Big thematic shifts are scary, and great big fun – like a rollercoaster. To break out some recent thematic rides in my life:

Identity: A healthy detachment from everything begins with a rooted identity in Something.

Vulnerability: I have no nugget for this, except that it’s worth the work, friends. Working on vulnerability in a socially unawkward way is so totally worth the work.

Encouragement is so important. The role encouragement plays in a child’s development teaches them how to navigate their interests, follow their innate curiosities, and how to face fears as they’ll inevitably have to digest in life.

Encouragement can change the world.

I owe much of this to observing and participating in the Strala culture. We aim to encourage, and we encourage people to be themselves. It’s amazing to watch people gravitate towards a welcoming environment, slowly unfolding to discover how comfortable they truly can be in their own skin. Trying to fit into someone else’s skin is not sustainable. Obviously.

Right now, I’m encouraged as I witness several Betterment colleagues pitch in and empty the office dishwashers. Teamwork, friends.

Shawn Li