Archive for the ‘General’ category

Waking up to new ideas

April 3, 2018

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it,” John Steinbeck declared.

Have you ever gone to sleep puzzling over a problem, and woken up with a possible solution? Have you ever had a good idea strike when you’re thinking about something completely different?

One week, I was struggling to come up with a topic for a Better Hawaii post. Usually, I know what I want to write about – or I have too much to say, so I spend a lot of time editing to keep the posts short, simple, and positive.

I could think of several ideas, but nothing that I felt enthusiastic writing about. So one night before I fell asleep, I told myself to think about a Better Hawaii article.

Then I tossed and turned because ideas weren’t immediately popping into my mind.

(This happens to me sometimes – I feel as if my thoughts are racing out of control. Worrying about problems doesn’t usually keep me awake, though – it’s the list of things that I need to do or should have done that tends to keep me awake).

When I woke up the next morning, I lay there wondering what I would write about. And then, a part of my brain casually tossed out an answer: “Remember this? You can write about it.”

I lay in bed a few minutes, keeping my muscles relaxed, not reaching for a phone or a pen, and started writing the post in my mind. After a few mentally-composed sentences, I started to worry that I wouldn’t remember it all; but I forced myself to remain relaxed. I had to trust that I would remember it all.

It wasn’t the brilliant “eureka” moment that strikes late at night when you’re under pressure. It was a quiet idea that seemed to already be there, waiting to be noticed.

And that experience led me to write a second, short post – this one.

What is the most recent problem that you worried about before falling asleep – and did your sleeping mind work on a solution?

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Offering solutions, not just complaints

August 30, 2011

“Better Hawaii” has been going strong for over a year, and I’m pleased that I’ve been able to keep my commitments to you: a weekly blog about ways that I think we can make Hawaii better and monthly book reviews. Each post is short, and I try to avoid pointing fingers or casting blame.

You’re probably reading the newspapers and online news sites, learning about important issues facing Hawaii, like the growing number of homeless, the Aloun Farms court case, State-HSTA contract negotiations. You may be wondering why I’ve chosen not to address some of those issues.

So I wanted to take a moment to remind myself and you, my silent readers, that when I first started the “Better Hawaii” blog, I promised not to make complaints without also offering solutions. I’m trying to start conversations, not shouting matches.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

“Better Hawaii” is not only about a better Hawaii, it’s a challenge to better Hawaii. I firmly believe that we have the solutions to many of our problems. I hope you will take a moment to contribute your own ideas and make small changes in your own life. Every small act of optimism and thoughtfulness can take us a little further along the way to making Hawaii exceptional.

Looking to Better Hawaii

January 2, 2010

It started with GoodReads.com, because they sent me the book “Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone” (2009) by Mitch Joel. I felt a little overwhelmed, but one line jumped out at me: “Start your own blog – now” (page 262).

Like me, you probably don’t like being told what to do. But the words stuck with me. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about the things I want to say.

It made me realize that I want to be heard. I don’t want to regret being silent when everything around me can be better.

Born and raised in Hawaii, I am a mother, a reader, and an optimist. I’m not a member of any political party, I don’t copy talking points from any organization, and I’m reluctant to step forward. But I will.

I promise not to make complaints without also offering solutions.

Our leaders don’t have all the answers – we do! Please join me in coming up with ideas and innovations to make Hawaii exceptional.