By Char Ravelo

Andy Bestwick. Contributed photo

There are several origins to this island saying, “If can, can. If no can, no can.” I learned this version from Leadership Kaua‘i 2007 alumnus and board member Keith Yap, “If no can, ask how can?”

Fast forward to LK 2017 graduate Andy Bestwick, creator of the CAN. movement on Kaua‘i.

Andy has been the director of the Wilcox Health Foundation since 2016. The LK program gave him tools and skills to inspire a team and communicate effectively with his team and colleagues to help to fund important technology and projects for Wilcox Medical Center.

Andy has a passion for helping people to reach their goals, to understand why people are doing what they do, how their minds function, to change habits and to work toward moving the needle.

An important part of this learning process involves developing a positive mindset to shift into high gear for the push on that last mile.

While cycling competitively for 16 years, Andy built a mental toolbox working with sports psychologists and embraced the concept of Cue Words. A cue word invocates an immediate response while training or competing. After in-depth practice, once the word is spoken, the body will instantaneously on cellular levels kick in enormous amounts of energy and adrenaline to make it toward the finish line. Andy’s cue word was salmon. Saying this word catapulted him upstream, he put fear of crashing and failure aside and focused on getting to the front of the pack.

Knowing this strategy empowers individuals with an “I can do this” mindset, it became clear that the simple letters C-A-N followed by a period would be significantly life-changing for those struggling to move forward.

Andy also follows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and has been leveraging the levels as a check-in as he pursued his own CAN over the years. Knowing that when an individual’s needs are met, one enters the flow state, and in that state one can see and feel the knowing to give back to others. As a product of his environment, his parents continue to be his role model when it comes to giving back to the community.

“If you are able to pursue or charge at something that in the end helps out another human being, the feeling you get from that is one of the best feelings you can have. I realize that a lot of people’s basic needs are not met or are not in a state of mind where they can recognize that or even have the opportunity to see what is out there. I am lucky enough to know the flow state and realize this is my time to help others.”

With these two concepts floating in his mind, he was able to hone his life’s purpose through his experience at LK during the Life-in-Focus exercise, and formed the Spirit of Can.

One of Andy’s goals is to impact the greatest number of people by inspiring them to embrace their own Spirit of Can. The brand identity is to nudge you forward to pursue your own CAN. journey.

This is an apparel brand about life with messaging as the main focus. Through bit size messaging in community groups for all ages. While the Spirit of CAN. is within everyone, we want to help you discover how to find and apply it in your life. We want you to “Believe in the Spirit of CAN.”

Andy Bestwick. Contributed photo

The challenge now is to find the balance to scale this small company up while staying true to the vision and mission. The scorecard is not how much money is in the bank but rather how many people are positively impacted. At the forefront of strategic planning is this moto: Great people, great systems, great products.

The CAN. journey has a science behind it, an actual formula to practices of CAN. Andy would like to see the Science of CAN. become a nonprofit educational program focused on mental health, mindsets and life skills, with a give back to ensure people understand their mind, to know their behaviors, how to change habits, and to reach goals.

Visit to join the Spirit of CAN.

Leadership Kauaʻi is accepting applications for the TLC Summer Course and Annual Adult Class of 2023. Visit for more information.

  • Char Ravelo is the Executive Director of Leadership Kaua‘i, and can be contacted at or (808) 246-8727.


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