Hawaii’s Secret To Happiness In 5 Words


Whenever I travel, I try to learn about what defines happiness in a particular culture. In Bali, they bless both the good and bad in life, while in Italy they take great pleasure in the act of doing nothing at all. So, when I went to Hawaii earlier this month, I was curious the locals’ philosophy on the topic. Well, I quickly learned they had a lot to say.

Unlike the English language, Hawaiian is filled with a number or words to describe all aspects of happiness, fulfillment, and peace. Even simple phrases like “Aloha” have a much deeper meaning to them. Discussing feelings and focusing on the foundation of happiness is just as much a part of the daily discourse as saying “Yo! What’s up?”

Fascinated by the effortless use of such impactful words, I decided to do a bit more digging and found a few words that stood out to me. Here is Hawaii’s secret to happiness in 5 words.

Hawaii's Secret to Happiness:

1. Manawa: “Now is the moment of power”
Our lives are broken into three sectors: past, present, and future. The Hawaiians believe the most powerful of three is the present. While they are a culture of tradition and honoring ancestors, they don’t believe the past necessarily determines who you are right now. We often use our pasts as excuses to behave a certain way currently, but your future starts with your next thought. Every second is a new moment of creation and every habit can be changed. That’s more powerful than anything that’s happened to you in the past.

2. Makia: “Energy flows where attention goes”
This may be a philosophical principle, but it makes total scientific sense to me. Just as a conduit harnesses electricity and allows it to flow in a particular direction, so your thoughts are harnessed and directed by your ability to focus. If you choose to focus on the negative things in your life, those negative feelings will only increase. But, if you choose to focus your attention on being grateful and your passions, those feelings of positivity will only grow.

3. Niele: “Be curious”
The Hawaiians believe everyone has a purpose in life; that’s a given. So, it’s important to be curious and explore different avenues to figure out what that is. This sense of curiosity makes the present moment more exciting as you’re constantly on a journey of finding fulfillment.

4. Mahalo: “Be grateful”
You’ll find locals dropping “mahalo” constantly. While it is used as a common “thank you,” it has a much deeper meaning of being grateful. Be thankful for every breath, every interaction, every relationship, every opportunity, etc. The Hawaiians are in a constant state of thanks. Feeling grateful for what you already have is the richest we can ever be.

5. Hamau: “Be quiet”
I found this one to be particularly interesting. So often we fill our lives with noise whether form technology or people or even our own voice. The Hawaiians believe that your path and your purpose are deep within you and if you don’t take the time to hush all of the extraneous noise, you’ll never be able to tap into that. Only when you are silent can your intuition speak to you.

30 Health Lessons I Learned Before Turning 30

If you've been reading my newsletter (SIGN UP FOR THAT HERE) or following my writing, you'll know that I believe living a healthy life is based on both mind and body. What we think effects us physically, and what we do physically can effect us mentally.

So, with that mindset and as I enjoy my last day in my 20s, I decided it would be best to take a look back at my wellness journey and pick out the top things that made a difference in my life. 

Here are the 30 Health Lessons I Learned Before Turning 30:

  1. Eat greens every day.
  2. Diets don't work. Lifestyle changes do.
  3. Happiness is a choice.
  4. You can't change someone, you can only change how you react to them.
  5. Walk 10,000 steps a day.
  6. Guilt is not a real emotion.
  7. Forgiveness is empowering, not a sign of weakness.
  8. Feng Shui works.
  9. Sit in silence once in a while.
  10. Surround yourself with positive people.
  11. Not every day is a good day, but there is good in every day.
  12. Your future starts with your next thought.
  13. Do everything with intention.
  14. 70% of your immune system is in your gut, so take care of it.
  15. Spaghetti squash is an excellent substitute for pasta.
  16. Indulge from time to time.
  17. Travel.
  18. Cry. Sometimes it's the only way to release that energy and refocus.
  19. Write a letter to those who hurt you. Even if you never give it to them at least it's no longer effecting your soul.
  20. Go to bed early. Trust me your memories at 6am are much more magical than at 3am. 
  21. Give back.
  22. Stop creating a story for yourself.
  23. Carbs aren't the devil.
  24. Pain is a sign something needs to change.
  25. Miracles happen every day.
  26. Drink more water and less alcohol.
  27. Dreams and goals will change. Be flexible with yourself.
  28. Focus on making memories, not money.
  29. Not all calories are created equal.
  30. Don't judge yourself or others. Everyone's journey is different. 

This Is Your Feel-Happier Diet

The words “diet” and “deprivation” may as well be one and the same for many people. But when you’re on a diet, you may see your waistline changing — but you won’t necessarily feel vibrant and nourished.  

“Deprivation is what causes us to fly off the wagon,” health coach Sheila Viers tells Yahoo Health. “Of course we want to lean to eat whole foods for the majority of our nourishment, but it’s meant to be a pleasurable experience as well. What is nourishing to our spirit (meaning no guilt, shame or fear) is nourishing to our physical body too.” 

So, what about a diet focused on happiness and helping you feel more nourished?

Click HERE to find out eight foods that will do just that!

Foods that fuel your mood

We have heard the expression, “You are what you eat”. The foods that we put into our bodies become our blood, our new cells and contribute to how we function on a daily basis. Food can actually affect our moods as well. One way to think about it is that you have two brains: the one in your head and the other in your gut, both of which are created from the same tissue during foetal development. These two organs work together to balance and change your mood through the vagus nerve, which transmits what’s going on in your stomach to your head.

Fuelling your body with foods that promote an optimal connection between these two organs is key to avoiding mood swings, but also helps if you’re feeling a particular emotion strongly. Need energy for that tough Sunday morning? Sure, a coffee will give you that quick boost, but a banana will help you feel energised for a longer period of time. Whether you’re anxious, stressed or tired, there are particular foods you can eat to counteract those feelings.

Click HERE to find out four moods and the food that can help you deal with or enhance them.

Want to live longer? 9 tips to living a healthier and happier life

The Fountain of Youth: something written about in fictionalized stories where young men and women set out to find the secret water so they’ll never age. While this holy grail of youth doesn’t physically exist anywhere in the world, there are some places on the planet where people are living far longer than the average human.

Curious to see what was making the folks in different parts of the world consistently reach three-digit ages, author and National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner took multiple expeditions to discover the secrets to longevity in these regions. He dubbed the five places as “Blue Zones”, where people were not only living long and healthy lives, but measurably happier ones as well. These places include Okinawa, Japan; Icaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and a section of the community in Loma Linda, California. “From all of our research we have found that there are nine lessons, which we discovered in every Blue Zone in the world,” Buettner says. “We call them the Power 9.”

Click HERE to find out what they are!