We've made a pivot as we've been focusing on external skills sets in our industry, let's take a longer journey into some introspection. Join Danny and Me as we explore the power of journaling.
In this snippet of the Modern Lending Podcast...
- Learn the importance of Journaling
- What A.L.O.H.A. really means
- How we can really be an imposter of ourselves
- Why it is necessary to allow yourself to feel both successes and struggles
[Alec] Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Lending podcast live with Alec Hanson. Real excited to bring on Danny Kim today. Now, let me give you a brief background of this guy and how we kind of connected up. So, of course this show, Modern Lending, we do a lot of stuff about mortgage, and this guy spent 25 years at Bank of Hawaii playing the mortgage game, serving the community, doing this really cool stuff, but he pivoted, he pivoted into an whole new area, founding the DK Leadership Program two years ago. And now the Aloha living project, founder of the Aloha Journal. And thank you, Danny, for sending me this. I cannot wait to talk about your career, your life changes, what brought you to this whole concept of journaling and what it's doing in the world today and how it could probably help a lot of us. So without further ado, let's kick it and bring on Danny Kim.
[Danny] All right.
[Alec] Danny good to see you.
[Danny] Hey, great to see you, Alec Aloha, how are you?
[Alec] Aloha, man, I wish we could be doing this in Hawaii that would've made my life like so much better.
[Danny] I got the picture here in the back, just so you know, just be here virtually.
[Alec] We were just talking before, you know we have a great operation in Hawaii and normally I'm out there once a quarter or more. We have a family vacation and Kobe's ruined all of it. So[Danny]
[Danny] Great, great.
[Alec] I know we get to hang out here, Danny, but it's okay, it's great to talk to you.
[Danny] Good to talk to you too. Thanks for having me on.
[Alec] So let's do this, my man, let's share a little bit of your past, like, let's get some perspective of who you are, what you've done in your career, What led you to this state? And I want you to share with everybody a little bit about what you've gone through in your life.
[Danny] Yeah, thanks, like as you mentioned, most of my career had been in banking. Like I worked for the Bank of Hawaii for 25 years, had a great career there. But during that time, there was always this itch of wanting to do something different. And I spent a large majority of my life always seeking things like self[Danny]help and the Tony Robbins, John Maxwell, all of these different self[Danny]help organizations. And then I was wondering like, okay, like why do I keep seeking things outside of myself? And it wasn't until I went to this place called the Hoffman Institute where I realized that a lot of the patterns that were coming up in my life was due to actually things that I learned from my parents in childhood.
[Danny] And that was very interesting to me, but when I came out of that I felt like, okay, if I've learned it, I could actually unlearn it as well.
[Alec] That's a great comment.
[Danny] Yeah, so one of the things that I wanted to do was after I got out of there, I said, Hey, you know, if I have learned these things as a child, growing up as a young adult, would it have changed some of the decisions and the trajectory of my life? So what I wanted to do was to actually see what was being taught in the schools and what I realized was shocking. Like every single school has some type of social and emotional learning program. And I was like, wow, I never had these things growing up when I would take my daughters to college tours.
[Danny] Said them number one probably utilized services to seeing the psychologist on campus. And so I had this huge vision as I'm gonna do these training courses and I'm going to teach everybody, all these things that I learned from positive psychology and how to better yourself. But I had to like narrow that vision down. And so one of the things that I wanted to do is say, okay, what if we focused in a small segment, maybe it's folks that are going to college in the main then from Hawaii, but coming back home for reasons other than financial.
[Danny] So we're going for a semester two and then coming back home says, okay, if I could teach them about emotional health and resiliency and connection, would that make a difference? So as I started to interview the students on why they came back home, many of them would say, "I wasn't experiencing Aloha." When I went up to schools on the main message, oh, what do you mean by that? So in Hawaii, as you know, cause you've been here a lot. We have certain customs, like for example, one of them is when you enter a house or a room, we take off our shoes, but you're in college and you're a freshman, you gonna dorm room, like nobody's taking off their shoes, right. So it's this feeling like, wow, I'm in a new place, different climate, different culture, different customs, and how do I actually fit in here? So as I started doing more research, it was deeper than that. So this whole generation Z, those 18 to 22 years of age, they're going through this epidemic of loneliness, depression, and lack of connectivity. So it's huge. So like, it'd be interesting because I mean, I have young kids, they're always on their phones.
[Danny] They have thousands of Snapchat and TikTok friends, how could they be lonely? How could someone be lonely on a college campus where there's thousands of people? And what I realized through the research is loneliness is not necessarily being around a lot of people. It's actually how you feel inside and how authentically and genuinely you can connect.
[Alec] But you know, Danny, and I know we're talking about college kids, but I think there's such a strong parallel to what many of us are experiencing.
[Alec] Depending on how we're reacting to COVID, there's tons of loneliness and self isolation. Sometimes even with your family, you might even have your family around, but you can still feel isolated[Danny]
[Alec] having trouble connecting. And we're forced to be on these video calls and zooms and yeah. I mean, I think this is a really prevalent conversation.
[Danny] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you could have actually someone physically next to you and still feel lonely. So it's that difference between what you think in your mind is a genuine connection and what you're actually experiencing.
[Danny] So, with all of this, I said, well, you know what, one of the things that I've learned from going to all of these different classes and seminars is we as human beings, we have this natural state that we're used to, so we can get pumped up for a couple of months and then revert right back to where we're at.
[Alec] That is not the truth. By the way, I feel like for everything, like we get focused on something, whether it's fitness or a new marketing strategy or a podcast, or like I'm going all in and then all of a sudden you're like, nah.
[Danny] Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.
[Alec] The atrophy.
[Danny] Yeah. So that's where habits come in. And so habits are super important. So for me, one of the habits that I was able to maintain was journaling. And so I don't like to write. So I needed this journal that was simple. That could do like less than five minutes a day, but it touched upon the important questions that I needed to focus in on everyday and this whole concept of Aloha. So I wanted to go back to[Danny]
[Alec] Yeah let's break it down.
[Danny] This concept of Aloha. Many people think that Aloha is a nice greeting as Hi, goodbye, they see the logo everywhere, they love it. But in Hawaii, you talk to the Alliance. Aloha is a much, much more deeper meaning and as a secret meaning, a lot of Hawaiian words have multiple meanings. So I wanted to learn what that was because what I wanted to do was, you know, learn how to actually live Aloha myself. So I would go to these teachers said, "can you teach me about Aloha?" And they said, well, we really can't 'cause a low is not something you learn, it's something that you live. And so, I was working with this, a good dear friend of mine, Paul Yun Shin. He learned from his auntie NTP, Lockie Paki. And there's this acronym of ALOHA, which you could find this on the internet, but basically the acronym it's A, for Aloha stands for Akahai, which is kindness and grace, and extending that to others without expecting anything in return. The L in Aloha stands for Lokahi, which means unity or being unbroken. So it's this connectedness that you have. The O is Oluolu, which means gentleness, agreeable. So basically in your conversations with other people, how do you make them feel? And the H in Aloha Haahaa, stands for humility and also being empty and modest. And the final A is Ahonui, which is patience and waiting for the moment, perseverance. So I thought, wow, I mean, if you could incorporate those values into your life that would be amazing in terms of your growth as an individual and your ability to connect with others. So that's why I incorporated that into the Aloha term.
[Alec] Yeah, in fact, I know, cause you wrote it. I mean, they're written right there. At the bottom of your journal. It's all written there for understanding it. And I think it's fun because you know, for me it's a whole new culture to understand and try to get into tune with and you know, the Aloha journal, I'm like, I don't know if that's for me. You know, I don't know if Aloha is for me. But it's been fun getting to understand it at a deeper level, connecting with you on it, like reading the journal. And I think there's a place in it for everybody. It's really powerful stuff.
[Alec] So you had stayed consistent in journaling, you had found that was an avenue for you that you wanted to play in, even though you hate writing, which I so resonate with that and I'm sure people who are watching are like, you know, I hate writing too. I should journal, but I just don't like it. Do you have any tips on how you stay consistent in something that was not something that you felt like, you know, you didn't like writing?
[Danny] Yeah. You know what? I utilized it as a morning routine. So the first thing that I do when I get up in the morning, I'll meditate and then I'll go straight to the journaling right after that. Then I link it with something and I think I learned this from this thing called tiny habits where you want to link it with something that you already do. So every morning I always drink coffee. So getting the coffee ready as it's boiling and getting out my journal, like, you know, it takes maybe a few minutes to boil. I'll start to do a couple of the prompts.
[Danny] And by that time it's like, you're already started. You might as well finish the routine. It's an enjoyable feeling. And you know, when we get into the journal, we can go in a little deeper about like, how, what each prompt means and on the science behind those prompts as well. 'cause what I wanted to do was incorporate best practices from positive psychology, as well as values of Aloha.
[Alec] So let's go back a second here. So you spent a long career in banking and mortgage. You kinda got inspired to take another step into self improvement. And so, you decided to bring this journal to life.
[Alec] About two years ago, right? So before we dive into the journal, like what would that like? Cause by the way bringing something into existence is hard. There's hurdles. There's problems. There's like, you know, people think you're crazy, you know, there's like, Hey, there's a lot of journals out there. And like[Danny]
[Alec] So how was that process like?
[Danny] You know, it was very interesting because selfishly the journal became a tool for me to stay like aligned. Because one of the reasons why I started on this journey is because I was doing a lot of teaching and leadership development while I was at the bank. Either for the bank or for organizations outside of the bank. And I always wanted to go out on my own, but there was this voice inside that says not, you can't do it. I mean, are you crazy? Why would you want to do that? You're getting compensated well in the bank. And people, you know, know you in the community as a banker, how will you actually be able to do that? So I grew up in 25[Danny]year career in the bank with an imposter syndrome. I never, yeah. So it's a real thing.
[Alec] I have discovered people connecting with that all over the place, Danny. I love the vulnerability there. Yeah, I understand.
[Danny] Yeah, what happens is I think sometimes we get into careers and all of a sudden the career starts defining us, especially like, you know, five, seven years and you're like, Oh my God, I'm all in, right?
[Danny] But then there's this part of us that says like, am I truly realizing my authentic gifts, there's something in my body or something in my spirit that's telling me like, No, this is actually not it, but it's fear that's preventing you from taking any steps, right? So what happened was, my life, even though I was going through all of this great self[Danny]help and Tony Robbins and different folks like that, I was not actually living the life that I was talking about. So I was living very inauthentically of one day I would be talking about, Hey, we got to be the best versions of ourself and like think positively. And then I'll be yelling at my family.
[Alec] Yeah, I understand.
[Danny] so you're living this dual life, right? And so that's why I kept grasping, like what is the answer? Like, how can I actually be aligned? And so when it brought me back to the journal and just as I mentioned, going through these different organizations, like the Hoffman Institute, where I learned like, oh what these are just patterns that you learned early on. The other thing I learned Alec was that, when we're born, right, we have these two needs and these two needs are this need for like attachment and connection. And that's like basic survival things. You cannot leave a baby alone. And that baby will not survive, it needs the parents.
[Danny] Particularly it needs a mom.
[Danny] Yup. And so we will do anything in our power to actually maintain that connection. So if that means our parents says hey stop crying or stop doing this and that, we will adapt or we might rebuild. one of those two, but we would just want that connection. So the other thing that we desire is this sense of authenticity.
[Danny] But that actually goes away. We actually get disconnected because our yearning for that connection is so strong that we will be willing to leave authenticity on the side. And I think that's what happened for me. It's like, it's unique cause everybody has this yearning, like this feeling inside, like something's not right. I really should be doing this?
[Danny] but the imposter syndrome starts kicking in, right? Oh, you can't actually do this. Then the other thing is we actually, because of this disconnection, we start grasping for things external to us that never gets us connected 100%, you see it all the time.
[Alec] People chasing things that some deepers there 'cause they're chasing stuff that you're like, why? This is not gonna fulfill you.
[Danny] Yeah, so, I realized, whether it was in my career or outside in social settings, I would wear a lot of masks because there was this strong desire to like, Hey, I wanna be accepted. I wanna be approved. So I would wear these masks and then I would feel good temporarily. And then later on, it's like, gosh, that's so fake, but I got to keep living that lie, right?
[Alec] Well but I am in yeah, I have to do it. So you pivot and it's crazy after a really long career. And I'm sure there's others like that. You decide, no, I'm gonna go this other direction. I'm gonna bring something new to the world. And so did you have any road roadblocks to like launch this thing? I mean, did you have any[Danny]
[Danny] Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was tough doing anything. I mean, luckily I had saved up money. I mean, it wasn't where I had to jump into another job like right away. I said, Hey, you know what, I'm really gonna take, give this an honest ear to see if this can work. And what I started to do was I started to like pitch the journal to different, anybody that I could.
[Danny] community, schools, like, you know.
[Danny] I would be getting free talks and things like that. And there was a teacher that said, "Hey, you know what? This would actually work with, like, could it work with fourth graders?" I'm like, yeah sure, let's try it out, let's try it out. And so, we were doing this pilot with a bunch of fourth graders.
[Danny] They started journaling, right? They didn't know like how to answer all the questions, but the teacher was very engaged and would do it with them. And one of the things that's different about this journal, Alec, is going back to that connection piece. It's part of a value of Aloha that you're never on this journey alone. It's always with other people.
[Alec] I really like that.
[Danny] And then the other thing is, going back to the research that we're doing on college campuses, where this huge epidemic of loneliness and disconnection. So I wanted to create a tool that we could connect. People could connect with each other.
[Danny] And it worked really well in captive audiences.
[Alec] So how would it, like how were they using it? In fact, let's prep a little bit and then we'll get into how they used it and all the stuff, which I found really amazing. But why don't we go through kinda like what you've set up.
[Alec] And I want you to describe it. And I'll show a little bit on the screen here.
[Alec] But you built this with intentionality, it's not just a blank page and like, what your thoughts, like it's directed.
[Alec] Why don't you go through the science and why you were intentional and how you you crafted this.
[Danny] Sure. Okay. So the journal is, first of all, there's no date on the journal, like a prefilled date. Like this is Monday because I believe that, you know, any day you pick it up, that's the day you were meant to start.
[Alec] Love that, I love that. And a lot of times what happens is people start journaling and they've missed a couple of days, and then they stopped. It's like, Oh shoot, I can't[Danny]
[Danny] Oh yeah.
[Alec] It's Like some guilt or something like residual guilt. Like I didn't journal yesterday.
[Danny] Yeah, exactly. But this one is like, Hey, anytime you're ready, pick it up. And then the first question is your positive affirmation. Your I am statement. So, oftentimes right, we are built with this negative bias. So you wake up in the morning, you ask somebody, Hey, how are you doing? It's like, Oh my gosh, tired, it's Monday, I'm hungry, lonely, and depressed, whatever it might be, right? I believe that the brain, whatever you feed it, it's gonna find information of why that's true because its main job is to keep you surviving and safe.
[Danny] But if you were to shift that and says, Hey, you know what? I am courageous, I am brave, I am loving. I am Aloha, I am humble. Then the brain is also going to figure out ways on why that's true as well. So your positive intention, first statement of super, super important.
[Alec] So Danny, hold on. I'm gonna try a little experiment here. So give me one sec, that'd be fun. Let me see if I can move that share screen.
[Danny] Oh terrific, you got the journal right up there.
[Alec] I'm gonna do it even a better format here. So let's get this going here.
[Alec] Okay this will be fun. And then we can share exactly what is going on here.
[Danny] Yeah, so while you're doing that, I'll explain like some of the way our minds work. It's super efficient, right? So research will tell you that we have probably 60 to 80,000 thoughts a day and 80% of those thoughts are negative.
[Danny] And you know what? Worst case scenario, at least it's gonna keep us safe. 95% of those thoughts are the same thoughts we had yesterday. So that's the intentionality of saying, you know what? Let's have some control in our lives and let's start off the day with a positive thought. I am staying right there on the top. And I'm a big believer in breathwork and meditation and being present. So, the first thing to do is start by taking a deep breath, smiling, and then we start off the day. First, the next question is, what is one thing I appreciate about me? Again, we are programmed so much to look for what's wrong. So like you could have lost 10 pounds, things looking great. You look in the mirror and you have a zip on your forehead. That is the only you're going to remember. It's like, Oh my God, I got it on my forehead.
[Alec] One negative thing. Yeah.
[Danny] So, if you look for the things that you appreciate about yourself and in the beginning, this is difficult, right? Because we don't go around thinking, well, I appreciate this. I appreciate that. But start off with the small things, I appreciate that this morning I was able to open my eyes and I could actually see, right. And I have my sense of smell and taste, which not everybody like with COVID that goes away. And you never know how much you take these things for granted.
[Danny] The fact that I was courageous enough to accept your invite, to be on the show, first time I've done podcasting my life. Just the little things that you appreciate about yourself, because what happens is if you can appreciate yourself, then you can appreciate other things in life and the things in life start to appreciate as well. And you can show appreciation for other people, but it has to start with yourself, right.
[Alec] Love that.
[Danny] This is this whole idea of self compassion, self[Danny]worth. Next question is what are two things I'm grateful for? So this is the question you'll see with hundreds of gratitude journals, Oprah will talk about it, five minute journal. People say, what are the five things you're grateful for. Amazing, so I said, Hey, can I just come up with two?
[Danny] And if do that on a consistent basis, would that work? So just two things that you are grateful for.
[Danny] And gratitude to me just keeps me more humble because what I realize is a lot of the things that I'm grateful for most things, I have no control over. Like I didn't have control that the sun is out today and it's a nice trade wind breezy day and the plants are alive and all of these types of things. So the gratitude portion of it, again, shows appreciation for what's going well in your life.
[Danny] I could talk about, Oh, these are the bad things that are happening, right.
[Alec] Of course
[Danny] People are getting COVID, like what's happening with the storms and the political things and all it is. And that can consume me. But I have to take the time to take a look at this, what I'm grateful for. So in gratitude, one of the things that I've learned is the more specific you can be about your gratitude, the more emotion that you can put into that, the greater impact it will have because your brain has these neural pathways that get deeper and deeper with the emotions that you associate with them.
[Danny] So I often give this story I like about like, I have a 23[Danny]year[Danny]old son and 18[Danny]year[Danny]old daughter and a daughter that's gonna be turning 15 shortly. And so my 18[Danny]
[Alec] All of that I mean by the way, that's like my total, 'cause I have a 10 and a six year old.
[Alec] Oh, you got, that's why you could start journaling now.
[Danny] My 18 year old, when she, when she was like 10, 11, 12, I could always put my arm around her. when she turned like 14, 15, that became weird. And it's like, "dad don't even stand next to me," right. And so I was like, wow, that was a heart tiller right there.
[Danny] But my 14 year old, right, she still allows me to put my arm around her and shortly that's not, I mean, I realize that's not gonna happen, but she still allows me to do that. So that closeness and connection, I'll wake up and I'll write about that. I'm so grateful that I can still put my arm around Kyle and it just fills my heart. See, here's the thing about journaling, the fact that I wrote that down, that event actually played out in my head again. And when I read it back, that event happens again, right. And so what the studies on the mind will say if the mind cannot tell the difference between an event that happened like five minutes ago or five years ago, it also cannot tell the difference between an imagined event and a real event. It triggers the same emotions. Here's the thing about the connection piece though, Alec, the fact that I telling you about this story and everybody else who's listening that event didn't only happen for me, it actually happened for you.
[Alec] Absolutely, I'm picturing my six[Danny]year[Danny]old daughter, right.
[Alec] Of course, like I go right to the same emotional place that you're in.
[Alec] 'Cause I have that same type of connection with my daughter. And so of course, yeah, absolutely.
[Danny] Yeah. Yeah. The next question is, what can I get excited about today? Not like a lot of people think, Oh my God, like my life is a drag, but it's all perspective, right? I talk to people that have jobs then I am like, Oh my God, I hate the jobs.
[Danny] Dude, you have a job.
[Alec] Yeah, in fact you already have a job right now, for sure.
[Danny] Right, right, right, right. The next question is, I like to call the resiliency question is what's a challenging situation you might face today? And how does your best self show up for it? So, you know, life is challenging. We're gonna have challenges every day. It doesn't mean that your life is a challenge. It just means that there will be moments that will be challenging, but how do we prepare for it instead of running away? How does our best self show up for it?
[Danny] So, it could be like today, I'm not used to getting interviewed. So a challenging situation is like Oh might get stuck. My brain might freeze. Like how does my best self show up for it? That was meant to be, just be authentic and just trust yourself.
[Alec] You know what Danny, I wanna pivot, I wanna expand on that for a second. So many parallels in that feeling you just expressed to so many things that people are dealing with with social media, with videos and ourself out there.
[Alec] There's always Insecurity of what if I don't show up the way I really want to show up.
[Alec] What if I balk something, say something dumb, you know, forget my trainer thought and get lost. And the reality is that's the stuff that people wanna connect with. They don't connect with the perfect scripted, produced message. They connect with the mess.
[Alec] Humanity, 'cause that's all of us.
[Alec] Oh, I loved your statement and I just wanna kinda just share it again and highlight it because that's the stuff, that's where the real connection is.
[Danny] Yeah. No, you're so right. And then I think we talked about that and that was my fear on getting onto the camera was like, Oh no, but what if I say the wrong thing and things like that. But then that shadows my authenticity, right?
[Danny] The next question is an important one is how am I feeling? So you can expand on this, like, how am I feeling in my body? How am I feeling emotionally? What am I thinking about in my mind? And it's important to connect with those types of things. I shouldn't say like all males, but the males that I know, when you ask them, how, how you're feeling, they give you a weird looks like, what do you mean, like, how am I feeling?
[Alec] So, I have to, this is a shameless plug, but[Danny]
[Alec] after general MacAulay, who was a 20[Danny]year combat, veteran pilot, and she's now into her almost the same space you're in, she's teaching mental strength, mental toughness. She talks about breathing techniques and meditation, that things that high performing athletes and Navy seals and people need to do. And she says, it's funny because in the military, when you talk about feelings, men get really like, well, that's not a thing. And they curve it down. So I love that you're addressing it head on because it's a massively important.
[Danny] Yeah, totally. So if oftentimes you ask somebody today almost guaranteed, Hey, how are you feeling? Feel good or like fine or okay. So what happens is[Danny]
[Alec] That reminds me my favorite, living the dream.
[Danny] Living the dream, right?
[Alec] I don't want to talk to you about how I'm feeling.
[Danny] Yeah, exactly, exactly.
[Alec] But what happens is that becomes our vocabulary because we see it so often that we don't have any other way to articulate how we're actually feeling and then we don't wanna go there. But the research will show that if you can get in touch with your feelings and if you can sit with your feelings and not try to either ignore them or suppress them, or take another substance to try to make that thing go away, then you'll be able to dissipate those feelings. 'Cause they say the feeling should only last 90 seconds. But often times we feel like if we are feeling like sad, it might be like, my life is sad, which is actually not true. So that ability to understand how you're feeling and actually feel it in the body, where does it reside in the body? And then the next question is what do I need? Because if you get stuck in that feeling and if it's a negative feeling, it can feel overwhelming. So the ability to articulate, you know what, I need this right now. So if I'm anxious, I need to feel calm.
[Danny] And then, so that's the feeling question about it. And then the last question that's there is the Aloha question.
[Danny] So we break down every single value, right? And for a week, you'll focus in on one value. So if the value is Ahonui, which is patients and reading for them, you might have prompting questions on like, how can I be more mindful today? Or how might I be more patient with others today? Or how might I delay gratification today? So that question will always change. So that's the morning routine.
[Alec] Definitely love it.
[Danny] And then you get into then you get a quote. Every day, you get a new quote, and then everybody has this to do this, right? So people's like, okay, what's the five critical things you must do today. And things like that. I just shifted the language and it says, okay, instead of things you'd have to do or must do or critically you have to accomplish, what are the things that you get to do?
[Alec] Absolutely, I've heard that before too. And I love that reframing of have to do versus get to do.
[Alec] Perspective is so good.
[Danny] Yeah. So then you look at everything as a gift, right? That's like, wow, I get to do this. and then, at the end of the day, before you go to bed, three questions, how did I live Aloha today? So if you scroll down a little on your screen,
[Alec] Yeah, I got you right there.
[Danny] What's one situation I handled well, 'cause you know, your day could have been a complete mess, but then there might've been one thing that you handled well. And then what is anything, something new that I learned today. The reason why I like this as an end of the day routine. And for many of the folks that journal, this is the hardest thing to do because their end of the night routine is get out your phone, see what's going on on Facebook or, you know, then use how many COVID cases came up today? What's going on with hurricane Laura or what did the president say today or whatever it might be, right? That's the last thing that your brain and your mind is gonna to remember as soon as you go to sleep and then that's how your subconscious works. But if you were to tell your brain that, Hey, look, I lived Aloha today, I handled the situation well today. There's something new I learned and you go to sleep with that and you wake up in the morning, you start like, wow, I am alive today, I am whole. Those are the things that can help you set you up to being your best self.
[Alec] Man, I love it. So now that we kinda got tactical and we kinda went through what is actually in the journal, you've got fourth graders in there playing.
[Alec] And I want you to share it 'cause as an adult, we can understand, like I get this stuff like Tracy had a really cool comment, right? Like about perspective and how this journal kind of focuses you in, right? It allows you to have that perspective. And so Tracy, thank you for that wonderful comment. So share a little bit about these fourth graders.
[Alec] There are getting to me.
[Danny] So, when I first introduced the journal to the fourth graders, they got excited. Anyway ,everybody's excited to get new things right. and solve different colors and things like that. And they start journaling as a practice every morning. So there's teachers like in home room for the next five minutes and I think they take 15 minutes. Let's just journal some of your thoughts. And the teacher would then share like some examples, but the cool thing happens like on Wednesdays, they get together, they have a partner for the week and they just share anything that they want to in their journey, right? And so one of the things that they like to share[Danny][Danny][Danny] Here's what I'm excited about for the day, whether it's seeing other playing a new video game or lunch or recess, right? So what happens is as they get more comfortable and trust starts to build, then they might talk about something that they're scared about or something that they're sad about. And those types of things, don't actually come up normally like schools not telling people like talk about what you're sad about, right.
[Alec] For sure.
[Danny] But these are healthy emotions. Could you imagine fourth graders starting to talk about that?
[Alec] Yeah, I can, My son is in third grade and I'm seeing it already and I'm like, this is gonna be something that we're gonna institute. So it's all good.
[Alec] This is amazing.
[Danny] So one of the things that the teacher told me, her is name is Mrs. Que She said, you know the amazing thing happened with the sharing, is we have the student that was my challenging student that she would bully kids around, right? And when she went and did the talk, when she got together with another student, the bully, one of the things that I am afraid of today is being you know[Danny]
[Danny] talked down to by the bully. And so the bully heard this and she said, wow, she might not be talking about me, but I realized that I do have negative impact that I impact on others. So what happened was by the end of the six weeks, I went back and I interviewed these students
[Danny] and the bully wanted to get interviewed. And she, and she said this journal changed me. I wanna to be kinder to other people.
[Danny] So that's the power of connection. We think that we live these lives in silos, that says it can't be only me that has this imposter syndrome or I'm scared, or I think things are going to be terrible. Or it could be the opposite where I don't know if it's like this with other cultures, but in Hawaii, you know, our parents tell us, Hey, don't brag out there, just be humble, right. But at the same time, do not air out your dirty laundry excluding the family name. So we go through life just everything's cool. Everything's okay. We never get to express. So it's good to express the good things. I'm excited about this and the challenging things.
[Alec] You know, I think that's almost universal. I know you mentioned maybe a cultural thing, but there's so much like, look what society tells us, like be perfect. Look at social influencers and Instagram web celebrities. And like all that stuff. Like all the fakeness, all the like culture. It's brutal, you gotta look a certain way. You gotta earn a certain thing. You got to act in a certain way. I mean, the culture just gets pushed on everybody. And then the imposter syndrome, people hide and fake it. And I think, Danny, many people are dealing with this. Many, many, people
[Danny] Yeah. And it goes back to what I was talking to earlier is this human need that we have from when we were born. This need to be connected and feel authentic. So what the journal does, at least for me, is a constant daily reminder to tell me that, you know what, I'm enough. That there's so many things that I can appreciate about myself, that I can be grateful for others, that I have this connection with people and through the values of Aloha, one of the ones that I resonate with a lot is this value of Lokahi. Lokahi is this unity and this connection, but the deeper meaning is to be unbroken. So if we're going through life feeling like we're disconnected and broken, we are going to desperately grasp for things to bring us back the wholeness. It might be unconsciously that we're doing it, but that's what we're doing. It's like, validate me, like my post, like that I'm senior vice president of this or president of this, or I'm doing all of these things. And I got a nice car and all of this. That's just validation because you wanna get back whole. But we do realize that everything that's external actually doesn't get you whole, gets you more disconnected.
[Alec] I love that message so much, Danny. Personally, I find titles to be so frustrating. I can see how they're helpful to a degree 'cause they frame up something for somebody. They give somebody kind of an understanding of like, Alec back when I was loan consultants, that was helpful. Like people, Oh, okay. This is what you kinda do. But then when it gets kind of, I'll use the word, like corrupted and becomes a symbol or something someone's chasing, it's toxic.
[Danny] Yeah, you just constantly need that fuel to validate you. So you go for another job. It's like, Hey, wait a minute. In my last job, I was executive vice president. This is a must title that I need to maintain.
[Alec] Well, my favorite people that just become CEOs.
[Danny] Yeah, yeah.
[Alec] Like they got a legal zoom. I am the CEO of whatever . And I'm like, really. The the CEO of what, but that was important. So that they have a CEO on there. So Danny let's do this as we kinda wrap down here, this has been a really great conversation. And from my perspective, right? Like I lead salespeople, especially in mortgage right now and perspective or something that is so crucial to have, because we're under a massive amounts of stress right now. Massive amounts of stress because more loans than ever before have fallen on top of our heads. We're trying to serve our customers. We've git exceptions, now those expectations are changing. You know, because now other external pressures and other things happened. And now we have to go back to somebody and change commitments.
[Alec] What you thought was gonna happen? Isn't gonna happen that way anymore. And there's all this intense emotion from our partner, everything else. And we can lose perspective so easily 'cause we hit breaking points.
[Alec] And so in that environment and that experience, what would you say journaling would help with?
[Danny] Yeah, that's a great question. I think what the journaling would do, would be giving you some a lot of insights, not only what you're going through, but what others are going through as well. So a lot of times we think these thoughts in our head, right? But we go back to this basic survival instinct to what does it mean for me? What does is in for me? My customers yelling at me, I'm gonna lose this loan, I'm gonna lose this deal. I am not gonna be okay, right? What the journaling does is it slows you down. It makes you[Danny]
[Alec] I like that.
[Danny] And so people say, Hey, you know what, can you make this thing online? And I've hesitated to do like an app for it 'cause there's tons of apps you can do. Just the cathartic activity of writing things down. Again, ideas imprinted in your brain. So I go back to this value of Haahaa, which is empty. So that's a good value and what we're going through right now, because if we're not empty, we are not able to look at our customers and feel what they're feeling.
[Danny] The frustration of having to apply for a loan again. And now I know there's all of these different requirements. Like if the person had a job, when they applied, can you make sure before we actually fund that they still have a job, right? There's like, I don't wanna ask them that question
[Alec] It's brutal, but we have to, right? I mean[Danny]
[Danny] But we have to. But we also have to understand how they are feeling. This whole thing about empathy. And if we are so consumed with our own feeling and we cannot empty ourselves to welcome somebody else's, then that's gonna be hard. So that's why the journaling helps. If it says, Hey, what's a challenging situation I might face today? All of these things that are happening with our world, how does my best self show up?
[Alec] Danny, thanks for hanging out today. For everybody that listens to this. And if you're listening in the future comment, #bypass, that always makes me smile at so many posts to listen in. And I just want to say this, this is a Modern Lending podcast. I normally I bring a ton of heat and energy. I'm pushing strategies forward. I'm trying to drive, you know, the local pro to become more digitally centric and all that amazing stuff. But this is an important conversation because in this craziness, we do have to slow down.
[Alec] We do have to recenter and focus and get our perspective right. And I think that's just as important in sales as figuring out what your digital strategy is gonna be on social media. I think those things are congruent. I think they go hand in hand. I think that if you play too hard in one, and you don't focus in on the other, you won't get to the excesses that you're capable of. And Danny, I really appreciate your time. Your insight today, this is extremely helpful. There's a Ashley posted this. We'll share this in the comments, thealohajournal.com.
[Danny] Thank you.
[Alec] I'm really grateful for your time today, Danny. Thank you very much.
[Danny] Yeah, the pleasure is all my thank you, Alec. And thank you for all the listeners here and listeners in the future. I just remembered that you are already whole. So the journey to Aloha is realizing that when you come back to yourself, you're already home. And I leave you with that, and good luck with everything and much love.
[Alec] Mikey, take us out. We'll see you guys next time.