Musings from Alan Weiss

Categories: Alan Weiss,Wisdom

I love sharing others’ wisdom. This is an excerpt from today’s issue of the free e-newsletter, Balancing Act®, by my mentor, Alan Weiss:

I’m sitting here at 7 am in a 19th Century mansion with my window open staring at the tranquil Narragansett Bay where it meets the unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. There is no wind, the trees are as still as soldiers at attention. The gulls soar by, a combat air patrol, while robins hop for food along the lawn.

Meanwhile, the TV behind me is broadcasting CBS “news,” which is consistently negative and frightening. Missing schoolgirls in Nigeria; Putin maneuvering around the Ukraine; a “no confidence” vote for a school superintendent; storms in the south and Midwest; racism charges hover over the owner of the Clippers basketball team; a circus act gone awry that injured 10 performers; veterans hospitals without proper care for patients.

This is how many people wake up, except they aren’t enjoying the view and tranquility outside. They are listening to “news” which is 95 percent negative and disheartening. It does not include the huge recovery that the economy is experiencing (gradual is far better than radical); students who have completed impressive community projects; advances made in treatment of certain diseases; the perpetual, quiet heroism of police, firefighters, and emergency responders.

I want to start my day (and end it) considering the wonder of nature, the privilege of being here, and the opportunity in front of me. I want to begin my day not feeling threatened but feeling invigorated. And while I don’t expect to look at the world only through rose-colored glasses, I do expect to look with perspective and appreciation.

The odd juxtaposition of the beauty of nature a few feet in front of me and the blaring, continuous-loop litany of horrible circumstances a few feet behind me (it’s now 7:15 and not one story of hope, positive nature, or success has been reported as yet) is a jarring reminder that our “houses”—our environments—create our moods, which inform our behavior, our motivation, our energy.

When did the “news” turn so ubiquitously negative? Nature hasn’t changed, and it appears to me to be calmingly positive.

Turn off the TV and take a look out the window.

You can find more about Alan at




Libby Wagner
Author: Libby Wagner

Libby makes her home in a lovely West Seattle neighborhood in a house with turquoise walls and an amazing view of the Puget sound and Olympic mountains. A former Air Force “brat”, she continues to bounce from one corner of the world to the other, working with Fortune 500 clients, hopeful artists and authors, and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has a Master’s in Fine Arts and Poetry from Eastern Washington University where she also began working in the Writers in the Prison program.