Build: The Winds & Waves of Emotional Consistency

Have Self-Awareness


Lover’s Point-Pacific Grove, CA

Have you ever watched waves or wind take its course? The crashing of the waves bopping up and down, ebbing in and out of the shore. Along with the wind pushing the waves here and there. Did you ever notice the part of the day where a high tide comes through or a low tide occurs?

There’s an art to understanding wind and wave patterns. Captains do this to ensure that their ship gets to the correct location in a safe manner.  Recognizing irregularities, constants, and understanding that the waves and winds will bring unpredictable patterns at times is a part of their list of obligations. They analyze the patterns of the coast throughout the season and acknowledge that this art is an aspect that is continually and skillfully built on throughout their lifetime. They take notice of good waves and winds, and the bad

Our emotions at times can be like the waves of a thunderstorm, crashing in every direction. Or a peaceful running river that is consistently steady and flowing. With emotions crashing around, it can make it difficult for individuals to navigate your waters, causing them to “tip-toe” around you. But with emotions that run consistently and steady, your presence as a leader can bring a calming and peaceful effect in an atmosphere that is always busy.

Do you analyze your emotion patterns?

Emotional consistency is having the emotional intelligence to understand your emotions, decipher between the good and bad emotions, and have a healthy emotional response towards something. It is also having the balance of finding the level ground of emotions without extremes of being an emotional wreck or emotionless. Sometimes you even have to ask yourself, will this emotion benefit anyone?

As a captain, how are you navigating through the winds and waves?


Are you a Captain navigating through leadership waters? Follow my blog for more to come.


Build: Traffic & Patience

Sit in Traffic. It’s a Good Patience Strengthener.

Horns honking. People yelling. Cars cutting you off. Braking too early or too late. Do you feel the heat of the stress yet? Maybe you even thought of a specific place like California or New York.


Cannery Row- Monterey, CA

What type of person are you when your patience is tested? Do you lash out and get angry? Or do you shut down and harbor it in? Or are you one of the few that it takes a lot to get under your skin?

Frankly, I enjoy traffic and working customer service. I understand that is a weird thing to enjoy and at the top of the list for unusual. But think of traffic or even waiting in line as a patience strengthener. Or better yet have a mindset shift of “how can this patience tester become a patience strengthener?”

Now I’m not saying that you have to take your emotions and shove them down. I am emphasizing to think before you react and respond. Ask yourself, is this aspect you are stressing over worth the loss of character? Just like the Internet, once you put it out there, it is out there forever.

When we start to have this mindset towards trivial things such as traffic, it roots and leads to a healthier response towards major things on an emotional, relational, or professional level. Starting with the small issues prepares you for major obstacles. The journey of being a leader and as a leader always is going to demand more of you along the road. But don’t be scared of that “more” there’s hopeful anticipation and strength within the path of leadership.

Why Practice Patience

  1. There are always difficult people– There will always be individuals that need extra patience from you.
  2. Patience has a ripple effect– It leads into a stronger sense of understanding, strengthens flexibility, and shapes emotional consistency and emotional integrity.
  3. People become a product of their environment– Observation and influence is stronger than we acknowledge.
  4. It teaches us how to serve others better– That cranky customer that you just served and came with their grumpy storm, now has peace in their eyes.

The way a leader responds to patience testers is noticed by surrounding individuals. Are you a leader that not only pushes boundaries but also shows restraint?

For more good stuff follow me on Twitter @GabrielleAbacan


Serve: Why Do It?

Be a “People-Person” Even if You’re an Introvert

“I hate people”- Yeah that’s the most common thing to hear. But the truth is people are full of dreams and struggles. If you look into their eyes you can see a breathing soul ready or waiting for something. It is people who become generational influencers and end up impacting culture in great ways.

Some individuals do not like doing things for others unless they are getting paid or get something back in return. Some hiring managers don’t even consider volunteer work as “real work” and fail to see the character behind it. This poisonous mindset sets an entitlement perspective and can create unhealthy tyrants of dictatorship instead of relatable and approachable leaders.

Healthy leaders know and understand that serving is leading. That every experience is a teaching moment and cultivates an awareness. An awareness to either learn, adjust, or fix an aspect personally, socially, or professionally. Healthy leaders visualize serving others as a chance for selfless growth to take place.

There should be a healthy understanding that there is a fine line between serving others and people-pleasing.  This line starts with a giving mindset that connects with serving others. To serve can be done through- Time, Treasure, or Talent. When you are focused on the giving and not pleasing, the serving focus shifts from “have to” to “want to”. Serving others has different forms and can be done through actions or words of encouragement.


Community Garden Build- Influencing, Teamwork, & Teaching Moment

Why should you selflessly serve others?

  1. You Never Know How Much They Needed It– You don’t know their story. You don’t know what they have been battling within. They may not know you, but they will remember the selflessness.
  2. Influence is Contagious– Just as passion stirs passion, action stirs action and momentum creates momentum. You never know what 5 year old is carefully observing you.
  3. Character is Cultivated– Not only in you but in others. Sometimes you may ask yourself – “What do I have to work on? How do I respond to those who need a character adjustment”? But sometimes the time it takes to serve others and show selflessness has the power to overcome an angry and misunderstood heart and break walls down with kindness, bringing them a new perspective to live out of.
  4.  Skills are Cultivated– If a serving role calls for a teaching role, any teacher will tell you that teaching is an all-around learning role for both sides.
  5. You Never Know Who You Will Meet– Serving others attract several individuals of a variety of backgrounds willing to give their story.

So why serve others in whatever you do?

Not only to be a well-rounded leader but to genuinely ensure that others do not have to carry loads alone.

Follow my blog for the upcoming Build series.


Serve: Know Your Neighbor

Throw Out the “Stranger Danger” Mindset

Have you ever sat down with someone and got to know them? Know individuals from different nations? Did you learn their cultural roots and their heritage? Did you take notice of their cultural behaviors? Did they tell you their adventure, hopes, and dreams?


Sunday Night International Dinner-Photo Cred: Josh T.

Every Sunday afternoon, the local International Student Fellowship holds a free dinner for international students. A couple opens up their home and joyfully serves and welcomes strangers that later leave as family. Looking around, a foreign student gets the chance to experience direct hospitality in a foreign place, while sharing pieces of their home.

Do you joyfully serve and welcome others as family? Do you have a direct hospitality mindset? 

Similar to this, a pastor and his church does an annual homeless feeding outreach in the Los Angeles area. This also occurs monthly in the inner city of the Sacramento area and daily in the Bay Area region. Outreaches like these welcomes homeless individuals to come as they are and enjoy a buffet. Here homeless individuals are fed, listened to, and given supplies for their needs. Some individuals leave with tears of joy thankful that “someone took the time and trustfully listened to their story”.

Is your trust selective? Do you welcome the company of individuals who are not like you? Do you step out of your way and take the time?

Knowing these serving leaders and the way they readily pour into people, eagerly give without hesitation, keep doing good when the world throws them bad, emphasizes how much they radically serve others.  These leaders do not serve to serve themselves, but to wholeheartedly ensure that individuals around them are taken care of. They are fearless when carrying the burdens of others.

Take a step back and realize that serving others is happening every second throughout the globe. Though you do not have to be in a program or serve the masses, sometimes just serving any one individual is all it takes whether it is food or a conversation.

So why should you serve?

Stay tune, follow my blog via email, and find out on my next post.

Serve: Breaking the Introvert & Cultivated Roots

To Serve is To Lead

The core and foundation of leadership is serving. If we do not know how to serve others with respect or without willingness, how effective will your leadership be when you have several individuals depending on you on a professional level? No matter how small the task is, it can amount to a larger role. If you are not content with the “now,” what will you do when the “more” comes, demanding greater requirements of you on many levels. For example, if you have impatience for group projects and the people in your group, will you later have the patience with collaborating with individuals of different levels of a company?

The best way to start leadership development is to do volunteer work. Simply serve others and not in a self-serving way but with a serving mindset, focused on others.

Though I am naturally an introvert, I have volunteered in several different areas that called for different forms of leadership including mentoring, teaching, and collaboration. Two experiences that have impacted me as a leader is my time as a volunteer at Crisis Pregnancy Center and being a student project manager for a service learning project.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Supply Closet

As a former Crisis Pregnancy Center volunteer, I organized donation supplies that were given by community members to the Center and assisted expecting mothers in the Center’s Boutique. This might sound very basic, but quite often two supply rooms would be flooded with unorganized donations, and anxious mothers needing a friendly face for shopping assistance or even therapy shopping. As a volunteer, I saw counselors freely serve these expecting mothers. Take time out of their day to mentor them, offer them rides to/from appointments and work so these young moms did not have to take the bus, run errands for them, and be there for them emotionally and physically throughout the whole process of the pregnancy.

What I Learned

Are we entirely willing to be there for someone’s process?

Service Learning Project-Community Garden Build

As a former project manager of a high school service learning project, our team collaborated our high school students with middle school and elementary students to build a community garden not only for the community program but for the STEM program as well. We interacted, encouraged, and taught our younger peers the importance of what we were doing as a team. Seeing these younger peers excited and motivated of their contribution, is a breathe of air for a leader.

What I learned

Do we take the time to pass on guidance and encouragement?

Volunteering Insight You Can Apply

  • Anyone Can Serve
  • Everyone Needs an Extra Hand
  • Not Quantity but Quality
  • Work with What You Have
  • There is No Age Discrimination for Delegating Duties

Break the introvert/anti-socialness within you and get out there and find ways to serve!

Life is a Ride: Not to Ride and Die, but to Build and Live

Blessed with a Burden? Or Burdened with a Blessing?

Leadership can have its ups and downs. But with every and any situation it has something to teach and something to reveal, no matter how small or large the aspect is. It is up to us to be aware of it and apply it.  Though I am a young leader breaking the inner introvert within, cultivating leadership, not only in my own life but also empowering others is an adventure that is the greatest road trip to go on.


Vista Point- Goat Rock Beach, Jenner CA (Sonoma County)

A road trip is greatly similar towards cultivating leadership and being a leader. Road trips have this ability of bringing you out of the norm and exposing you to new elements. This is the same with leadership as every situation carries its own unique set of aspects. A road trip has preparation and purpose, and can have its uncertainty along the trip. There are questions of should I stop for that distressed person having car issues (Serve)? What do I have to help them (Build)? How can I help them (Lead)? And where are they headed or want to head to (Live)?

This is where mindset plays a vital role.

There are times where it seems that leadership seems directionless even with a clear purpose. But even within the midst of directionless chaos, every detour leads you to where you need to be to reach your destination. In the midst of traffic, every inch forward becomes an incremental movement and momentum from where you first started, when you check your rear view mirror every once in a while.

The road trip of leadership has its vista points. Points that are on the way to your destination, that were likely unplanned but sometimes anticipated with signs. These Points get you out of your way to see something worthy of your attention, but still puts you back on track for your destination, if you choose.

This blog is aimed to encourage you to see the “vista points” of leadership through topics of serving, building, leading, and living. My intention is to share a different perspective through pouring out what has been poured into me through experiences and mentors, for your journey of a leadership lifestyle no matter how young or seasoned you are. To help you cultivate and shape your leadership qualities. Cultivating an active Building Mindset to match your Cultivating Leadership.