Save yourself from yourself

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Pareto Realty TN #251071

I begin this post with a short story

The Drowning Man

Flood. Man on the roof of his house

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”


So many of us humans seem to be craving Divine Intervention, Planets to align, or the entire Universe to conspire to help us SUCCEED. Just as with the drowning man, all too many of us create our own demise by failing to take full responsibility for achieving our success.

Most people who are insanely successful today (1%ers) got that way scratching and crawling and bleeding and sweating and losing sleep and “almost quitting” multiple times. Even in the most excruciating circumstances, they denied defeat. Most endured this seemingly endless gauntlet for 10+ years of primal struggle.

We look at them now and think they’re “so lucky” to be so successful.

Guess what?

It wasn’t luck!

If you want to get “there”, don’t rely on anyone but yourself to get you there. Sure! Some people will contribute to your success along the way, but it’s gonna really boil down consistent persistence and saying “yes” or “no” to all of the issues and opportunities that pop into view.

How will you know which? (Yes or No)

Go ahead and accept the truth that no significant decision will be an easy one.

One of my mentors once told me: “When you come to a fork in the path, take it!”

That’s enough to make any sane person CRAZY, but it is descriptive of pretty much anybody building something great.

This is an amazing story about CEO Michael Cartwright’s resolute determination to save his company from seemingly overwhelming circumstances – from the Nashville Business Journal About the Delisting of AAC Holdings company (Sadly – If you’re not a subscriber of the NBJ, you will probably not be able to read it) – Odds are good you can google the company and CEO to find the story told in a more generous/accessible source.

What are you building?

Published by Barry Owen 

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love 

Posted by

Barry Owen

Principal Broker
Pareto Realty
Nashville, TN

Call me: 615-568-2123
email me:




Simply & BOLDLY Living the FourFold Way in Open Space!

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Comments (22)

Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

We are the creators of our own success or demise.   To success we have to go out on a limb, take advice at times and not wander from the goals we have set for ourselves.  Work to achieve those goals daily.

I have heard this story many times. It is so like us to not see the big picture in time.

Nov 13, 2019 07:23 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Great story, and more wise words from you. Thanks Barry.

Nov 13, 2019 07:36 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Very true post, and a good reminder for all of us it takes hard work to succeed. But we all have the opportunity to go for it, it is up to us.

Nov 13, 2019 08:46 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Barry,
I've always liked that story. It's a good reminder. 

Nov 13, 2019 11:06 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Barry= I do love the message that this story sends. So often we have the means given to us but we fail to take advantage of them. 

Nov 13, 2019 07:44 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I love the story, Barry.  Recently, I watched a documentary about a religious group who took the Oregon Trail to get to the West while pushing carts in the mid 1800s.  They had no horses.  There were little miracles along the way, but it sometimes seemed like they were tempting fate.  For example starting late in the season, which created extreme weather issues, near starvation, etc.  I think faith is an important thing, but I also think were were given intelligence, so we don't need to pester God so much with our requests.

Nov 14, 2019 06:40 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Barry, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 14, 2019 06:44 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

God helps those who help themselves.

Nov 16, 2019 05:33 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think we all have those moments where we want to save ourselves from ourselves. Very relatable.

Nov 16, 2019 06:35 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There is something that you when you make a decision that you were going to do what you were going to do, there seem to be forces that help you along the way. Alan May

Nov 16, 2019 06:36 PM
Alan May

There is something that I when I make a decision that I were going to do what I were going to do, there seem to be forces that help me along the way Laura Cerrano.


Nov 16, 2019 07:10 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Barry, I've heard this story and it is a great one! Sometimes we are blind to opportunity and so much more!


Nov 17, 2019 07:19 AM
Stephen Turner
House Broker Realty - York, PA

Good point. We usually get exactly what we've earned.

Nov 17, 2019 08:38 AM
L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

Barry!  LOVE THIS!


I myself am a man of faith! Not afraid to admit it either!  Also believe people are waiting for God!  Many times God is waiting for us to take action!  I mean God gave worms to the birds, but he does not drop them in the nest! :)



Nov 17, 2019 09:08 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

We do control our destiny to a great degree. Common sense instead of divine intervention usually wins out!  Great story!

Nov 17, 2019 10:29 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Barry - If it's to be it's up to me!  And it's 100% true!  If you don't like where you're at or what's happening around you - change it. Take action. Be positive and believe you can create whatever you put your mind to.

Nov 17, 2019 11:01 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Very wise words shared here, Barry Owen ... sometimes we just can't get out of our own way ...


Nov 18, 2019 08:30 AM