May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. For many, this is an opportunity to take some time to reflect on and pay tribute to the legacies and traditions of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have, of course, played an important role in shaping the unique and diverse culture and makeup of the United States. Among many other things, this can mean enjoying and studying literature, food, and other art that reflects the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience. To me, specifically, it’s additionally an opportunity to reflect on my professional career, my experiences with Asian Pacific culture, and the driving Hawaiian values that have shaped my professional philosophy all of these years.
I was incredibly fortunate, early in my life, to be able to experience life in the Asian Pacific culture, which granted me with a wealth of insights and experiences that would come to form immovable values in both my personal and professional lives. The Hawaiian values scattered throughout this website and throughout my business philosophy are direct consequences of that, and of one more thing.
Once upon a time, somebody took a chance on me. I was just starting out in my professional career, and a colleague and dear friend decided to let me tackle every technology project that I wanted. By encouraging me to dive into the deep end of the pool, even and especially with that being a risky choice to make, I was able to build the technical and professional foundation that drives my career today. What seems like a lifetime later, I make sure to give back whenever possible and to help especially small and struggling businesses with their organizational needs. This, of course, because everything that I have is the result of receiving such invaluable support and opportunities previously.
What do those last two paragraphs have to do with one another? Think of that “giving back” philosophy as a harmonious cycle which, in Hawaiian values, falls in line with Lokahi. In fact, those two paragraphs describe the origin of my commitment to Living pono. Pono, as you’ll find on this site, means righteousness. Living pono, then, means living righteously. It speaks to leading a harmonious relationship with those in your life and around you, and with the very environment that houses you. This, clearly, does not stop at personal relationships. Professional relationships must also be harmonious, respectful and, in a way, loving. These are the values of Aloha and Ohana, after all.
My professional career is shaped around these experiences and values, which makes Pacific Islander Heritage just that much more important and intimate to my personal life. I owe my success and trajectory as much to the people who have supported me along the way as I do to these very values on their own, and the community that they imply. This AAPI Heritage Month, I reflect warmly and sincerely on the impact that these cultures have had on my life, and how I would be in an entirely different place without them. The philosophy of Living pono is something that I believe everybody can and should benefit from, and that can make everybody’s personal and professional relationships more meaningful and fulfilling. During this month, I invite you to take in some of the lessons I have learned from these values and this culture, and to reflect on how they can play an important role in your personal and professional life moving forward.
Always towards a more harmonious life. Aloha.
Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May, an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.