Since I was young, I’ve been setting goals and then practicing, studying, and doing whatever it takes everyday to achieve the smaller goals in order to reach my larger goals.
As a young soccer player in elementary school, I wasn’t big and strong like some of the other players. I did have quickness and speed, but to better myself, I had to train everyday on my ball handling skills and playmaking skills. I read books, watched videos, and practiced with the soccer ball everyday at parks, in my yard, and even in the house. Eventually, over the years, when I reached high school, I made it to the select teams I wanted and was recognized with awards.
Likewise, to become a politician, I started training to be a politician from my teens by studying political science and then later law, volunteering for politicians at their office and for their campaigns, joined the Young Democrats, business organizations, jaycees, and even got appointed to the Pearl City Neighborhood Board.
When I ran for the Senate and then Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manao (ASUH), I would post my posters at 1 A.M. to 3 A.M. in the morning, go to sleep, and then wake up at 6 A.M. to pass out my fliers that had my goals for the university to student commuters walking onto campus from the parking lot and students walking onto campus from the dorms. In between classes I would pass out my fliers to students walking through the mall on campus, with some of them avoiding me by walking around me and onto the grass. At lunch breaks or in the evening, I spoke to the various student organizations about my campaign and what I was going to do for them. I went door-to-door at the dorms passing out easter eggs that my mom and I wrote my name and office on, and I posted my posters on dorm doors of my supporters. I did this for months and was successful in winning a Senate seat in ASUH in 1996 and then the following year, the Vice Presidency.
While in college, in 1996, I typed out my campaign plan and gathered all the necessary information to run for a Hawaii State House seat or Hawaii State Senate seat in Pearl City that was so thick that I had to put it into a binder. After campaigning a number of small political races and even mayor and governor races, by 2002, I was ready to launch my own campaign for the Hawaii State House, but all the Pearl City races had an incumbent. However, the Waipahu, Waikele, Village Park, and Royal Kunia district had an open race due to redistricting. I moved to Waikele and re-typed my entire plan to fit this district. Over the years, I had collected contact information from family, friends, and acquaintances and built a database, which I used to raise $16,000. I mailed three mailers and walked the district 3 times, which is over 18,000 homes over a period of 7 months and lost 20 pounds and burned holes into my pants because of the constant rubbing of my bag that held my campaign material. Like my college student government elections, people told me they voted for me because of my ideas and their respect for my hard work. Over my 8-year political career, I walked my district over 10 times, which is over 60,000 households.
In soccer and politics, I consistently worked hard mentally and physically until I was fortunate to reach my goals.
As far as my career in law, consistency in my studies and efforts helped me to make a comeback after I received bad grades and was placed on probation while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I had a 3.2 GPA but it plunged during a time when I broke up with my first girlfriend. My college counselor asked me what I wanted to be, and I told her, “a lawyer.” She looked at my grades and then looked back at me and asked, “Do you like helping people?” I answered, “Yes.” She continued, “How about being a social worker?” I smiled, unable to agree with her. After that I made my comeback by getting 4.0 grades for several semesters and if I did fall short, I had a 3.8 grade point average for that semester.
Now, after leaving the public sector in April 2015, and pursuing a number of projects in the private sector, either on my own or with business partners, I’m facing a lot of hardship. Some projects had to end, while others keep moving forward. Everyday, I make sure I work on tasks that will add up in helping me and my team in achieving a larger goal. A couple of projects are getting close to fruition – just need to get past a few more walls. It’s exciting and depressing at the same time. Sometimes you’re enthusiastic, while other times you want to cry.
I try my best to surround myself with positive and inspiring people like my friend Brandon who is always upbeat and optimistic. Basically, he’s my life coach. My mom is my number one supporter who has encouraged me to try many things since I was a child. My father’s tenacious style of work ethic has rubbed off on me as I relentless push forward despite my failures. A girl I know who’s from Japan came to Hawaii to learn hula, and now has 4 halaus in Japan and performs and teaches in Hawaii. That would be like me going to Japan to learn sword fighting and the Japanese language, mastering it, and creating schools back in Hawaii. She’s an inspiration to me. My business partners for my various projects always find a positive point even when things are going bad, just like how my mom taught me to look at a glass half-filled as half-full rather than half-empty.
Below is a video by Marie Forleo, an entrepreneur who I’m inspired by, and in it she recommends 5 things to do to stay committed on your goals.
- Keep your eye on the “why.” Why you want to do what you do?
- Pick your battle. Pick one thing and stick with it. Don’t try to do everything at one time.
- Schedule it. Schedule your priorities. Build you life around your priorities.
- Ignore your feelings. Ignore the voice in your head that cries and says, “I don’t feel like it.” Override that voice because you know the power of consistency.
- Catch that wagon. Don’t have an all or nothing mindset. You will fall off the wagon. Just run and catch that wagon.
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.” – Marie Forleo.
Here is a song called “Try Everything” by Shakira to inspire you as you consistently pursue your goals, whether it’s for your career, health, or personal life. My wish for you is to be happy in this life and the next! I’ll celebrate with you at the finish line, no matter what place we come in!