Posts Tagged ‘Motivational’
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Last week was a little bit crazy…it started off with a funeral and ended with a wedding. In between, real estate kept me busy – trying to close a few escrows, fighting with a bank, writing offers, and trying to find a better solution for a buyer that didn’t involve suing a seller. In other words, a normal week, buttressed by stark reminders of mortality and blessings. Which makes one think…
We all know that life is precious, but it is so easy to forget that and get caught up in the day to day banalities. We have the tendency to go about our routines and get through each day, but many of us do not really think about our blessings unless we are reminded of them – such as when we see a sunset or sunrise, a new baby or a puppy, a rescue, or a sick or scared person smile.
I like to think of my blessings often, but like you, I am guilty now and then of getting through a day without doing so. Life is busy, and often one has to just deal with what is on the plate that day in order to move forward to the next set of tasks. Last week provided me the opportunity to really think about all that I am grateful for, and the fullness that comes from being satisfied with my place in this world.
How is this related to real estate, you might ask? I believe everything in life has it’s place and time. I have some buyers who are waiting to find the “right” home, and some sellers who are deciding when is the “right” time to list their property for sale. In the last year I have had to go way beyond the norm to get offers accepted for people and to close escrows, and I have worked harder than ever. I know that things will work out as they are supposed to, and I will continue working hard until my clients are satisfied.
The other day on the freeway (on the way to the wedding), a man driving very recklessly cut me off and almost hit me. I put my hand on the horn and he flipped me off. Unbelievable, yes. But I felt sorry for him – he was not truly living and accepting responsibility. Being upset at strangers when they have done nothing wrong (or worse, when you are the one who made the mistake!) suggests it’s time to reevaluate!
We should all enjoy the ride and the lessons we learn every day in life. All we can do is our best, but more importantly, we should all strive to appreciate this life and the challenges we face. So…if you haven’t found your dream home yet, that perfect investment property, or if you don’t think it’s time to sell your home, don’t worry. The time will be right when it is right. In the meantime, keep your focus and enjoy every moment, because you will never live that moment again.
Have a wonderful week!
Saturday, September 10th, 2011
It is rare that you see a time when all the neighbors are out walking around – I mean entire families and their dogs just strolling around, talking to each other. No televisions, no phones, no computers, no distractions. That is what it was like during the power outage in my neighborhood.
Sad that it takes a power outage to get neighbors together, but I have to say that it was something we should all do every so often. I played board games with my daughter by candlelight – completely cut off from the world. I had no phone access, no portable radio, no internet, and cell lines were down. I followed news updates on my iPad, but really that was the only connection to the outside world for seven hours. My neighbor came over and let me borrow his generator to cool my refrigerator down so food would not spoil. I saw so many neighbors in the street, it was almost a party!
The power outage, while a big inconvenience for most, really makes one think about things…like how important it is sometimes to turn off the phone and computer, get out and see your neighbors, and just sit with your kids doing something fun. It was like going back in time, and yes it did make us all think about how vulnerable and dependent we are, which of course is another good thing to do every now and again. Most importantly, this little stray from the norm strengthens our sense of community, kindness and goodwill toward others.
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
There are times in life where everyone feels the urge to give up – whether it be your job, a relationship, exercise routine, diet, or learning something. At those times it is easy to find a multitude of reasons why quitting would be so easy, and we tell ourselves this we can actually justify it. If we quit our job or just stopped working so hard, we could take the day off, see a movie, go to the beach, read a book. If we skipped the gym we could sleep in, go out to breakfast.
In tough times it is even easier to give up. But if you stay the course, trudge onward, persevere, you will find that you will not only learn much, but feel a lot happier. Here is what you will gain by staying the course:
1. Strength and confidence. The easy way out is just that; if you stay the course you will actually become stronger and gain self confidence. Anyone can quit, but it takes someone special to stick it out and find a way to make it not only tolerable, but enjoyable or beneficial to you.
1. Knowledge. Those who don’t run away from things that are tough or scary or plain frustrating actually come away with a great deal of knowledge. It can be knowledge of self, of others, of an industry or skill. Often those who stick around and find ways to make it work are the ones who will rise to the top. If you dream of having your own business and you are working for someone, use the skills you learn for your future business. If you stick to your diet you will gain the knowledge of how it feels to have a healthier body, to understand what it feels to be free from lethargy or illness. Knowledge is always power, in any situation.
1. Happiness. Those who quit tend to feel down, unhappy. Even down the road you will always know that you quit, and that tends to make people feel bad about themselves (sure there are definitely some situations where quitting is necessary, or even the better choice). Those who stay the course and become stronger, more comfortable with themselves and their decision making processes, tend to be happier people.
I have a friend who owns her own business. A while back she was completely unhappy with the way things were going. Her partner was making demands and money was tight, product was not getting to customers quickly enough. She was ready to throw in the towel and start all over in a new business. I asked her why she didn’t instead try to make some changes that would make her happier, stay with it. After all, she had built up the brand and had a reputation in her industry. She ended up making a new business plan and writing down what she wanted in both the short and long term. Good things are happening now and other big companies are considering buying her out or taking over, keeping her on as a salaried consultant. She is happy.
So when you are feeling down and think giving up is easier, do this: take some time away from whatever it is that is making you unhappy – take a day off, or even a few hours, from work, go somewhere alone to be outside of a troubled relationship, do something that involves relaxation and not food so you don’t think about that diet…find time to just be. Then come back and make a list of your expectations, your dreams, your goals. Stick to that and stay on your path. You will be happier in the long run.
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
It is hard lately to not feel depressed. After what happened in Japan last week, with tens of thousands presumed dead and many homeless, with the now confirmed statement that there is a threat of death from radiation exposure to citizens, to the violence in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, and the ongoing problems in other parts of the middle east and our own economic problems here at home. There seems to be so much going on that it is hard to not feel sad. Many people question whether they should go on with their lives and have fun, do happy things, in the face of such sadness.
Moving forward and looking at things from different perspectives can help us all to recover. I know that my beautiful sister-in-law, my birth father, and many others who died too young would want me and my loved ones to carry on, to make a difference and help others. They are not here at all, and I am sure they would have given anything to live longer. In honoring their memory, and the many loved ones who have passed, I feel better and can move ahead.
I am talking with my children about all the problems that are occurring in this world right now, but I am also teaching them to go forward and live, to make each moment count. I teach them not to forget that others are suffering, and to give whatever they can to help those in need, to think of things they can do to ease the pain of others. It is a great discussion to have. We cannot be strong for others if we do not take care of ourselves. So find ways to give, to help, to make a difference. But don’t forget to live.
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.
A wise man recently told me of the ‚ÄúHedonic Treadmill,‚Äù 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.
Another 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.
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.