Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 240, August 2019)

A free monthly newsletter about balancing life, work, and relationships based on the books and popular workshops conducted by Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Past copies are archived on our website.
Copyright 2019 Alan Weiss. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1934-3116 

Balancing Act® is our registered trademark. You are encouraged to share the contents with others with appropriate attribution. Please use the ® whenever the phrase "Balancing Act" is used in connection with this newsletter or our workshops.

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

1. Strange Stuff (At Least to Me)

2. Musings

3. The Human Condition: Mayberry


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• Why bother with pennies? I rarely take the small change anywhere if there’s tipping or charity containers, and at the end of the day, I give all my change to my wife who saves up over the year and writes a check to charity with it. Why don’t we just get rid of small change?

• I understand the horrors of plastic in the oceans, but I don’t understand why the most advanced country in the world can’t make a paper straw that doesn’t unravel, or droop, and simply seem disgusting to put in your mouth. I’m drinking my iced coffee this morning with a plastic straw from Dunkin’ Donuts and feel as if I’m using crack cocaine.

• The Italians, for all their love of arguing and yelling, strictly stick to the right lane except to pass, where Americans, despite all the signs and the laws, clog up the high speed lanes. We need an ego-ectomy over here.

• “Final destination” makes no more sense than “team group” or “paper money dollars.” Unless, of course, your goal in life is to prove that, despite your training to evacuate a plane in emergencies, you can be redundant to your heart’s content.

• Why do “inflammable” and “flammable” mean exactly the same thing? Yet “sanguine” and “sanguinary” are rather opposite.

• Personal injury lawyers who advertise their enormous settlements on TV, or tell you to call them if you’ve used certain medications, and call themselves “the heavy hitter” or “we mean business” remind me of a cross between parasites and piranhas.

• If you believe, after all these years and all the scientific, medical evidence, that it’s safer NOT to vaccinate your kids than to vaccinate them, why aren’t you declared unfit to be a parent?

• Whether you believe there’s life elsewhere in space, or you don’t believe it, or you just don’t know, your answer is mind-boggling and reminds us of our tiny place in the cosmos.

• It strikes me that some atheists have a near-religious opposition to any manifestation of belief in God in the community. Being forced to observe a religion is totally wrong, but simply being exposed to a religious symbol or Nativity scene doesn’t cause emotional injury.

• The response of broadcast TV to the onslaught of alternative viewing options has been to bring back revivals of old shows and spinoffs from old shows which once appealed to an entirely different generation. I guess we know where the best and the brightest aren’t going.

• I don’t know that there’s anything greater than watching something grow, whether a tree, a child, a pet, or your own abilities.

Most historians whom I’ve read seem to agree that if Pope Leo X would have agreed to see Martin Luther, the Reformation would never have taken place as it did. George III refused to permit conversations about the taxes of the colonies, which might have avoided the British losing a third of their empire and what would have become its most profitable and powerful component.

Our relationship with China has improved mightily since President Nixon decided it might be a good idea to go over there and chat a bit. “Let them eat cake,” (which was a kind of bread) sniffed Marie Antoinette, and the revolution was on. Nicholas II thought the Russian throne was impregnable. The Bolsheviks thought otherwise.

I’ve heard people say it was useless for President Trump to talk to Kim Jong-un, or it has been merely grandstanding. They felt that President Clinton achieved nothing long-lasting in bringing Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak together for what was to be the Camp David Accords.

I’m for talking. It doesn’t always work, I acknowledge. It didn’t work at Munich with Hitler and Chamberlain. But it’s better than starting things out with a bomb. Once Iraq invaded Kuwait, its army was readily defeated. You can take back a poorly phrased idea or an unacceptable position. But you can’t take back a bullet or a bomb any more than you can unring a bell. “The jury will disregard the prior comment” is one of the most asinine aspects (of many) in our legal processes.

The same holds true of civic disagreements, social gaffes, business competition, customer complaints, and sports challenges. (Instant replay is an aspect of talking about a controversial play.)

I’m not taking a political position. I’d just rather see our president at any given time trying to talk to people rather than threaten them; trying to reach agreements rather than reach for the nearest battle group.

Martin Luther was a simple monk, merely trying to make a case for ending indulgences and corrupt clergy. His cause was just and he simply wanted to be heard.

The Pope should have listened.

So should we.

This morning a woman entering the post office held the door for me even though I was 20 yards behind her. When I thanked her, having quickened my pace, she said, “My pleasure.”

A postal clerk called over to me from his window where he saw me pull into the lot and said, “I didn’t know Rolls made convertibles, tell me about your car!” I did.

My renter at my train house texted me to enjoy my vacation, since I had mentioned that I was leaving (I’m writing this from the Jersey Shore). A woman whom I think is brilliant and a lot of fun sent me a newsletter she wrote, and I felt I had to point out a dozen errors in it which diminished her points. She wrote back to tell me she was grateful and wanted me always to be absolutely honest with her.

The pool guys came and fixed a pressure problem in five minutes by turning a valve that was turned the wrong way. The cable company—yes, the cable company—fixed one of our TVs over the phone and then told me the entire house qualified for a faster modem, for free, and they sent it overnight.

I’m being courted by a London publisher. My next book will be out in about four months and that current publisher is allowing me to create the cover. I’ve figured out a vexing problem on my train layout and the guy who runs the model shop, knowing I needed an auxiliary transformer, reconditioned one from 1955 because he thought I’d appreciate it.

July 4th was a great holiday for the family, and we celebrated it around the pool with hot dogs, hamburgers, and legal fireworks by the pond.

Life is pretty good, if we allow it be. I have to admit, however, I keep looking for Andy Griffith. (If you don’t get the reference, you’re too young to run for President.)

I was invited to a private club with a group of people in my workshop. One of the women in my group was on a first date with the club member who volunteered to host the six of us, I didn’t know if it was because it was more comfortable than being alone or because he wanted to impress her.

During the meal, she asked us in general what “jury nullification” was because she had heard it referenced on TV earlier in the day. I expounded at some length, bringing in the OJ Simpson trial and finishing with a trial judge’s right to overrule a jury verdict. By that time, dessert had arrived.

I happened to turn to our host over coffee and ask, “What is it you do for a living?”

“Oh, I’m a criminal attorney,” he said, looking into his cup.

Getting Started in Consulting and Reenergizing Your Practice

I’ve priced this ($300!) so that everyone can attend to begin their consulting journey or refresh the one they’re on. I’ve even arranged rooms, if needed, for about $270. You will spend an entire day with me, and I’m buying lunch. Your return should be about 10,000:1. The room size creates a limit on numbers, so sign up now for something I’ve never before offered but feel I should.

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Million Dollar Consulting® College 2019

I think this is my 25th and could well be the last, since I’m doing so many new things. But I already have ten people, so only four seats remain in this comprehensive, intense, 2.5-day program at a great property. You’ll also receive 30 days of coaching with me.

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Thought Leadership 2019

I’ve attracted the renowned Chip Heath, professor at Stanford, author, and consulting guru to be my special guest this year at my 9th such conference. We’ll be at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach where you’ll hear from Chip, colleagues, and me on how best to ascend to Thought Leadership in your field of expertise and use your powers for the good of all!

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Six Figures to Seven (627)

One of my most popular offerings of all time, this is only the fourth one and third in the U.S. In two days, master the skills and behaviors needed to move into seven figures (or whatever bandwidth you need for your ideal lifestyle and contributions). You’ll have plenty of “air time” with a small group. Three seats remain.

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This lifetime access to my vast vault of intellectual property (workshops, video, podcasts, teleconferences, articles, etc., etc.) is now being added to bimonthly with items from my body of work. However, beginning November 1st, 2019, I’m adding to it monthly with new items expressly for Growth Access never before distributed and not to be distributed outside of Growth Access. The fee will go up to $5,000 at that point, but you can still obtain those benefits for life for $3,800 if you sign up before November 1st, 2019.

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Creating Dynamic Communities

My global communities provide tremendous value to participants and a great laboratory for me to develop new offerings. In fact, many of my greatest successes originated in my real and virtual community settings. (As you read this, is operating all over the world.) Now I’ve codified how you can do this with your own corporate or consumer audiences and prospects. (Zero-labor access to my intellectual property alone is a seven-figure business.) Join me for this new, restricted participation event.

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Million Dollar Consulting® Convention in Sydney

For the first time I’m taking the Convention out of the US to one of my favorite places in the world, Australia. This will be my 19th trip.

After my sold-out workshop on Best Practices in Adelaide in 2018, I was encouraged by the attendees to return with the convention in 2020. Our 2019 Convention was a full house in April 2019 in Washington, DC. 

We already have nearly 50 people registered for Sydney, half from outside New Zealand and Australia!

You’ll hear the best of the best generously sharing their knowledge on acquiring business, marketing, brand building, delivering strategy, serving as a trusted advisor, advanced coaching, and so forth. The networking is fantastic during extended breaks, lunches, and cocktail receptions.

Special discounts for residents of Australia and New Zealand. Register now before the fees increase!

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Balancing Act® is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing the blending of life, work, and relationships, based on the popular Balancing Act workshops and writing of Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Contact us for further information at: [email protected].
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© Alan Weiss 2019

Balancing Act® is our registered trademark. You are encouraged to share the contents with others with appropriate attribution. Please use the ® whenever the phrase "Balancing Act" is used in connection with this newsletter or our workshops.


See Writing on the Wall, featuring Koufax the Wonder Dog.




It’s not easier to get forgiveness than permission if you simply seize permission. 

Alan Weiss