Can’t Do ‘Same Same’

June 1, 2021

For the first time in over 15 months, I went to a hotel for a weekend away. I went to brunch with new vaccinated acquaintances who I hope will become friends. I made plans to fly to visit my brother and his family in Minnesota. I am moving back into the world and am asking myself after such a challenging year on all fronts how I can do so with more intentionality, thoughtfulness and care. Courtney Martin is asking the same thing. In her last blog she expressed her concern and it’s one that I share. “I’m afraid there is a same same setting in….like we’re sort of taking a relieved deep breath as we settle back into the project of our own individual success.”

I can’t settle back into my own individual life. I know too much. I can’t be the same as I was emotionally psychologically or spiritually. I know now even more poignantly how interconnected we are. It’s too small a life to live and too tiny a view of life to offer to just go back to normal. I gotta stretch. We gotta stretch.

As I look at the books that are coming out now, I see I am not alone. Tom Peters, business guru, now at age 78, just put out what he says is his last book, Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism. Then there is the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s touchy feely experts David Bradford and Carole Robin’s and their book Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends and Colleagues. I am sensing a theme. It’s not just about our individual journeys. We are connected. We are in it together. Extremely human and interconnected with one another.

Martin wishes for a moment where “we don’t settle for simple answers or incremental reforms but expand to embrace human complexity and dream of alternative realities.” Oh, how difficult it can be to not just settle back into what is comfortable. And, it is what we must do – not settle back into the ‘same same’ – we need to become bigger selves and even better human beings. Same same won’t work.

Where might you not want this coming year to be ‘same same’ as before?

Ask yourself:

  • What matters to me now?
  • Where do you want to interrupt the narrative and write a new story?
  • What flame do I want to carry into my future interactions?
  • In what situations do I want to declare, “This is what I want to do differently.”
  • What conversations can I have that will bring something new into the world?

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Cool Resources

Moral Courage Project At Moral Courage College, we teach diversity without shaming. Our specialty is to equip people to turn disagreement into engagement and, ultimately, into shared action.

Your Turn: How to be an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. “A former Stanford dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising and author of the perennial bestseller How to Raise an Adult and of the lauded memoir Real American, Julie Lythcott-Haims has encountered hundreds of twentysomethings (and thirtysomethings, too), who, faced with those markers, feel they’re just playing the part of “adult,” while struggling with anxiety, stress, and general unease. In Your Turn, Julie offers compassion, personal experience, and practical strategies for living a more authentic adulthood, as well as inspiration through interviews with dozens of voices from the rich diversity of the human population who have successfully launched their adult lives.”

The Daily SEL Leader: A Guided Journal by James Bailey and Randy Weiner. “Social-emotional learning is one of the hottest education topics today. Most of the focus, however, has been at the student level. The truth is that school leaders can’t implement social-emotional learning effectively if they don’t deeply understand it for themselves.” (P.S. I will be doing an online book celebration/event with Julie and Randy in the early fall – Be on the lookout for information in the next few months!)