Balancing Act #203: July 2016



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 web site:

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Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Techniques for balance
  2. Musings
  3. The human condition: Aggrievementnessosity
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department


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  1. Techniques for balance
  1. Musings

         From Columbine to Orlando, I both cringe and wonder at the proliferation of mass murder of civilians by civilians, not for money—as in a bank robbery—but simply to kill. Pragmatically, you can’t kill all of those you hate in your blind ignorance and bigotry. Hitler tried with all the power of a totalitarian state, obedient military, and supportive population, and even he couldn’t do it.

         It strikes me that there is a confluence of three elements which enable mass murder more than ever before.

  1. Massive, instantaneous media, feeding on drama and provocation, ensure perpetrators immediate notoriety (which they’d consider “fame”). The act can’t be hushed up or even slowly analyzed. We are suddenly, and continually, bombarded with every aspect of the horror, including the perpetrator’s messages, beliefs, and actions.
  2. The access to lethal, powerful arms in the US, in particular (but not exclusively—even benign Norway has had its mass murderer, whom the courts recently ruled was being subject to overly cruel punishment in his private prison suite with TV and exercise equipment). People can legally own weapons that would have been more powerful than most infantry arms in Viet Nam.
  3. An increase in the number of disenfranchised and alienated people. Whether religious radicalism, or bigotry, or being aggrieved by government policy, or becoming immersed in one’s “cause,” there are people who forsake discussion, debate, and democracy for self-styled vigilantism. These people have always existed, but I believe today’s complex and frenetic world is a catalyst for the alienation and ability to act.

         Thus, we have the perfect storm.

         We need to recognize the intent to murder for what it is. A Imam in a U.S. mosque calls for gays to be killed. Wouldn’t intelligent, religious, rational people walk out the door? Imagine a Catholic priest making that statement during Mass? The Orlando killer had been interviewed at least twice by the FBI and released over a ten-year period. (Remember when the 9/11 Islamic killers studied to fly but not land in American flying schools, and no one was moved to investigate closely?)

         We need to limit the access to firearms which have power above and beyond what’s needed for hunting or home defense. We need to more carefully qualify and register who acquires guns. The Orlando killer had a legally registered and acquired highly potent automatic weapon.

         We need more accountability, all of us. The Columbine killers—kids—had weapons and pipe bombs in their rooms. Their parents either were so remote as to not to notice, or so negligent as to not intervene.

         What’s happened in Paris, Istanbul, Orlando, Norway, Bali, and scores of other places can’t be chalked up to “the times” or fate. Our liberties are already severely restricted in airports, where we’re guilty until proved innocent. We can’t live with more liberties eroded in terms of attending the theater, or a nightclub, or a church or synagogue. We must isolate the causes and take preventive actions. First responders, no matter how gallant and well trained, are a contingency after the horror.

         My limo driver said to me the other day on the way to the train station, “We have too many flags at half-staff too often these days.” Indeed. We need to view that flag and recognize that we are Americans all, here in the U.S., and we believe in and defend human liberty, justice, and freedom of speech.

         But those freedoms rely on human safety. No freedoms are secure when the populace is unsafe.

The human condition: Aggrievementnessosity

         Everyone is aggrieved, it seems.

         They may be aggrieved over global warming, or college tuition debt, or others’ political beliefs, or soccer scandals, or taxes, or slow internet access, or not receiving benefits someone else has earned, or not being recognized as special, or being asked to work to earn money, or having to be accountable.


         Fewer and fewer people want to make accommodations, create consensus, or simply cope with circumstances. They want special treatment, just for them. I was facilitating a packed meeting for a private school which felt it had to raise tuition to maintain the physical plant. One woman objected vehemently, actually saying, “I’ve sent my two oldest here on full scholarships for financial hardship, and if you reduce scholarships, I won’t be able to send my youngest!” Oh, yes: Her 45-year-old husband had decided never to work and earn money, though perfectly healthy.

         I’m not talking about complaining, which is to express dissatisfaction with some state of affairs. I’m talking about being aggrieved, which is feeling resentment at perceived personally unfair treatment. That “treatment” might include a low grade in school, not being allowed into a club that requires professional qualifications, not being immediately agreed with by others on controversial topics, not being warned that emotional material is in a classic book, or not being seen as a high performer despite mediocre work.

         Social media are really large vanity publishing outlets. They create a false egalitarianism, as if all opinions are equal in merit. They are not, of course. I’ll listen to my doctor’s health diagnosis before I will my mechanic’s, and I’ll listen to my mechanic’s assessment of my car’s performance before I will my doctor’s. The belief that mere publishing creates accuracy or respect or truth is ridiculous.

         So is the belief that we are all due things we haven’t earned.

         I don’t need to go through life protected, nor recognized for achievements I haven’t created. I just want the opportunity to achieve and experience life. I can deal with the issues that arise which tend to hurt me or help me.

         To do otherwise—to merely be aggrieved—is to disempower yourself, because you’re appealing to others to help you, an implicit statement that you can’t help yourself.

Alan Weiss Development Experiences

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February 7, Dallas

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September 15-16, San Francisco

It’s one thing to recognize the power of brands, another to use that power wisely with the right audience. We’ll combine creativity and your content to foster more gravity and attraction.

The Transatlantic Workshops

Featuring Matt Kolbusa from Hamburg

October 24-25, Washington, DC

You’ll hear numerous examples to enter high-fee territory. Taking our own experience as the starting point, we’ll describe how to gradually increase project volumes from $50k to $100K, to $200K, to $300K and, finally, even to $500k. What errors were made along the way? What were the profits of these projects and what will they be in the future? What erroneous reasoning and attitudes do we have to overcome to achieve this development? Based on hit workshops in Munich and Hamburg.

The Transpacific Workshops

October 19-20, New York City

I created these specifically for my clients in Sydney, and the two days sold out over a month in advance. I’ve decided to run them in the U.S. because of that great success. The sessions are highly interactive and feature small group work, “hot seats,” and personal case studies. One day on aggressive business growth, and one day on the abundance mindset required to sustain it.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Newport, RI

December 13-16

My longest sustained offering, enormously popular after more than a decade. Join me and a small group for an intense 3.5 days (newly reduced from 4.5) to dramatically build your business, whether beginner or veteran, and at a fabulous property.

Role-Play Workshop

September 27 in Boston or New York (you get to vote)

A maximum of 26 people in the toughest and/or most common challenges, from marketing to implementation, from referrals requests to dealing with difficult clients. Write me to apply: [email protected]. First ten people are $950, second ten are $1,150, final six are $1,350.

Thought Leadership 2016

October 5-7

Four Seasons, Palm Beach

We sell-out every year and for our next one I've secured Harvard's Dan Gilbert, the expert on happiness, as my special guest for a discussion as well as dinner. His TED talk has been viewed by over 15 million people thus far. Three seats remain.

Million Dollar Consulting® Convention 2017

April 26-28, Chicago

After smash hits in Atlanta and Los Angeles, our third annual event will be in Chicago. We'll have five general sessions, six concurrent sessions, panel discussions, networking reception, and much more. Save $200 before August 1.

  1. Endorsed Programming

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  1. Only Read This If You Know Me Well Or You’ll Be Needlessly Ticked-Off

I take a cab from my hotel to my business meeting in Sydney. The fare is $9 Australian (maybe $7 US). I give the driver $12 Australian and thank him.

“Lord, you’re an American,” he says turning around.

“Can you tell by my accent?” I ask.

“No, I can tell by your tip!”


People who regularly complain about what they “should have done” never get around to doing anything. -- AW


© Alan Weiss 2016