You Are What You Think About

January 6, 2010

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice… And to make an end is to make a beginning.”  ~ T.S. Elliot

 Aw, it is time once again to put last year to rest and start anew. Once again we have made the long trip around the sun and avoided burning up or hurtling out into frozen space. Yeah! We’re ahead of the game already and the year has barely begun.

 It is also a time when we ruminate about the past year and wonder about the coming year – will it be better, worse, the same?  And as always we have the choice to make these ruminations productive or …not. Here’s a tip, avoid not.

 Here is what “not” looks like: Long, depressing periods thinking about all of the bad luck that came your way last year, the decisions you wish you hadn’t made, the relationships you wish you had avoided, the money you lost, the debt you incurred…. What is wrong with a little cathartic wallowing? Just this, and I’ll quote Emerson. “You become what you think about all day long.” And this is only one of hundreds of quotes from very smart, very successful people that communicate the same message.

 If you focus on everything that went wrong last year, and, if “you become what you think about all day long,” you have become the lead role in Groundhog Day, doomed to repeat, in this case, the same mistakes, the same bad choices, the same “bad luck” year after year after year.

 Don’t get depressed! The “not” is not necessary. We are, after all, intelligent people with aspirations and dreams. Understanding the rules as articulated above by Emerson, you have the free will to CHOOSE not to focus on what is wrong with your life. You can CHOOSE to focus on what is right. Instead of projecting the worst of your life forward, project the best. In his book on raising healthy children, Wayne Dyer suggested that we “catch them doing something right.” By focusing on and commenting on their positive behavior, they tend to repeat that behavior – petting the dog instead of cutting her hair with mommy’s scissors.

 In the arena of personal growth, reviewing last year has only two productive purposes: learning lessons necessary to move forward in a positive manner, and congratulating yourself for everything that you did right. Then, of course, you want to build on your right moves by creating a vision for the coming year. Focus on that vision with passionate certainty and you will have an amazing year.

  Happy New Year!


Never too late to have a happy childhood

November 4, 2009

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

 I also like what Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

 A dramatic shift occurred from the time my parents transitioned from teenagers to adults, and today’s baby-boomer generation. My parents seemed to buy into roles that were modeled by previous generations and reinforced by the advertising of the time. If you are too young to have experienced the generation that reached adulthood in the late 40’s to early 60’s, watch Madmen sometime (television series). They dress, consume and act as if adulthood brings an unwritten obligation to “get serious.” Playtime is for children. Adulthood carries with it certain obligations – serious obligations. 

 Whether the cultural revolution of the Vietnam era, a new paradigm born on Madison Avenue and distributed by the explosion of mass media, or global warming, my generation is not afraid to get loose and have fun. I love seeing people in their 50’s and 60’s out surfing, running marathons, driving hot cars, and refusing to dress old. Blue jeans, baby!

 So why do I see so many real estate agents presenting offers as if they were going to a funeral. The business of representing a client is important but it doesn’t have to be “serious.” Most people respond positively to salespeople who are relaxed, natural and who are not afraid to display a little humor. If you’re too serious in your approach, it may be interpreted as staged behavior, a prelude to manipulation. So relax, take some time to engage the seller in a little non-business banter. Gain their trust by making a human connection and you’ll find that the road to compromise just got a little bit shorter.

 Don’t get DOWN to business.

Get UP for business.