4 Hawaiian Words to Live Your Life By

Monochromatic image of woman belly-flopping into the ocean

Hawaii has consistently ranked as the happiest state in America. So what's the secret? Naturally, we assume it's Hawaii's idyllic setting of beautiful beaches and great weather. Who wouldn't be happy in all that sunshine? But there's more to it than that. The Hawaiian language is a keyhole view into the local's culture and approach to life, showing what to "Live Aloha" truly means. Here, we take a look at 4 Hawaiian words to live your life by. Incorporate these into your day-to-day, and you'll increase your happiness, health, and love for life.

1. Aloha

The literal definition of Aloha is 'To be in the presence of the sacred breath of life', but can be used in many contexts. You will find locals say it frequently, in parting or as a greeting, establishing a true sense of love and compassion in all things they do. See our previous post on Living Aloha.

2. Aina

Aina, meaning 'land', is a cardinal element to Hawaiian culture. Local Hawaiians live their life intertwined with mother nature, spending more time then most, outdoors. Research shows exposure to the great outdoors directly increases one's feelings of happiness and energy levels. And the good news is, you don't have to live in Hawaii to do this - 15 minutes a day is a great place to start.

3. Pono

Pono means living a life where you consistently and consciously choose to do the right thing for oneself, others, and the environment. Pono, or "righteousness", is the idea that a selfless and moral life leads to happiness. Living Pono is casting aside the ego (selfish) and listening to your inner voice and higher conscious (selfless).

4. Ohana

At Waiakea Head Quarters, we emphasize the importance of ohana, or family. Ancient Hawaiians believed that, no matter how distantly related, everyone came from the same root, and thus everyone was a part of the ohana. Ohana, community, or whatever you'd like to call it, gives us purpose, provides a support system, and ignites love and a sense of belonging to something greater then one's self. We consider our co-workers, customers, ambassadors, and partners, all a part of our Waiakea ohana.

The takeaway from this is remembering that the simple things in life are often those that lack attention, and need greater reflection. Hawaiians are lucky enough to have a culture and language built on these fundamental principles of love, family, community, nature, and service to others. If we as a community incorporate the essence of these words in our actions with ourselves and others, life could be really, really good.

Much Aloha,

-The Waiakea Ohana

{Photography by Matt Hoffman Photography}