Personal Goals & Fulfilling Dreams

Title Insurance with First American Title

There was a time when I believed that "winning" was everything.  I was as ignorant as Ricky Bobby; "If you ain't first you're last".

Years ago I raced bikes.  You know the kind of bikes ridden by the Tour de France guys.  I was competitive and did well enough to qualify for the Arizona State Championship race held in downtown Phoenix.  On race day the downtown area was completely shut down and packed with spectators as we raced the winding city streets.  It was amazing.  With one lap to go I was perfectly positioned to win, the result of countless hours of training and racing was about to pay off.  At the final corner I made a mistake, lost too much ground, and couldn't make up the difference with 100 yards to go.  I lost a race I knew I could win.  For weeks I couldn't sleep, tormented by my failure.

A few weeks later my wife (my perfect companion who has helped me through countless losses) said something that helped create sincere reflection.  She asked "Why do you do what you do?"  When I struggled to find an answer she said, "If you do it to win you'll never find happiness.  You need to train and race for love of the sport.  If you learn that you will find the personal fulfillment that you're searching for."  That little seed she planted has permeated all aspects of my life.  It started a positive change in me that continues to guide me in every day decisions.  I have come to realize that the fulfillment of my personal goals is far more gratifying than winning a prize or being first.  Winning boosts the ego, fulfillment of personal goals brings inner satisfaction.  Qualifying for the Boston Marathon carried as much satisfaction for me than any race I had ever previously won.  Finishing Ironman this year was the pinnacle achievement in all my racing history (and I finished 252nd, nowhere near the top).

I spend a lot of time working with individuals one-on-one, helping friends and clients set and work towards achieving personal goals.  My experience with these individuals has been similar to my experience in sport.  Those who are able to find their true selves, who set goals based on what they personally want to accomplish, are able to find more joy, more inner peace, and greater happiness in life than those who want to win for recognition.

2015 has been a great year so far.  Many of you have accomplished goals you never thought were possible.  Others are having great success but still find themselves behind others in the "rankings".  My wish for you today is that you'll find satisfaction in knowing that you've given it all, you've accomplished greatness in so many ways, and that you won't beat yourself up over the fact that someone else ranks higher than you.  Someone will always do more.  Who cares.  Focus on what you want to achieve and find joy in knowing that you have accomplished something far more satisfying.  You are giving it your all and therefore have already achieved greatness.  If you're behind in your goals don't despair.  We have 5 months left in the year with many more months and years to go.

Fulfill your dreams, don't give up.  Find personal fulfillment in knowing that you are giving it your very best.

Posted by



 Max VanNatter


Comments (39)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

what a lovely and inspirational post...I am so glad I didnt miss it today!

Jul 27, 2015 11:48 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Max VanNatter ...turn all your life switches to MAX! Then, reap what you sowed

Jul 28, 2015 12:00 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Great post.  You truly have to love what you do.  If you all do is focus on winning at any cost, you end up like Lance Armstrong.  

Jul 28, 2015 12:24 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

and nobody could possibly end up like Lance.  Great comparison.  At some level he's a good man... at least I'd like to think so.  His absolute need to  win however has destroyed his life.  Pretty sad

Jul 28, 2015 12:26 AM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

I've ran six marathons in my life so far. I'll never be fast enough to win but I don't care. I run because I love to run. I love to push myself to do better than the last race. It's not about anyone I'm running against. I only run against myself. 

Jul 28, 2015 01:33 AM
Jonathan Whiting

Max VanNatter Great post. Recently I read the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. In it the author talks about the difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivators. Essentially, he gets to the same point you've made here. When the motivation is intrinsic you end up going further and finding fulfillment that you can control. Again great post

Jul 28, 2015 08:49 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Max VanNatter - once we achieve our goals, winning becomes the habit leading to more success and more achievements of goals! And that's viral....

Jul 28, 2015 02:53 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great post Max, often times what we become along the journey is more important than the destination.

Have a great day!


Aug 02, 2015 07:14 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Max, I found this today on Bob Crane's re-blog and this is what I wrote in my comment:

I absolutely LOVE how inspiring this post is! Every single word rings true for me. This man has great openness and adds his respect for his lifetime partner, as we can all learn and grow, from others and in ourselves. I just wrote a post (not published yet) about enjoying the process, not the start or finish, but all of the parts along the way to success. (And failure--which can always create a lesson!)



Aug 03, 2015 02:32 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

your wife is amazingly smart.  And I'm not much of a goal or want to win kind of person.  But I love life and the journey I'm on getting through it. Your message is inspiring.

Aug 04, 2015 03:26 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Great inspirational posting/

thanks for sharing...You made our day

Sam Shueh

Aug 05, 2015 04:27 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Winning the prize can leave one empty because there is always a bigger and better prize to win. I choose not compromise my values and integrity trying to be number one, but enjoy the journey as I go. 

Aug 05, 2015 06:16 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Max, I think both you and Bob Crane were talking specifically to me. I always want to finish higher up in the rankings than I do, but what I have built in my marketplace and the friends and families I get introduced to by my previous Clients means all the world to me.

Aug 05, 2015 12:03 PM
Jason Potrzeba
Webster Bank - Providence, RI
Mortgage Banking Officer

Amen! Thanks for sharing this.

Aug 05, 2015 08:12 PM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Max, great inspiration for today.  I'd love it if you could include a picture or two though for us visual type people...

Aug 05, 2015 10:22 PM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Great point Bob Haywood.  I know it's one of the secrets to having a blog read... include a visual representation.  

Aug 06, 2015 12:14 AM
Suzie Townley
Diamond Partners, Inc - Gardner, KS
Relaxed Professionalism

Great post!  I was actually talking to another agent in the office about this very thing right before he went on vacation.  He was behind on his goals for the year, he thought, he wasn't sure, really he couldn't remember what his goals were and he pointed to an OLD vision board partially hidden on his bulletin board.  I asked him why he wanted those things?  He told me it was mainly ego -- I will forward your wife's words of wisdom to him.  

Aug 06, 2015 01:25 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Suzie I love your response.  This gets right to the heart of what I was trying to say.  Thank you for sharing your experience

Aug 06, 2015 01:34 AM
Rob Spinosa
Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA - San Anselmo, CA
SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

Max --- I'm just going to digress here.  Finishing in the 200's in an Ironman is no small accomplishment.  Congrats to you!

Aug 06, 2015 11:00 PM