Jan Jaffe: When we first talked about reflective practices late last summer, you offered a counter-intuitive personal practice to get some distance and perspective on tough challenges: press the pause button. I don’t think this came up just because we were both lamenting the end of summer.
Ryan Chao: Well, I’m sure that played a part! It’s also about coming to know your limitations and creating a space for seeing practice in a different way. I ran a large nonprofit for eight years when I also had young kids. Everything felt like life and death. Getting some distance helped me fully show up and make better decisions at work and at home. I’ve become a believer in the role of work/life balance as key to maintaining calm and perspective at work. Not being “in it” all the time helps me to remember that I’m not changing the world by myself.