Look at a map with Japan on the left and the United States on the right. There, in the middle of nowhere sits Hawaii. It is 4000 miles from Honolulu to Tokyo and 2500 miles to the US mainland — and miles and miles from any other civilization.

A display in the Hawaii State Art Museum pointed this out — and noted that rather than see themselves as isolated, Hawaiian leaders saw themselves as having a strategic advantage because of it. Hawaii was “in the middle” — located in between two superpowers that they knew would have increased commerce after World War II. Hawaiians sought to capitalize on their location as a key shipping port and grew in importance in the entire Pacific Rim region.

Every downside has an upside (and vice versa). Instead of regretting its lack of neighbors, Hawaii saw it as an opportunity. Is there a way for you to leverage your uniqueness instead of lamenting it? Maybe being “the only” is an advantage.

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