Is There A Good Consultant In The House?

We’ll be in Kyoto for the election, I’m happy to report. Odd fact: Much of the Republican leadership doesn’t support their candidate; there are charges of harassment against him; he hasn’t released his tax returns; he keeps shooting himself in the foot every time he speaks; he did not debate well; the media, in any election, lean heavily democratic in their coverage; the sitting President carried about 90% of the African-American vote and he’s actively campaigning; the Democrats have raised …


First Things First

First thing in the morning I take the dogs into the yard before heading for the garage and a coffee and biscuit run. But they don’t relieve themselves right away, despite being inside for the prior seven hours or so. Bentley runs up and down the yard six times, maybe 300 yards in total, working off his energy, head high, looking all over. Then he sniffs along the tree line and finally attends to nature. Buddy Beagle puts his nose …


Small Minds

In the latest Balancing Act Newsletter I talked about the current trend in colleges to avoid “micro-aggressions” which are defined by the administration as acts such as saying “you guys” or asking an Asian student you don’t know for help with a math assignment. I mentioned how crazy this can become with this example: “At what point do silly grievances, trivial in their nature, become escalated to ‘micro-aggression’ or perhaps worse, to bias claims? After a presentation, I was approached …


Pick Up the Check

I’ve had people in my workshops order internet in the conference room so they had access and attempt to put it on my bill! I’ve had people who ordered special food—lattes, or eggs—to augment what I was offering, and charge it to me. I had one guy, who thankfully left my community for good when he was ostracized, try to order Louis XIII when I offered after-dinner drinks on one occasion (it goes for $250 a glass). I’ve seen people …


Before and After the Fall (Prelapsarian Fun)

I used the word “prelapsarian” (before the fall of man; Edenic times) this week in my Monday Morning Memo. Sure enough, some clown who received the FREE newsletter writes me and tells me that using the word was pretentious. So let’s review: • I used the word as a metaphor for how long something had been going on: “The prelapsarian goal, from then to now, of any buisness is to have customers.” I find it an apt metaphor is one …


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

• A woman takes issue with one of my weekly Monday Morning Memos—a FREE newsletter—and tells me that if I don’t write more consistently with her point of view, she’ll cancel her subscription. (She had been reading it for over a year.) • A man writes a venomous email because I wrote a column in a FREE newsletter about the special nature of my mornings in Nantucket. He wrote that if I can’t provide him with ideas to improve his …


Conspiracies and Paranoia

I’m reading more and more from people who believe there are vast conspiracies preventing their success. The conspirators are usually the government, drug companies, the media, the United Nations, the wealthy, and so forth. (Any notion of a government which can’t keep the tiniest secret engaging in decades-long conspiracies is comical, but I digress.) A widespread believe in conspiracies is paranoid. Here’s the definition of paranoia: a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into …


2015 Enigmas

Amy Schumer is bold, off-color, risk-taking—and not very funny. After hearing so much about her, I watched her HBO special (directed by Chris Rock, no less, but how do you “direct” a standup comedy routine?). I laughed three times over the course of an hour. When will the other candidates realize that Trump grabs headlines because he’s refreshingly different in a process where everyone is vanilla and bland? Who on earth thinks that automated phone calls will convince someone to …


When I was young, my friends and I spent a lot of time trying to stay OUT of trouble. Our parents would yell from the windows if we played ball in the streets (we’d move around the block), or if we were in a fight, or if we were making too much noise, or whatever. Our teachers would scold us for talking in class, sending notes, not completing assignments, making fun of classmates, and so on. Store owners would warn …


Meta-Worry

Some people talk about talk, which can be healthy. A psychologist would call it “meta-talk,” examining the words and phrases you use to talk to a spouse, for example. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We can call that meta-fear. I find that many people are engaged in meta-worry. They worry about worrying. They become consumed by their worries: financial obligations, social responsibilities, job requirements, non-financial debts owed, child-rearing, and so on. They can …