Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/20/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Here we are at the culmination of Hollywood’s grand excess in self-congratulation, the Oscars (which follow awards bestowed by SAG, Hollywood foreign press corps, and on and on). Is Ryan Gosling or Denzel Washington a “better” actor this year? Is Fences or Hacksaw Ridge a “better” movie? It’s kind of ridiculous and also somewhat incestuous. I’ve received and been denied my share of awards. My most prized are my high school senior poll award, “Most Likely to Succeed,” which gave …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/13/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Some universities now include warnings about “micro-aggressions” in their orientation programs for new students. As I understand it, that’s an unintended sleight, such as saying “you guys” as a plural, when some people present are female. Of course, every new anchor and on-air reporter I’ve seen says “Back to you guys” every broadcast. You’re not supposed to ask Asian students to help with your math homework if you don’t know them, nor ask a tall person if he or she …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/06/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We all have our favorites to look back on in sports, whether it was Michael Jordan or Larry Bird; Joe Montana or Bart Starr; Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays; Billie Jean King or Serena Williams; Pelé or Maradona; Jack Niklaus or Arnold Palmer. Somehow, when I was a kid, I knew that Sandy Koufax was something else, the greatest pitcher ever, even while watching him in the flesh. An opponent having lost to Björn Berg at Wimbledon said, “I was …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/30/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Instead of granting ourselves permission to speak or act, many of us deny ourselves permission. We may wait for others to act—although the seat belt sign is on, someone goes to the rest room, isn’t chastized, so now it’s all right for us to do it—but usually we miss our opportunity. When that happens, we regret our reticence. When we don’t speak out we tend to hold grudges and fret over what we “should have” said or “should have” done. …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/23/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We tend to think that “now” is the way it will always be. We make projections based on today instead of painting pictures of the future. We become actuaries and accountants instead of dreamers and artists. And we also fool ourselves that “today” is the most important time ever. I’m writing this on January 22. Here are some past occurrences on this date: In 1771, Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain. In 1901, Queen Victoria of Britain died at …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/16/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We miss far too much while embroiled in minor matters. People have their faces planted in their phones while an eagle flies overhead with a fish (or, worse, a car approaches them with another texting driver). Intent on selfies, tourists miss the grandeur or the lake, or temple, or mountain. Focused on getting their money’s worth from the buffet, diners miss the pleasure of conversation. (I recently watched two parents and their two kids all punching their phones amidst Christmas …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/09/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I hear a lot about “seeking meaning,” especially in the face of tragedy and uncertainty. But how would you know it if you tripped over it? I doubt it’s like the justice’s definition of pornography—I’ll know it when I see it. I’d think our brief time here is about creating meaning, first and foremost for ourselves. When we have a lighted path, a goal for our journey (whether or not we reach our destination), we tend to serve a greater …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/02/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

(The following is from my January 1 edition of Balancing Act, and I rarely publish the same thing twice, but I’m making an exception here, I hope you’ll cut me some slack.) New Year’s Resolutions are just an excuse to pretend that we’re cognizant of our flaws, eager about improvements, and willing to take accountability for positive change. If this were an “over/under” bet in Vegas, the number would be 1 and I’d take the under. (Talk to your gambling …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/26/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I forgot who said this (I’ve seen an early reference in the Gospel of Matthew), but I never forgot it: An act of charity is not defined by how much you give, but by how much you have left after you give. When we were poor, I remember my father slipping $10 into someone’s mailbox (a huge amount) whom he knew was in even worse shape. That to me was far more impressive than someone of means giving $10,000 or …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/19/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

My wife, the dogs, and I wish you all a happy Holiday Season, and best wishes for this most joyous time of year. Thank your for your interest in my work and for all the notes you send commenting upon it. I lead a wonderful life, and I’m also appreciative of every second of it. I wish that for all of you. From our house to yours, Merry Christmas. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if …