Chuck's My Mainland Name
Over the summer, I spent two months on the Big Island of Hawaii volunteering at an up for sale yoga retreat and eco community. I spent the majority of my time cutting down invasive species, splitting coconuts to feed the chickens, running away from wild pigs, and avoiding locals that I knew would tell me stories about the frequent alien landings that happened on our side of the island. It was the most rewarding, interesting, and back muscle strengthening trip I've ever been on. I learned a lot of lessons during my time in Hawaii, and almost all of them can be applied in personal and business contexts.
I've included the lessons I wrote (verbatim) in a journal from this summer.
"Get to the root of the problem if you want to stop it from coming back."
Hawaiian Context: We had to cut down a LOT of non-native trees and greenery, and the only way to make sure they didn't grow back was to rip them out by the roots. Chopping them down above the surface was faster and instantly gratifying, but the problem of the invasive species wasn't solved...they'd just grow back next week.
Business/Life Context: Plants are your problems, the roots are the source. Losing followers and lacking likes? Temporarily boosting engagement with promos and sweepstakes on social seems nice, but until you know why your audience isn't interacting with you the way you want, you haven't actually achieved anything. You can't keep relying on temporary fixes.
"You have to sacrifice comfort for efficiency sometimes."
Hawaiian Context: It was suggested that while working outdoors, we should wear lightweight but full-length pants and shirts to deter the ravenous Big Island mosquitos. I tried this for a few days, but the extra fabric restricted my mobility. Limited arm movement is not something you want when you're using a machete. I swapped my Columbia shirts for tank tops, exposed my unbitten skin to hungry bugs, and got my outdoor work done in half the time. Sure I was itchy and uncomfortable, but the job was done faster and better.
Business/Life Context: You have to get out of your comfort zone to get what you want. Do you deserve a raise? Ask for it. Think a colleague is making the wrong choice for a project? Speak up. When you think something can be done more efficiently, being complacent, blindly following instruction and trying to avoid rocking the boat won't get you very far.
"Make sure no one is behind you when you're using a pickaxe."
Hawaiian Context: Okay no one hit me with a pickaxe, and no one was on the receiving end of mine. Still a valuable lesson!
Business/Life Context: I'm not sure how this can be implemented in a business or personal context, and if you can think of a reason, please don't tell me. Tell the police.