Forgiveness

March 12, 2010

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Applied generously, it can provide relief for both the giver and the receiver.

For the receiver, the effects are pretty obvious. Being forgiven can ameliorate feelings of guilt for what it is they have done, and worry over the future of their relationship with the giver. It can have a positive effect on the receiver’s self-image, and infuse them with a general sense of  well-being.

Oddly enough, the same benefits are available to the giver. In general, we forgive people because we perceive that they have wounded us in some manner. We judge their actions as wrong. The “projection” effect tells us that when we criticize others we are criticizing ourselves. What we object to in another’s actions are actions that we have taken and regret or that we have imagined taking but believe are inappropriate. So when we forgive another we are, in effect, forgiving ourselves.

And forgiving yourself is very powerful medicine.


On the Necessity of Failure

February 28, 2010

           

Half of the failures in life come from pulling one’s horse when he is leaping.” Thomas Hood

“Failure,” if understood and appreciated, is a critical step in the growth process. It allows us to hone our skills, test our assumptions and find our true paths. Not understanding the benefits of failure can lead to a life filled with lost opportunities. 

Here is my concern: The current market can present more rejection than some of us are used to. When failure becomes something you strive to avoid at all costs, it can actually attract more failure. Fear of failure can keep us from taking risks, force us to play it safe or not get into the game at all. Or, after taking the leap, it can cause us to pull our horse in mid-air.    

Embrace failure as a necessary step on life’s path. Plow forward, test your limits, act in the face of fear—grow.


Do You Control Your Life Or Does Life Control You?

December 4, 2009

“Failures do what is tension relieving while winners do what is goal achieving.”
– Dennis Waitley

This quote can definitely change your life!

It is the difference between you controlling your life or life controlling you.

When we allow our priorities to be dictated by external pressures, we turn control of our lives over to chance. We become like a ping-pong ball batted back and forth by bosses, parents, spouses, children, politicians… The list is endless. Our attention is drawn to the situation currently creating the most pressure. Once that tension is relieved, we move on to the next source of pressure. Priorities are further refined by our personal boundaries as defined by our self-image. Ex: You feel pressured to make another sale and have decided to call people from your open house guest lists. You also feel pressure to balance your stock portfolio. If you are uncomfortable calling strangers, the stock portfolio may move up on your priorities list. What a mess!! A life dictated by external pressures and limited by doubts and fears? No thanks!

Another option: “doing what is goal achieving.” Instead of reactivity, pro-activity. Understand, for most of us, this does not come naturally. Reactivity is our default program. Yes, we all have goals in the back of our minds, but on a moment by moment basis, they take a back seat to reactivity.

So, do you want to take control over your life, become the writer of your story? Here’s how:
Start from where you are now. For a week, take detailed notes of every action you take each day.
At the end of the week, mark each action with an R (if it was a reaction to external pressure, or a G (if it was undertaken to achieve a goal). Count up your R’s and G’s and see how you are currently prioritizing your time.

If you would like to spend more time working on goal achievement:

  1. Write your goals down. Be clear and specific. Follow all of the rules of goal-setting that you’ve learned in the past.
  2. Create a business plan. Work it down to the tasks you will complete each day for the next 12 months.
  3. Make a contract with yourself that you WILL complete every task on your calendar. If an emergency arises and a task cannot be completed, it moves forward to the next day. Your commitment has to be that every task is completed.

That’s it in a nutshell. Successful people know where they’re going and spend the majority of their time completing tasks designed to get them there. Either system, reactivity or pro-activity, will get your somewhere. The trick is: will it be a place that you’d like to be or where other people think you should be.

It’s good to have choices.

–  Steve Dickason


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

November 27, 2009

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and it’s all Small Stuff.” Richard Carlson

Today was a challenging day. By 3:30, I was pretty exhausted and was heading home a little early. When I climbed into my car I saw a pile of green glass shards covering the front passenger seat. Then I noticed that the passenger window was gone except for some jagged patches of glass around the perimeter. It hit me that someone had broken my window (I’m very quick). I looked down and noticed that my video Ipod was missing from where I’d left it—cleverly visible by all passersby. Ah-ha—it finally dawned on me—someone had broken my window and stolen my Ipod. More than that, they stole my daughter- Moorea’s- music, other albums I cherished and the audiobook I was in the middle of listening to. If that weren’t enough, they opened my trunk and stole…… I have to tell you, I had been waiting for the Star Trek movie DVD to come out every since I saw it in the theater. I’m a huge fan and, well, when I saw it at the Metreon on Imax, we got there late and sat in the front row and, while it was exciting, we missed most of what went on in the upper portion or the screen. It came out on DVD today and I was there at Best Buy at 10am to buy my copy. It was gone, swiped by the window-breaker.

I should have been really mad. I wasn’t. It surprised me at first. And then I just went with it. I realized that I am so fortunate to have a loving family, a great job where I’m surrounded with wonderful, supportive people, good health… well, that’s enough. It occurred to me that if some kid needed that Ipod more than me, then what the hell. It only cost me a deductible to get the window replaced and my Iphone will work just fine as a replacement Ipod. I’m not telling you this because I think I’m anything special. I just want to share a perspective that was very helpful to my well-being today. Like Carlson said, Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. I’m still kind of surprised that I’m not hopping mad. But, I’m glad. Who needs it? Anger is a very unhealthy emotion. Not good to stuff it, but nice to just let it slide on by.

Postscript: I wrote this the same day as the break-in and published it in an e-newsletter I send to all of the people I work with. The next day one of them brought me an Ipod Touch that he’d been given and had never used. The next day another co-worker gave me a new copy of Star Trek. Does life always work like this? No, at least I don’t think so…humm. All I can say is, this time it did. I accepted the damage and the loss and moved on, shared with my friends the positive lessons I’d gained from the experience, and everything I’d lost reappeared. Like magic. I’ll have to try that again.


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.


The Adventure

October 25, 2009

“The adventure you are ready for is the one you get!”
–Joseph Campbell (Mythologist and Story Teller)

This quote came from Jeff Probst when he won the Emmy for best reality show host. My ears perk up any time I hear Joseph Campbell’s name. By studying a wide variety of cultures he came to understand what is true about human beings no matter when or where they lived on the planet. This universal truth is particularly significant for commission sales people and reminds me of the Bobby Unser quote:

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500 three times.

We all love stories where a boy opens a magic book and is transported into an adventure of a lifetime. In the real world, the adventure we get is based on our degree of preparation, our goals, our experience, knowledge and skills. Another ancillary quote is the old Buddhist proverb:

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

Everything we need to lead the life we dream will become available when we are ready. What an amazing promise, one that comes with conditions. We must be willing to do what it takes to lead the life of our dreams.

  • We must be clear and focused on the adventure we want.
  • We must believe to our core that we will succeed.
  • We must, however, be willing to fail along the way.
  • We must act in the face of fear.
  • We must recognize and honor our incremental successes.
  • We must be open and vigilant to everything and everyone who can help us.
  • We must ACT!

At What Level do You Want to Play?

September 19, 2009

Summer is fading…school has started…I build a fire in the fireplace this weekend…Halloween costumes are on display at RiteAid…and soon, Thanksgiving…I feel a bit like: “so much to do, so little time!”

THE BUZZ: Our market is active…Believe it!

Buyers are buying.

Sellers are selling.

Lenders are lending.

It has been a tough stretch and you may be tired, disenchanted, stressed out, sick of working hard and making less. But, now is not the time to pause.

Go away for a weekend, rest-up, take a few deep breaths and dig down deep. You have amazing energy reserves that you have yet to tap.

 This is the time. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We continue to receive mixed messages on the state of the economy and the state of the lending market. Take advantage of the energy that is out in the marketplace NOW!

The marketplace is working for us TODAY!  Jump on that train and enjoy a great ride!

In the game of life, business, and sales, there are no time-outs, no overtimes.  We only get one chance to play the game.  The question we need to ask is:  “At what level do I want to play…do I want to wait on the sidelines or do I want to win?”

And, remember: success is not something you pursue; success is something you attract by being the person you are. Success finds you when you are: Focused, Disciplined, Diligent, Consistent, Mentally Strong, Skillful, Knowledgeable and have a sincere desire to Be of Service.

Some thoughts to take us through the day…the week…the month!

You Gotta Get in the Game!

You Gotta Have a Dream!

You Gotta Think Like a Winner!

You Gotta Get the Competitive Advantage!

You Gotta Raise the Bar!

You Gotta Plan to Win!


Follow Your Bliss

December 11, 2008

Quote of the Week

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”
— Joseph Campbell: was a mythology professor, writer, and lecture

If life always seems to be a struggle, it may be that you not following your bliss. Happiness and a sense of fulfillment can only be achieved when “the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

 

Not the one you think you ought to be living.

Not the one someone else thinks you should be living.

Not the one that you think you need to live to provide “enough” money.

 

Too many people settle for something less than what they desire and do so for a variety of reasons: lack of confidence, low self-esteem, expedience, societal pressure, peer or parental pressure to name only a few.  

 

To follow your bliss you must first identify what it is that you would truly like to be doing. Then, do it. Campbell believed that we were unlikely to achieve success or happiness pursuing anything less than our bliss. When we live the life we ought to be living, we approach each day with energy, enthusiasm and confidence. With that attitude, how can we not succeed?

 

If you love serving others, solving problems and looking at houses, be a real estate agent. If you love to write, be writer. If you love working with animals, be a pet groomer. If you love watching movies, open a video store. Find your bliss and follow it – great advice from a great teacher – Joseph Campbell.


An Infinity of Choices

December 6, 2008

Quote of the Week

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment or our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra

In order to live the lives we dream, we must remember what Deepak is telling us. Our tendency is to imagine ourselves living within a narrow range of options dictated by current capabilities, outside influences and the momentum of our recent trajectory.

Our achievements are limited only by our belief that we have limitations, that we are condemned to a narrow field of possibilities. It requires a conscious expansion of awareness to realize that we have the power to choose from “an infinity of choices” every moment of every day.

To access this awareness we must we willing to let go of the security of the status quo, to take responsibility for past choices, be willing to fail and be willing to succeed.

That may sound like a tall order, but it can all be accomplished by focusing on our vision and politely telling that little voice of fear and doubt to (in the words of my British agent, Angela) bugger off.


Risk – The Greatest Security

November 10, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“The greatest security is to plan and act, and take the risk that will ultimately ensure your personal freedom and independence.” -Denis Waitley

 

 

This is what great quotes do: they encompass profound, complex, often life-altering concepts or processes into succinct, one line instruction manuals for living.

 

Here we have the nearly universal human goal of freedom and independence, the prerequisite of a willingness to take risks, and the essential two step procedure – plan, then act. And each component of this procedure is absolutely indispensable to success.

 

Assuming the goal of freedom and independence, planning is a useless exercise without the willingness to take risks. Implicit to the achievement of any life-altering goal is the requirement to take new actions, to stretch beyond previous boundaries. Since new actions will likely create new, unfamiliar results, it is natural to experience a certain amount of trepidation. This is where willingness enters the equation.

 

You must be willing to step into the unknown and trust that you will survive. Do that and you’ll be amazed by how well you adapt. Looking back, you will say to yourself: “How could I have been so concerned about that. I did great!” “I wish I had tried that sooner.” “What was I afraid of?”

 

In the end, doubt is the greatest boundary to success. Suspend doubt, be willing to enter the unknown and freedom and independence are within your grasp.