“That’s not what I meant”. – by Seth Godin

Disagreements among people who mean well usually begin with that emotion.

You meant to say something or agree to something, but the “other side” didn’t hear it that way.

That’s enough for a customer to walk away forever. That’s enough for a lawsuit. Because denying the experience of the other person doesn’t open the door for re-connection.

Forward motion is possible if we can extend the sentence to, “That’s not what I meant, but that must be what you heard, how do we fix this? Will you help me make things right again?”

If we can agree on intent, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to move forward.

courtesy: Seth Godin Newsletter

did you know

Did you know…

… that today is Typing Speed Record Day? On this day in 1918, Margaret Owen set a typing speed record of 170 words per minute on a manual typewriter. Can you imagine what her speed would’ve been if she’d had access to an electric one?!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“One tree can start a forest. One smile can begin a friendship. One hand can lift a soul. One word can frame the goal. One candle can wipe out darkness. One laugh can conquer gloom. One touch can show you care. One life can make the difference. Be that one today.”

— Author Unknown

wisdom quotes

If you can’t find the path that leads to success simply create the path yourself.
Either I will find a way, or I will make one. (Philip Sidney)
When a problem arises it is not a sign to stop, it’s merely a sign to change your plans slightly.
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. (Robert H. Schuller)

How Can You Lighten the Load for Others?

How Can You Lighten the Load for Others?

When things get hard, a Stoic steps up. We’ve talked about that before. We do this because we know we can carry a heavy load, a load heavier than most people. 

That’s what Marcus Aurelius was saying when he said it doesn’t matter whether something is fortunate or unfortunate. What’s fortunate, he said, is that it happened to you. Or that it happened while you were nearby. Because other people wouldn’t be able to handle it like you. Because other people haven’t had the training or the prosperity or cultivated the courage and temperance and justice and wisdom that you have

So as we look at the effects of this terrible pandemic and as we face the recession that has already begun, the critical question for us—the fortunate, the trained, the brave—is to ask how we can think of others before ourselves. We can ask: How can I lighten the load for others?

Some easy, simple ones: Check in on someone who might be lonely, so they don’t have to bear isolation. Reassure—but also be straightforward—with employees about your ability to maintain the business and that you value their safety most. If you own rental or investment properties, be patient or flexible with the rent. If you own debts, try to work out a payment schedule given recent events (Seneca did not do this in Rome and it is a stain on his reputation. Marcus did and it’s one of his greatest accomplishments). Donate supplies or goods to people who might need them. See what you can do to keep the elderly from needing to leave their homes. Tell your kids or your significant other they don’t need to worry—that you’ve got it covered. Keep supporting local businesses that you can afford to support.

There are many things that can be added to this list, depending on who you are, what you do, and what will happen. But the point is: It’s your job to be thinking about this. It’s your job to try to lighten the load for others, to be of service and to be a positive force in the world. The Stoics believed we were made for each other, that the fruits of this life were good character and acts for the common good

Live up to that. Now!

P.S. This was originally sent on June 8, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. Share this…

P.S. Sure is hot down here.

Typos and Oh God Why?

A couple going on vacation but his wife was on a business trip so he went to the destination first and his wife would meet him the next day.

When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email.

Unfortunately, when typing her address, he mistyped a letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,
Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here.


If you want things such as health, wealth, children and other material things, then don’t come to me. There are many saints capable of satisfying your desires, and they might be pleased to give you what you want.

I am what they call in Iran a shah-saudagar (merchant-prince). I am neither a wholesale nor a retail dealer. If you’re in the market to purchase a pin or a needle you must go to a retail merchant.

I am not dealing in merchandise such as granting favors. A shah-saudagar can and may, if he likes, supply anyone with even a pin, but it would be unthinkable to approach him for such a thing.


[LISTEN, HUMANITY. By Meher Baba. NARRATED AND EDITED By D.E. Stevens. An Avatar Meher Baba Trust eBook June 2011. Copyright © 1957 by Sufism Reoriented, Inc.Copyright © 1982 Avatar Meher Baba Trust]

great commandments to follow

You shall care for animals orphaned by misfortune.
You shall not speak in god’s place.
You shall not betray your family.
You shall encourage others to join you in following the words of god.
You shall strife for excellence.
You shall work for a world in balance.
You shall not indulge in gluttony.
You shall remain determined through times of struggle.
You shall care for the world for it is god’s creation.
You shall abide by promises you make.

Debating Bon Jovi’s cheesiness will enrich your conceptual life | Psyche Ideas

Your Best Day Yet: Three Stoic Reminders To Start Your Morning With

Live in the present moment. That is, don’t obsess over what has happened in the past or lose yourself in visions of the future. Focus on what is right here, right in front of you, today. Make the most of it, and enjoy yourself. As Marcus Aurelius reminded himself: “Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand.” What matters right now is right now. What is your mission today? What tasks will help you move in the right direction? Catch yourself during the day when your mind drifts. Stick with the present moment. Remind yourself of the person you have chosen as a role model. As Seneca wrote to a friend who’d asked for advice, “Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval. Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model. There is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make crooked straight.” So, who is it for you? Mentally list for yourself the standards you want to live by and work to make sure that is the case today. Practice your “contemptuous expressions.” Contempt seems like a weird emotion to start your day with. But we give you Marcus Aurelius who once wrote: “Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Perceptions like that—latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time.” Don’t get distracted during the day by the trappings our society puts on things. Expensive food is still dead plants and animals. Fancy clothes are made in sweatshops by children. Rich people still go to the bathroom like everyone else. Strip things, as Marcus Aurelius also wrote, of the legend that encrusts them. Go through your day with objectivity and see things as they are. ** As a final parting thought, remember that we choose whether the day will be a good or a bad one. We choose whether everything is good or bad. As Seneca said, “a good person dyes events with his own color…and turns whatever happens to his own benefit.” Think of that quote in the morning because this is the attitude for success and optimism in all situations that you need to carry with you throughout the day. By controlling our perceptions, we create a reality in which every situation, no matter what it is, provides us with a positive, exposed benefit we can act on, if only we look for it.

Your Best Day Yet: Three Stoic Reminders To Start Your Morning With

A Test of Your Worth

A Test of Your Worth Here’s a question to ask yourself about your work and your life: Do you create value for society or do you extract it? Are you a giver or a taker? Do you make the world better with your choices and actions and lifestyle? When the Stoics talk about sympatheia, they are referring to this idea that we all have a role, that we’re all part of a larger whole. And, of course, the Stoics were not so naive that they didn’t understand some people’s roles were to be shameless, to be evil, to be lazy, or whatever. (Marcus alludes to an idea in Meditations that even people who are sleeping are doing a job of some kind). But just because that is some people’s role, doesn’t mean it’s a good role or that it should be yours.  It’s worth taking the time on a regular basis to stop and consider what you’re contributing to this whole crazy system we’ve been born into. Marcus said that we were made to do works for the common good. Well, are you? Are you helping people? Is what you sell actually worth people’s money (and therefore time) or are you such a good marketer that you trick them into thinking so?  Decide to create value. Decide to give more than you take. Make the world better by being in it.

A Test of Your Worth

A glass of Milk, paid in Full

A glass of Milk, paid in Full

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Year’s later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

“Paid in full with one glass of milk.

Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.”

Why Grandma has grey hair?

The child and his mother:

A curious child asked his mother: “Mommy, why are some of your hairs turning grey?”

The mother tried to use this occasion to teach her child: “It is because of you, dear. Every bad action of yours will turn one of my hairs grey!”

The child replied innocently: “Now I know why grandmother has only grey hairs on her head.”

random acts of kindness

1. Bring your flight attendant some chocolates.

2. Leave sealed soaps and toiletries in an urban public toilet

3. Make extra meals to share with a sick or busy neighbor.

4. Stop by a nursing home and visit a resident with no family nearby.

5. Try something new with your child or partner

motivation – don’t quit

Don’t Quit – Keep Going
By Edgar A. Guest. 1921.

When Things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and debts are high,
And you want to Smile but have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out,
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up,
When he might captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown,

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.