Day 11: Ho’ohana – Self-Expression

self expression

I love the arts.

Art is a perfect form of self-expression.  Now many people have different views what art is, I like how Seth Godin puts it:

Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

Today, we are taught that self-expression is seen in our consumption and possessions.  It’s by what we wear, brands we buy, and objects we own.  Many focus so much on the material forms of expression which causes them to lose sight of themselves.  This is where the Hawaiian value of Ho’ohana comes in.

Your Work is Your Art

Ho’ohana is to work with passion, your full intention, and with a purpose.  You are an artist, the work you do should be the expression of yourself. It’s not the job you possess or career path you chose. No. Ho’ohana is an attitude to where you give your full intention and presence in whatever it is you do.

In ancient Hawaii, work was considered the primary form of self-expression, a time of creativity and imagination.  But today, in Modern World, we find that work is a “grind” or a “chore”. Many wake up in the morning and find themselves uninspired, “gothrough the motions”, getting by, or just plain unhappy.

On Mondays, we gear up for our job so we can crank out the week.  Then when Friday and the weekend comes, we feel free, excited, inspired, and some even go a bit crazy to release all of tension built up from the week.  In Modern Day work, the view is to suppress yourself at work in order to express yourself when you are done.

If you are unhappy with yourself between Monday and Friday, then obviously something is wrong.  Either change your attitude or start looking for a new job.  When we feel unhappy, we start to care only about ourselves and we shut down our authentic self.

Our natural self-expression comes from our authentic self.  Work should be a time where we are bring meaning, fulfillment, creativity, imagination, and fun to life.

There is no room in life to drag your ass from 9-5 or whatever hours you work, feeling unhappy as if life is being sucked out of you.

That’s not Ku.

We need to Ho’ohana. I’m not saying to quit your job and find what you really want to do.  Many of us can’t just get up and quit.  But don’t stop looking. Instead, change your attitude. We all have something to offer and contribute, and the best thing you can do for others is to be yourself.  That is what Ho’ohana is all about, it’s naturally engaging and fun, and gives the mindset for one to be pono .

My wife asked me, “What do I tell people when they as what you do? And what is The Aipa Project?” It was a great question, because there should be a purpose behind what we do.

So I told her my elevator pitch:

I coach human performance and potential to guide others to build a Kū body. To be Kū,  is ones continuous effort to build a strong mind, body, and spirit.  By doing so we can make a positive impact on the most important aspects of life; contribution, relationships, personal growth, passion, and health.

That’s what I do. My self-expression is the words I write to help others learn about living a Ku lifestyle, and in the way I coach my athletes/clients. It has become my life’s work.

Through Ho’ohana, you can discover your life’s work.  It just a matter of being true and honest with yourself.


Go back to Day 10

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