'My LIFE! By DESIGN' or Finding the Grand Plan in a Series of Seemingly Random Life Experiences

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 NorthBay Alliance


My earliest memories as a child involved moving across the country. We had been living in Maryland and my little brother had asthma. He was quite sickly and had to be hospitalized on several occasions. My parents were told by the family physician to take their baby to Southern California for the clean air!


My folks, who were never afraid to pick up and move, packed the car and we moved from Silver Springs, Maryland to Sunland, California.


In many ways, moving has been one of the themes in my life. My mom was born in England and came to the United States after she and my father were married in the post World War II marriage frenzy. My dad grew up in Alabama and during the depression he ‘rode the rails' and worked where he could find it. My dad worked on commission my entire life and if there was no work there was no money...plain and simple. And so, we moved!


Some might look at so much moving as negative, I went to three different schools before I completed kindergarten, but it wasn't so bad. I learned to make friends quickly and to adjust to a new situation quickly.


My folks were renters and this contributed to a lack permanency, in my life, as a child. We never knew when we would be moving or what we could take with us. Attachments and possessions were all tenuous, at best. As a result, I am not a collector and I am not sentimental about stuff. Yet, I'm reluctant to throw anything away...I guess that I'm a little insecure and having things just makes me feel more comfortable.


As I think back on all of this I can see how woven these experiences are in the fabric of my life. As a young pre-teen I found myself intrigued by houses. I would study House Plan Books and discuss with my mom the merits of two stories vs. split level homes. I didn't really want to be an architect but I was fascinated by homes.

Twenty years later this fascination re-emerged and I became consumed with house building and owner-built homes in particular. Much like my folks, my wife and I picked and moved to Clearlake Oaks...to build a house! And build a house we did.


       But along the way it became a home where we raised our two children. There would be no tenuous relationships for my kids...they graduated high school with the same kids they went to kindergarten with. Theirs was a life of constancy and predictability.


This owner built house became much more that simply a house building project for me. It became my life. Through a series of twists and turns I became a General Contractor specializing in working with Owner-Builders. Later, I became a custom home builder and ultimately a realtor.


I don't think I have looked at this fabric before today. I can see, for the first time in my life, that what I had previously believed to be merely a series of random and unrelated events is actually a part of a lifelong pursuit. My parents taught me to work hard, to love and depend on family and to recognize how important and fundamental home is for human happiness. Thanks Mom and Dad!


Tom Ferry: LIFE! By DESIGNThis post is to help promote Tom Ferry's upcoming book, LIFE! By DESIGN. The contents of my post are the result of some self reflection the preview chapter of the book asks us to do about ourselves.

You can Pre-Order the book now by visiting TomFerryBook.com. You can also participate in the promotion being done by ActiveRain for a chance to win some great prizes and 2500 points by visiting the promotional post here.

Everyone that orders a copy of the book between now and April 23rd, 2010 will also receive one ticket to attend Tom's Success Summit, August 24-26th and the MP3 audio role play program: Objection Handling for Buyers, Sellers and Short Sales.

In exchange for writing this post, I could win an iPad or other cool prizes, and this is to let you know so the FTC doesn't fine me.


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Karen Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group LLC - Mesa, AZ

Hank, nice thoughts. thank you.

Apr 20, 2010 05:40 PM #1
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247


Thank you for sharing I believe their is a reason and a design.

Apr 20, 2010 06:10 PM #2
Hank Montgomery
Century 21 NorthBay Alliance - Clearlake Oaks, CA
Lake County Broker | CDPE

Karen and Tim...thanks for your comments. I really enjoyed the exercise. Have you tried it!

Apr 22, 2010 03:56 AM #3
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

hi Hank,

I thorougly enjoyed your story.....you're a very good writer, writing from the heart with great honesty and introspection. Magnificent job!


Apr 22, 2010 12:20 PM #4
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Hank Montgomery

Lake County Broker | CDPE
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