Thank You

In What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith recommends when you receive feedback, positive or negative, all you should say is Thank You.

First it is disarming. Most people, when they provide feedback, expect an argument. Just listen to what they have to say and say Thank You.

Second receiving feedback can be emotional, especially negative feedback. It’s better to just listen, take it in, and say Thank You.

There is no need to debate every point. There is no need to offer an opinion in every conversation.

You don’t have to agree with everything that’s said but usually some of what is said is true.

Feedback is difficult to hear because we see ourselves one way, where the world sees us another. Say Thank You then sit down and reflect on what was said.

Take what you can use to get better, discard the rest.

Keep going back to anyone who has the courage to give you feedback, especially negative feedback. Check in with them to see how you are doing and say Thank You.

Don’t be right. Get it right. And say Thank You.


Justice is the hardest of the four Stoic virtues.

Justice means doing the right thing even when it is hard and unpopular.

Justice requires you to live up to the other three virtues.

Justice requires the wisdom to know what the right thing is in any situation.

“The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.” – Aristotle

Justice requires the courage to do the right thing in the face of people who disagree with you and may even hate you for it.

“Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet if all men became just, there would be no need for courage.” – Agesilaus the Second

Justice requires the discipline to do the right thing again and again.

“[A] man has it in his power to be just, if he have but the will to be so.” – Plutarch, Lives: Life of Cato the Younger

We need to be just because it is the right thing no matter what others do or if we get praise.

“Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just.” – Marcus Aurelius.

Justice is the reward in its own right. Don’t worry about what others think. What you think and do is all that matters.

Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others.


Wisdom is a journey not a destination.

It comes from seeking knowledge not facts. It comes from developing skills

Wisdom comes from opening your mind to new ideas. Even ideas that seem contrary to your worldview.

Epicureanism is supposedly diametrically opposed to Stoicism. However Seneca quotes Epicurus repeatedly.

“I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.” – Seneca

Wisdom is about seeking the truth. The truth is the truth.

Even if you disagree you should try to understand what they have to say.

You don’t have to agree with everything but maybe something they say makes you expand your perspective.

Isn’t that what wisdom is truly about?

“Don’t get into this binary thing where you’re looking at Fox or CNN. Read the other side. Some of your fellow citizens have good reasons to believe something different than you do. I try to think sometimes about where are they right? Not are they wrong. You’ll become a better thinker. And you earn peoples’ respect.” – Jaime Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase

Life is about the search for the truth.

“It is the search for the truth, not possession of the truth which is the way of philosophy. Its questions are more relevant than its answers, and every answer becomes a new question.” – Karl Jaspers

If we want to seek true wisdom we need to lead with questions and not answers.

Answers are an endpoint. Questions are a beginning. Questions lead to more questions.

Questions lead you on the journey.

What I believe in

Courage – do what’s right especially when it’s hard and unpopular.

Have high expectations for everyone including myself.

Justice – every child should have what they need to succeed. Fair is not equal.

Relationships are key. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Everyone should have a say in their environment.

Stop believing we know what is right about how every child learns. Ask them. Open our minds to new possibilities.

Wisdom – to have the humility to know that I don’t know everything and the confidence to continue to learn.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” – Unknown

Learn with students and from everyone you come into contact with.

It is less about being right. It’s more about learning and considering different views.

“Am I hear to learn something or to prove something?“ – Holstee, Reflections newsletter

We should spend more time asking questions than pretending like we have all the answers.

We all need to rethink our beliefs regularly.

Discipline – to have control over my emotions and actions and to live my life according to these ideals.

“Excellence not perfection” – Adam Grant, Think Again Podcast.

Life is hard. You have to keep grinding every day no matter what.

“The impediment to action advances the action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius