I attended an outside concert Friday night at a local park. A friend of mine leaned over and pointed out two families that were sitting together along the grass. The parents smiled and laughed as they sat watching their children run and play in the open field. She said: "Look at them. They are not wearing any fancy clothes or jewelry. They look like they live a very simple life, yet they seem happier than we are." I smiled and thought for a moment, but quickly re-engaged myself in the larger group conversation.
Later in the weekend, I found myself thinking about my friend's comment. I couldn't help but think about the nature of the real estate industry in general. This commission only world can be a crazy life. I often hear statements like: "I will be so happy when this listing sells" or "I can't wait until my buyer's closing so I can finally relax". Then, just as they would get on the other side of their deals, it wouldn’t be long before they would begin again. I wondered if or how long some of them were actually happy.
I spent some time as a Realtor before I became I Loan Originator. I, too, found myself riding a similar emotional rollercoaster. I will be happy when __________. There always seemed to be something that could fit in the blank. This was very unlike me. I am typically the type of person that coaches people out of this type of thinking. How did I get sucked in so easily? Something needed to change...quickly.
During my time as a tutor, I would often have to teach my students how to shift their focus because what you focus on does indeed become your reality. If you don’t believe me, try it. Take your normal route to work tomorrow and focus only on finding stationary things along the way that are blue. Take the same route the following day and look for stationary things that are red instead. I guarantee there will be things you noticed the second day that you totally dismissed the first. Did both the red and blue items exist both days? For the most part, yes! The only major difference (aside from moving cars and people) was what you told your brain to look for.
The same philosophy can be applied to happiness. Are you focused on what you have or what you lack? Can you find things in your life you are happy about regardless of your outside circumstances? What happens to your day if you start looking for and focusing on more of those things instead?
Some of you might fear that you will lose your drive to be successful if you become too content with where you are today. That is only true if you attach happiness to the outcome of your goals. What happens if you redefine what achieving your goals really provides or means to you? What if you could still be driven for success AND be happy while doing it? How would the scenery on your road of life be changed?
I finally got off the emotional roller coaster ride of the real estate industry and I couldn’t be happier. Some deals come and some deals go. There are still the same ups and downs that there always were. While I have a vested interest in all of my clients, I no longer attach my personal happiness to the result of their individual transactions. Because I am already happy, I actually find myself working harder almost without even knowing it. Deep down, I know there is only one answer to the statement: I will be happy when _________. And, it’s when I CHOOSE to be. Enjoy the Journey!