The Victory of Continuous Celebration

I’d like to tell you about one of my greatest victories, because I just celebrated it again and the goodness is so pervasive I must share it with you.

I celebrate it each time I do it, and it makes me think about what a ‘victory’ actually is — just how much accomplishment must be involved, so a person will feel victorious? How much quantity (or how little, in that vein where “Less is more” ) as compared to how much quality?

It’s a glorious feeling, being victorious and being able to celebrate it fully, and it falls into that MĀLAMA category of what we Alaka‘i Managers must do for ourselves, so that we can empathize enough, to then do it for others. ALAKA‘I with HO‘OHANOHANO: Lead by merit of your own good example.

My victory may not sound like such a big deal at first, but it’s a victory which has been huge for me, and will be huge for you too. It took quite a bit of time for me to achieve it — too much time, which I’m kinda embarrassed about, so I’m writing this in the hope you’ll achieve it faster, once you think about it as a true goal of KŪLIA I KA NU‘U proportions. I think it’s worth thinking about as another verbing pebble for your bucket — work on it deliberately, with HO‘OHANA intention.

Those Brutal Questions in Letting Go

My victory: I don’t do Weekly Reviews anymore. Don’t need to.

I now do Monthly Reviews on the last day or first day of each month, giving myself a whopping dozen of my “What a great life I have!” celebrations each year.

What this victory means, is that I’ve finally reached this “older and wiser” place in my life, where Weekly Reviews aren’t required to keep me sane in all the madness swirling around me, madness I was shouldering when I shouldn’t have shouldered it at all. This victory means that my life has finally gotten manageable, reasonable, sensible and smart. Those are delicious words, vastly under-rated words: Manageable. Reasonable. Sensible. Smart. All worth celebrating.

Letting go of my Weekly Review practice, and not freaking out about it, means I’ve let go of those things I shouldn’t have held onto in the first place. And there’s the rub of the Brutal Questions: What should you be doing, and what should someone else be doing, and what shouldn’t anyone have to do at all?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves with brutal honesty if we’re ever to be in the league of the Great Ones.

2. Great managers believe they do not work ON or FOR their people, they work WITH them as peers; they enable and empower them.

…from A Manager’s Calling: The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers

Pots and Pot Holders

There was a time I studied GTD, the Getting Things Done philosophy of David Allen, with great intensity and zeal, giving it heaps of my energy. His Weekly Reviews, and my subsequent MWA adaptation of them, served me well during a time when I needed them: So much stuff was already in progress for me (as opposed to work to progress), and I just needed to handle it.

I think it’s something we have to do before we can answer our brutal questions: We have to satisfy whatever we need at any given time, being able to identify what that need actually is. It’s like needing pot holders for sizzling pots: You can’t get a good look inside if you can’t even hold onto it.

Allen talks about doing Weekly Reviews and Monthly Reviews, but it was never something I was able to accomplish. Never. Not even occasionally. Never. My life was already in cyclone mode, and I could barely keep my footing.

Sound familiar?

I now know it’s because I didn’t see much difference between the two: A Monthly Review came so fast, and I couldn’t fit it in between my Weekly Reviews. It was all too much. I didn’t get what I now know is better: Doing the kind of Monthly Review that means you’ll never, ever need a Weekly Review again. Instead of handling your life, you live it in a way that means you’ll never need to ‘handle it’ ever again — you’ll just live it, and live it well.

My Weekly Reviews were pot holders.
They stole my weekends away from me for years. They cluttered up my focus because I was trying to focus on too much.
I was slaving away on productivity, failing to see it as the additional complexity it was.

My Monthly Reviews are when I can look into the pot.
And not just look inside: I can stir the pot, and taste what I begin to cook up, feeling it nourish me.
No ‘slaving away’ at all: I’m working on being the product of a good life. Simpler, and more sensible.

I have all my weekends now. They are open, and bright with beckoning possibility. I have better focus on what I’m newly able to do when working — and totally enjoy doing, like the great projects we spoke of here: Choose your next Project Kukupa‘u.

Don’t Maintain. Imua: Move forward

I’m not going to describe what I do within my Monthly Review, because you don’t need me to.

When you get to this place, where you can look into your own pot, you’ll know. You’ll celebrate too, and fatten up your life with great tasting morsels. Your celebration may be different from mine, but it will be a celebration, and not like a ‘review’ at all. No processing of productivity, just being the product. You will Hō‘imi, and look forward like you never have before.

If you’re on the week-to-week stuff-handling circuit, using those pot holders that are like oven mitts, covering you all the way up to your elbows, LET GO. Let go of your organizing of stuff, and tracking of that stuff, especially issues which belong to other people. Let go of your oversight and control. Let go of the responsibility that never should have been yours in the first place and reassess what your KULEANA is all about. Let go of the madness and start to enjoy your life.

I’ll be thinking of you come the 1st of next month. I know you can achieve this quicker than I did. Just set the goal, believing that your life is worth it, and it won’t elude you anymore.

If you missed it, the exercise in this article can help you look into your pot: What should you do with your life? Find out! Don’t allow a single HATE into your pot — those are the first things you can let go of.


Managers must own workplace engagement and be comfortable with facilitating change, creative innovation, and development of the human asset. The “reconstruction” we require in Managing with Aloha is so this expectation of the Alaka‘i Manager is both reasonable and possible, and so they can channel human energies as our most important resource, they themselves having the time, energy, and support needed in doing so. Convention may work against us, where historically, people have become managers for reasons other than the right one: Managing is their calling. A new role for managers must be explicitly valued by the entire organization as critically important to their better success: Managers can then have ‘personal bandwidth’ for assuming a newly reinvented role, one which delivers better results both personally and professionally, and in their stewardship of the workplace culture.

Read more: The 9 Key Concepts of Managing with Aloha

About Rosa Say

Rosa is the author of Managing with Aloha. She’s a writer and photo-taker, a workplace culture coach, and a zealous advocate of managers everywhere. She’s a wife and mom, sister and daughter, manager, leader and worker bee, living the best life she can, just like you. Learn more about Rosa at


  1. Rosa Say says:

    Justine Musk writes about the badass art of saying No (+ creating what you want), and starts with a Michaelangelo story I have heard before, but not in this way — it fits!

    Once upon a time, someone asked Michelangelo about his creative process. Dude replied:

    “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    When it comes to creating the life that you want – as opposed to living a life that others create for you – the ability to say No is like the chisel you use to “hew away the rough walls” that would imprison the “lovely apparition” of both your self and your vision for your life.

    ‘No’ is a power word, and a lot of us tend to be ambivalent about power. We see it as a threat to relationship: you can have one or the other, power or love, but not both…

    …It might help to do what William Ury suggests in his book THE POWER OF A POSITIVE NO: to “root your no in a higher yes”.

    When you say No to anything, you’re saying Yes to something else.

    It pays to get very clear on what that “something else” is.

    Like your values.


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