Keeping Outward Focus During Difficult Times

In unprecedented times of uncertainty, it’s easy to look out only for ourselves and miss out on the lives of those around us. People like Fred Rogers can teach us how to look outside ourselves and show deep…

From the Desk of Wil Buchanan

Hello everyone!  It’s been a full summer with lots of changes, some staggering and complicated.  I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.

Trying Times

There is a lot going on in the world these days.  News headlines cause alarm and continue to spread dismay.  However, there are many good things going on too.  And lots of good to be done.  Even with the challenges, setbacks and difficulties that beset us, how can we look beyond ourselves and make a difference in the world?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This past weekend I watched It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. A movie about the life of Fred Rogers and the impact of his work. On the outside, Mr. Rogers’ work was to produce educational entertainment for children. The story centers around a writer who is given the assignment to do a “hero” piece on Fred Rogers. The story shows how Fred cares deeply about this writer (who is not that lovable!) and ends up making a life-changing difference in the life of the writer and his family.

Outward Focus

Great story right? I ended up thinking about this storyline a lot and decided that I have much to learn from Mr. Rogers.  My main takeaway is that Fred made a conscious effort to focus on those around him instead of himself. This is significant because research has shown that the average human spends almost 80% of all thought processes thinking about themselves (Dunbar, 1997).  The effect of Fred making the extra effort to focus on the wants and needs of the people that he met is staggering. Everyone can agree that the world is significantly better because Mr. Rogers was in it. What higher praise can be given?

Set a Goal

To turn around the natural inclination of focusing inward, set a goal with a clear objective.  It doesn’t have to be a huge thing—most meaningful things that people do for others are often very small, kind acts.

My goal became to really focus on the people that I talk with. To think about what they need and about what I can do to help. My objective is to be happier overall and that I might even be able to help someone out. It has been a great time.  It really is a beautiful day in the neighborhood!


In our culture at Philantech3, we care about the growth and development of individuals and organizations.  Progression can give us purpose and make the world a better place for ourselves and others. You’ll find on our team a group of caring individuals ready to support you and each other as we move forward together.  We think about you and your business, and what can help you through uncertain times such as these.  I’m always up for a conversation about how to help your business thrive.

Dunbar, M. e. (1997). Human conversational behavior. Retrieved from Springer:

Image Credit
David Pinkerton, 7 November 2009.  Creative Commons 2.0.


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