Let me tell you a personal story about how I chose to live a meaningful life.
Just last year, while I sat in my cubicle working for a commercial bank, I thought about what my life meant. I wanted to live a life that meant much more than the moments I sat alone in my cubicle. Back then, I heard about issues I cared about-- sustainability, climate change, affordable housing, road repairs, quality education, and more. However, the island world was noisy with talks about issues, yet no talk about solutions. I wondered what was the problem, why couldn't we get to a solution together? It also NOT a one issue scenario. The blue prints of our island is not just one issue. So running on an issue for my campaign was not the goal. The goal is to get everyone, hands on deck, paddling together, in the same direction. I wondered, how do we do that?
I realized that when we spoke about issues, we got stuck speaking only about the issues. There was a cycle, a washing machine of issues, and the conversations went around in circles rather than to solutions. It is a nasty habit we learned growing up, gossip. We learned how to solve problems in school, yet somehow, we still get into the same old habit of gossiping.
So I go back to the days when I sat in a cubicle trying to find solutions for families with financial issues. Going through a process with families helped me to trust "the process" more so than I ever did before. Skepticism led me to a nasty washing-machine cycle of doubts and stagnation. The process is simple -- so simple that is easy to overlook sometimes. Here are the basic rules of engagement I learned:
1) Keep the conversations fact and evidence based
2) Keep it about the issue and not about personalities
3) Look at the options at hand and seek alternatives when needed
4) Work with a team because the burden of a load is lighter with others working, too
5) Trust the process
6) Do it with love
7) Acknowledge the hard work already put in to the task
8) Meet adversity with gratitude and thanks for the learning opportunity
9) Allow different perspectives to add to the tasks
10) Do not be afraid to be wrong
11) Seek other opinions when necessary
12) Ask for feedback-- that's the kind of feedback you want (because sometimes people are too quick to give you feedback you didn't ask for)
Here is something very important to your future and your children's future: The County of Kaua`i General Plan Update: http://plankauai.com/
Please read it and make the comments you would like on the issues and the topics you care deeply about, like affordable housing, sustainability, road repairs, climate change, and more. This is when the process of discussing issues is pivotal. This is the opportunity to make a hard impact on how you shape your future. I cannot stress that enough. The opportunity to speak up is NOW. YOU are the boss of this large organization, The County of Kaua`i, if you don't speak up, how can it work for you?