke about it made perfect sense to me.

As I parked my bike, I began to think about the things that I fear.  One of the biggest fear that I’ve accomplished was actually being able to speak to people confidently.  I gave a detailed story about my lack of confidence growing up, here. But then I went even deeper.  What do I fear today? Just like your goals, you need to put your fears out in the open as well.  The great thing is that, when I see my fears, I now get excited to attack and overcome them.  Here are a few of my fears:

1.  Roller Coasters
2.  Not being able to pay off my student loans for a long time
3.  Not being able to help my family financially
4.  Being told I am not good enough to become a published author
*and this is skimming the surface.

Many people don’t want to think about their fears because it makes them feel uncomfortable and can lead to frustration and stress.  But if you are trying to achieve greatness, prevailing over your fears is a MUST.  If you focus on the first 2 P’s; Persistence and Perseverance, you will see that Prevail – Lanakila, is the outcome.

greatness quote

It’s definitely a process.  There are still times that I get flustered when I get a student loan bill in the mail, but I pause for a moment and change my thoughts to – I believe that I will prevail and pay off those loans within two years.  Same goes for my other fears; I believe I will prevail and become a published author and have a book on the shelves of bookstores within two years.

I’m not saying that it’s easy. Achieving greatness calls for sacrifices and changes to certain lifestyle habits.  The main question is – Do you want to be great? and WHY do you want to be great?

In Rosa Say’s book, Managing with Aloha, she talks about the Hawaiian value – Kulia i ka nu’u, which means “strive to reach the summit.” She writes:

Define what is achievement is for you, and strive to reach the highest summit…You will find you Ho’omau; you persist in way that will cause the good to last, for in striving for the best, you have become your best.  As you grow, your Aloha has captured more abundance to be shared with others.

(By the way, quick shout out to Rosa Say – if you are reading this, Mahalo for all of your Mana’o. I learned a lot from your book and website – Aloha)

Closing Thoughts

During the process of writing about the 3P’s Towards Greatness and the question of – What is greatness? I’ve come across so much information.  The neat thing about becoming Ku mentally, is the process of learning and evolving.  I find myself in a constant learning state through books, podcasts, articles, conversations, and life.  The overall lesson of achieving greatness and becoming great is really living with Aloha in every way possible.  With that I leave you with this quote:

Lead with the heart, and great things will follow – Daniel Aipa

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which I do receive commission if you choose to buy any of the books that I talked about: Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream JobEntreLeadership, & Managing with Aloha.  If you do purchase, I truly appreciate the support and I’m sure you will learn a lot from these books just like I have.


Aloha. Mahalo. A hui hou.


  2 Responses to “Ho’omau: 3P’s Towards Greatness Part 3”

  1. mahalo nui loa for this educational information. I learned a lot and can’t wait to read more.

  2. Mahalo, for reading. If you know anyone that would find this interesting and could learn from it please feel share this with them.

    Aloha. Mahalo. A hui hou.

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