Truth and Consolation

Everything in the first list is true. Everything in the second list is also true. TRUTH Life is hard.* You are not important. Your life is not about you. You are not in control. You are going to die CONSOLATION Yes, it’s hard. It’s also joyful and magnificent. Which do you choose to focus on?Continue reading “Truth and Consolation”

A Few Steps More

Just a few steps after I wanted to give up, to turn around and head back down the hill, the trail flattened out, an unexpected stretch of grace and ease that allowed me to keep going. I really wanted to be done, to acquiesce to my limitations, and if not for this change in theContinue reading “A Few Steps More”

Fill in the Blanks

I am reminded again and again that the people who turn change into opportunity demonstrate three specific qualities: 1. They have a strong and positive self-concept. “I feel best about myself when I                                .” 2. They have deep humility and regardContinue reading “Fill in the Blanks”

Declare What You Want

Yes, you have to do good work and build a reputation that precedes you. Yes, you have to build a strong, vibrant network of people who want you to succeed and for whom you pay it forward. Yes, you have to stay humble, keenly self-aware and dedicated to continuous learning. All of those things, yes!Continue reading “Declare What You Want”

What is school for?

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, put out a blog post this week called “Three Things Graduates Need to Know.” It’s his “two cents of advice…for preparing for the world of work.” His three big ideas are worth repeating here, not only under the banner of “graduation advice” but as a wayContinue reading “What is school for?”


The way I’d like to go on living in this world wouldn’t hurt anything, I’d just go on walking uphill and downhill, looking around, and so what if half the time I don’t know what for — {Mary Oliver, excerpt from “1945-1985: Poem for the Anniversary” from Dream Work} Maybe today a little more wandering, a little less doing.Continue reading “Invitation”

Pay More Attention

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that people are usually talking about themselves. It’s both comforting and disconcerting that the human condition is to be self-referential. It’s comforting because it reminds us that we are not alone in experiencing the world from the three-foot radius that surrounds our body. It’s disconcerting because we like toContinue reading “Pay More Attention”

Thank you, Mary Oliver

I am so thankful for the life and work of Mary Oliver and so sad to learn that she died on Thursday. Her poem, “The Journey” is the first thing I posted on this blog twelve years ago. Just yesterday, in an accidental feat of perfect timing, I published it again as the centerpiece ofContinue reading “Thank you, Mary Oliver”

There’s Room at the Table

In 1936 Dale Carnegie proposed that there are “six ways to get people to like you.” Here’s his list: Be genuinely interested in other people. Smile. Remember people’s names. Be a good listener. Talk in terms of other’s interests. Make people feel important and do it sincerely. – from How to Win Friends and Influence People NotContinue reading “There’s Room at the Table”