Archive for October, 2009

A Lesson in Humility

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

With the crazy economic challenges of the last few years many people have begun to question the way they live their lives. This may take shape in the way we spend our money, what things we buy or decide to go without, the trips we take and what forms of entertainment we seek. Vanity has taken a back seat to humility in America, and you can certainly feel it.dreamstime_9853771

A wise man recently told me of the “Hedonic Treadmill,” a term that can be used to explain the roots of the current economic situation. He said that on this treadmill the higher our income rises, the more material things we desire. We run faster and faster in place on the treadmill to achieve our material goals. But the problem is that we are not striving for true happiness, only what we THINK will make us happy.

This example makes a lot of sense if you put it into perspective and apply it to the current economic situation. Take the housing market for example. In the early 2000’s millions of Americans were given a golden pass, allowing them to take on mortgages they could not afford so that they could buy homes that were beyond their ability to maintain.

Here in San Diego and other parts of California ‚ÄúMcMansions‚Äù were king‚enormous homes on small lots in nice areas. These homes were gobbled up and many of these areas have been the hardest hit in recent foreclosure waves.

dreamstime_4373458Another way to look at it is by comparing vanity and humility. Most people define vanity as self-obsession. However, the wise man I mentioned above told me that in reality vanity actually is a belief that because we have worked hard we deserve to be rewarded for our success.

Humility is defined as having an absence of pride or self-assertion. It is a recognition that we have not yet reached our true potential, and that there is more for us to accomplish and give to the world. In other words, when we are humble we recognize that we have not yet earned any rewards for our labors.

Many people these days seem to be striving toward humility over vanity. It does not seem to be as important to live in big homes as it was just a few years ago‚in fact I have talked to many people who have or plan to downsize, or those who at one point wanted a larger home but now feel content in the home they have.

Purchases of big ticket items‚luxury cars, vacations, jewelry, have gone down in the last several years. Yet more movie, museum and local play and musical ticket sales have increased. Volunteerism has gone up. Despite the struggles of many in the current economy there is a desire by many to help others less fortunate.dreamstime_3018332

So from the negative comes positive. Many of us have suffered: we have lower incomes, jobs that pay less (or no jobs at all), we have lost our homes or fear we will in the future, we are hurting.

But these situations are temporary. We WILL recover, things will get better. In the meantime we can give of ourselves, help those less fortunate. We can spend less on things we used to buy and have more family dinners and game nights, more walks and games of ball with our kids. We can look at this state as a time to regroup, to think of what is important, to re-prioritize. Think of it as a blessing, no matter how badly you hurt.

The ancient Chinese Tao teaches the following, and it is a fantastic lesson:

It takes thirty spokes to make a wheel:

But the hole in the center makes it useful for a cart.

It takes a lump of clay to make a pot:

But the empty space within it gives the pot it’s value.

A house needs walls and doors and windows:

But the empty space is what we call a room to live in.

Thus, fullness has its role, but emptiness redeems it.


Find what is important to you in this life, this borrowed time that you have been granted, and make the best of it. We can always look back and know that we did our best and made the most of life, but it is too late when one looks back and realizes he/she should have done more.

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Think You Can’t Make a Difference? Think Again.

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I am sure you hear it all the time, as do I. In fact, just the other day I heard it from a perfect stranger! I was in a long line at the airport and he was complaining, then made a suggestion as to how the customer service people could help the situation. I asked him why he didn’t share that information with the representative and with the airline, as it was a good idea. His response: “It wouldn’t matter. They wouldn’t listen anyway.”dreamstime_6751338

So many of us feel this way at one time or another‚like what we could do would not make a difference. Sometimes we may not even KNOW how to make a difference, and thus continue to do the usual, maybe even hoping that others will change things.

Here is my challenge to myself every day: DO something that will make a difference!

Real estate is a service industry. It’s not just about selling a house, it’s about people and how their lives are affected. Your actions can literally make a big difference in your clients’ lives. This applies to ANY job!

dreamstime_394966Your actions are a gift. It doesn’t have to be something tangible…a handwritten note, providing a list of great people you trust for various jobs, or even offering your assistance with moving or pet-sitting…it can be anything that makes someone feel good.

To get started I encourage you to click on this link: It inspired me today and so I am sharing it with you. Johnny made a big difference in so many lives, one day at a time, with a simple yet heartfelt act. It didn’t take much.

Make the world a better place every day by making a difference, however small. Have a wonderful day!

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Fun Things to do Off the Beaten Path in Carlsbad

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Everyone who lives in or has visited Carlsbad, CA knows that it is famous for several things—the beautiful beaches, Legoland, the Flower Fields and the charming Village. But did you know that there are some other places to visit that are wonderful and often overlooked. If you are planning a visit, or even if you live nearby and have not checked out these venues, it will be well worth your time!

dreamstime_6077806Carlsbad Lagoon Water Sports‚A great place for thrill seekers or those wanting a cool way to have fun, the Carlsbad Lagoon offers a variety of water sports‚wave runners, jet skis, boat rentals, kayaking/canoeing, water bikes, paddle boards and peddle boats. The lagoon is the perfect place to learn any of these sports, as it is wave-less and calm, with a large enough area to really break loose and have a blast. Check out their website at

Leo Carrillo Ranch—Located in Southeast Carlsbad in the heart of the sprawling housing development Rancho Carrillo, Leo Carrillo Ranch is a historical ranch that was built by the late film actor Leo Carrillo. It was purchased in 1937 and served as a retreat for Mr. Carrillo and his friends (many of whom were famous Hollywood actors as well). It was a working ranch with an adobe home that is still standing today.

Both tours and self-guided walking tours of the ranch are available. You will also see wild peacocks all over the place and learn about their history at the ranch. There are movies scheduled at the park and other events, including children’s art classes and camps. You will learn a lot and have fun as well. It is a great part of Carlsbad’s history and definitely a beautiful and interesting place. Visit their website for more information at

Batiquitos Lagoon—If you live in Carlsbad and have not walked the nature trails at Batiquitos Lagoon, you are really missing out! The lagoon is a beautiful nature preserve with trails that take you DSC02404from being close to the beach through thick forest-like tree lined paths along the wetlands. It is great for walking, running or strolling. Dogs love it too! There are numerous birds that make the lagoon home, and in the Spring you may even see a Heron nest, or if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a colorful Heron. There is a Nature Center that is open Monday through Friday from 9-12:30 and on the weekends from 9-3. All along the trails there are posts providing information on local fauna and flora. Note: biking is not permitted (despite photo!). For location and further information please visit

Museum of Making Music—This museum, located near Legoland in Southwest Carlsbad, is a fantastic place for music buffs of all ages. It houses a large collection of information and exhibits that focus on American music products, from the beginning (1890) to today. The museum also hosts concerts, workshops, discussions and films related to making music. Admission is only $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors, students (ages 6-18) and military. Children under 5 are free. You can visit their website for more information at

IMG_7521K-1 Speed—For those thrill seekers this is the place to be! K-1 is an indoor go kart race track where you can experience speed and have fun with your friends. Located in Southwest Carlsbad close to Palomar Airport, this is a fantastic venue for parties, dates and company events. If you are looking for something fun and different to do, this is it! Visit their website for directions, restrictions and further information at

Carlsbad is full of terrific things to do and see, whether you are a tourist or a lucky local…enjoy!

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