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There are so many things to love about other cultures. Among these are three words that absolutely delight me because they offer inspiring ways to improve how we live our lives, do our work, and conduct ourselves as we converse and connect with others.  I’ll cover the first word today.

It’s mana.

No, not manna, the Divinely-generated superfood that sustained the Israelites as they wandered around the desert for forty years.  This mana comes from the Polynesian, Melanesian, and Maori cultures and can be defined in several ways. Merriam-Webster says mana is “the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person.”  M-W’s secondary definition is “prestige”.

Those are a great start,  but there’s more.

Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung took it a little further, defining mana as “the unconscious influence of one being on another.” He also suggested that this influence came from being natural, real, and true to ourselves. Said another way, living, working, and relating to others authentically can generate more power and prestige than use of persuasion, debate, or force of will.

Think about it.  Who likes and admires – or wants to attract – a fake? How fun is it to listen to someone’s B.S. or a manipulative sales pitch?

In stark contrast, have you ever had the refreshing and memorable experience of talking to someone who is real, comfortable in their own skin, sincere, and honest?

It can be very empowering and endearing to be true to yourself – and to be brave enough to show that truth to others.

How can you exude more mana in your life, work, and interactions? What could its power do for you and for others?

It seems like a great way to Live, Work & Connect at a Higher Level(tm) to me!

In the next installment, I’ll share another Asian word.

In the meantime, do you have favorite words or phrases that inspire you?