Build: Absorb Culture

Learn From Other Cultures

When you travel somewhere do you want to dive into their culture? Do you want to learn their history?

Learn the people and you will understand the place. Know the joys and pains of humanity and you will find a unified connection.

Rome is often a place of great, ruthless, and fearless warriors, leaders, and thinkers. It was a place of grandeur. But not a lot of people know is Rome was also a place for the exiled and unwanted. It was also a place where compassion was looked down on as a weakness (this resonates with the culture of the Colosseum games).


Colosseum-Rome, Italy

Today, many individuals do not understand this tough side of Italy. Throughout all the tourism, the romanticized images of media and movies, people often neglect to view Italy more than a tourist spot. They forget the years of history that have walked among their cobblestone roads and the way they carried it with much pride. They are a people of tough beauty.

As leaders, are you willing to take compassion on the exiled and unwanted?

Are you willing to understand history with all its joys and pains create a tough beauty within you? Are you willing to carry it with such grace?


More to come!


Lead: Be Still & Wait

Even “stillness” is progress

“Stay Busy”. “If you’re not moving, you’re a failure”. This is what culture roots in us.

But is this really true?

Throughout traveling and moving around, you learn of the different types of water behaves. You see rushing rivers, stirring lakes, crashing ocean waves, active bays, and calm flowing creeks. But it is rare to find still waters.

With all the movement waters create, sometimes it is difficult to really see the life that takes place within its depths. Sometimes we forget the life that really takes place beyond the busyness.

If you go to an ocean, you will see the ocean’s crashing waves, wild in movement. But if you take the time to step apart and away from the focus of busy waves, you will find calm tide pools often to the quiet and calm sides. There the waters are still where you can see life taking place underneath the surface. There you will find some of life’s simple and complex treasures.


Tiber River-Rome, Italy

It is the same with rivers and it is the same with people. When a river is still, there is still life. There is life moving beyond the surface. We just have to take notice.

Being busy is not equivalent to growth and being busy does not mean fruit was produced.

We have to learn how to be still. To have contentment in the calm. Even trees stay put to focus on establishing strong roots. It is those same trees that know where and when to move their roots.

There is progress in the stillness.


Follow me on Twitter @GabrielleAbacan


Live Unplugged

Turn Off the Digital and Focus on What is in Front of You Beyond the Screen- The “Real”

Can you live in the moment without pulling out your phone to capture it? Can you accomplish something without announcing it on your social media?

Sometimes we get so used to our devices we forget what they really are. Just tools. We neglect to really absorb reality and understand these devices don’t allow us to live soulfully. They neglect to allow us to hear with our soul and see with our soul.

adult beverage black coffee breakfast

Photo by Burst on

Underneath all the software, hardware, and swiping we forget how to live without these devices and just enjoy life without it. Someone once said, “If the Internet shut down for one day governments, businesses, daily life and conveniences would collapse.”

Is that true for you?

We are more connected than ever, but are distracted by our devices creating a disconnect with being “present”. How many times have you had a conversation more focused on hearing to make a point or response rather than hearing with your soul and hearing someone’s years of pain and joy wrapped in the tone of their single spoken word?

Yes, there are video chats and phone calls. But if windows are eyes to a person’s soul and someone’s tone are their emotions, they fail to channel the very emotions another person tries to connect with.

Devices take away the thought of being engaged, involved, and “present”.

The fact is people were made to be present. Not digital.


Take the time to be present with others this month.

Live, Rest, and Recenter

It is Okay to Rest

Dear Leader,

I seen you work hard. I see your perseverance and how steadfast you been. I seen you carry the weight of leadership, all the joys and struggles. You have been carrying it with grace and integrity. Your efforts are not in vain. Every centimeter of it is progress.

I know sometimes there are days where life gives you the biggest middle finger. Those days where the load seems unbearable, you continued to pick up the things that were dropped. Sometimes you lost your patience, but that is okay because you examined what went wrong and how to handle it better next time. You led with integrity and character. That is all the call of leadership asks of you.

You have been very busy, but now is time to rest. A burnt out leader is a leader with no influence, no impact.

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San Rafael Park- Reno, NV

So rest. Take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Take a step away from the routines and deadlines. Break away from schedules and find some time for yourself. This is not selfish, this is healthy and essential if you want to live a culture of serve, build, lead, and live.

Step away from the crowd and find a place for you to recenter. Do something that relaxes you and lets you reflect. An afternoon walk, reading in the park, photography, music, writing, whatever you need to reexamine yourself. Be led to a place that gets you out of your element. Be led to a place where you are able to hear yourself think.

Have purpose for your rest.

Sometimes we get so busy in the schedules we forget that we have an ability to be aware, and to remember our values or even who we are. The things that are most important to us, the values that fuel our walk as leaders can adrift in the midst of the process. But that is alright. There is hope. The things lost in translation are to be found again in your rest. Sometimes even coming back with a stronger essence.

What do you need to find again? What do you want to find again?

When you are rested, your leadership will come back strong, energized, and more determined than before. Don’t be afraid to rest. Leader, it is okay to rest.



Another Leader


P.S.- Follow my blog, rest well, and recenter.

Live in Relationship (Connection)

Be Connected and Stay Connected

What do you think of when the word “relationship” is said? Do you think of couples and significant others? Do you think of professional or personal relations? Or do you think of friendship connections; lasting connections?

In a fast-paced world where instant gratification and cutting ties with individuals is emphasized, independence can be taken to extremes. The definition of relationship or friendship can be seen as fragile. Though it is good to be independent, too much of a good thing can become unhealthy. Too much independence can cause this thinking that you have to handle it on your own and asking for help is a sign of weakness. This thinking is a fictitious.   

The lone wolf cannot survive an ambush.

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Washoe Valley Bonfire- Jared L.

Relationship means connection or friendship. And connection means a person who aids another in achieving goals. Relationships are meant for building. Building trust. Building openness. Building a place where individuals feel emotionally taken care of. A place of “You have burdens? How can I help you carry your load? How can I help you unload?” Relationships are to build bridges.

In healthy connecting relationships you are able to be an individual with your own foundation of values. You are able to disagree and still be genuine with each other. You do not have to always have to be surrounded by them to feel connected. You are able to step away from your friends and be your own person.

Leaders do not form cliques. They manifest connections with freedom.

Living in relationship means living in the connections of the individuals that you surround yourself around, near and far. There is an African proverb that speaks of “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. As leaders we have to understand that if we choose to go alone, we are going to overlook aspects of substance and details. But if we choose to go far, it is because of a connection that holds us. Leaders may bend, but they will not break if there are other leaders on their side, speaking into their lives with encouragement or mentorship.

Do you live in a relationship perspective? Do you stay connected?


Follow me on Twitter @GabrielleAbacan

Live & Travel

Good Leaders Go to the Unknown.

Do you travel? Do you travel for the pictures and posts? Or do you travel for the experience and culture? Are you a tourist or a traveler?


Airplane Island View- Maui, HI

On a trip to Maui, I remember watching the horizon of whales and the shore where the sea turtles rested. Knowing whales have a migration pattern throughout the year. I noticed how even at a large size moving slowly, whales took their time but made great progress across the waves. Not worrying or having a care in the world if they would make it to the Hawaiian islands on time, but traveling thousands of miles at their slow pace.

A slow pace can have great progress.

Taking notice of sea turtles having a daily pattern. At the end of the day, these calm and powerful-jawed creatures rested. The saying in Hawaii is “Don’t turn your back to the ocean.” These creatures brave enough to swim through waters of unknown dangers (sharks) and powerful waves of Hawaii, rested at the edge of the shore, sleepily stared down the ebb and flow.

Do you, Leader, rest after your brave endeavors of leadership?

Every moment brings a learning and teaching experience. Traveling is an exciting and relaxing way to not only grow as a leader, but to live. Sometimes a leader has to step away from the routines, schedules, and deadlines and go to an unknown place. A place that holds uncertainties, both good and bad.

Traveling, when done right and in a healthy manner, has purpose. With traveling, a leader can get out of their element and experience the unknown. It allows room for relaxing growth. It allows a leader to evolve on matters such as cultural awareness, different cultural behaviors, and creates an open perspective.  

As leaders it is healthy not only to serve, build, and lead but to also live. Take a step away from the screen. Be present. Absorb the atmosphere around you and the ambiance it speaks. Breathe fresh air, even if it is a different kind in a different place.

Because a burnt out leader has no influence.


Where do you leaders travel to? And why do you travel? Leave a comment below.

Lead: Out of Vision Not Just Passion

Passion Needs Vision

Were you ever passionate about something, but then the feeling went away? The passion for it died? Maybe a hobby’s excitement fizzled out? Or an idea you had and chased doesn’t look as glamorous and shiny anymore? Maybe the passion is still there but not as livened up as before. Not bouncing off the walls with vitality as it was previously.

Have you ever been to a different place with no sense of direction for this foreign land? Or been on a guided bus tour? On a past trip to Maui, a new adventure awaited with a guided bus tour for the road to Hana. This curvy road brought you into a thriving


Road to Hana- Maui, HI

Hawaiian town untouched by tourist resorts, but flourishing with Hawaii’s natural scenery. The local bus driver, familiar with the route, skillfully drove the bus on the cliff side of Hana roads.

You may have the “want” to get there (passion=gas), but if you don’t have the guidance (vision=local bus driver) to know how to get there, you will be lost and may never find your destination. As leaders it is good to have passion but vision is needed. The call of adventure stirred up a passion, but the visualization of being in Hana was the vision. The vision caused an action, while passion fueled it.

But passion needs guidance and direction.

Passion needs vision.

Passion is just a feeling, an emotion. It may move you on the inside, but alone sometimes it doesn’t translate into outer action. Or maybe it does for a while, but then it later dissolves or turns into a directionless mess. It is vision that calls us to act, to move forward. It is vision that causes us to have guided action about something.

Vision draws us to anticipate the future. It causes us to prepare for the future and gives us a blueprint on how to get there. With vision it is not just passionately picturing yourself but visualizing a future. A future with a foothold of foundation.

The thing about passion and vision is both is needed as a leader. Without passion, a vision cannot function in a thriving matter. Without vision, a passion will not have longevity and be short-fused. You need both to lead.

Vision is the directions, steering wheel, and GPS, while passion is the fuel.

Does your passion have vision? Do you lead out of both?

Truth is you can passionately picture yourself anywhere doing anything. But where do you visualize yourself with solid ground in anticipation for the future?


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