Grateful For The Struggle (part 2)

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

This is a continuation from:
Grateful For The Struggle (part 1)

(Week 4, Post 3 of the Active Rain Challenge)


In part one I discussed some of the challenges in my life and business I was grateful for, because of what they made of me (and revealed about me). Having gone through many challenges successfully also provided perspective and confidence; I did it before, I can do it again. It's allowed me to remain empathetic to how scared people can get for similar obstacles, but remain strong in my own abilities to overcome; here's what I mean:

When many of you and I went through a once in a lifetime national market crash, we no longer succumb to worry about rates that go up occasionally. When the (2022) 6% rates that used to be (2020) 3% rates cause panic; empathy towards those this affects is essential, but, to not panic and to provide facts for informed decisions, is what it means to be a professional: surviving a national market crash, as a REALTOR, makes you strong and pales in comparison most other market events. We're not grateful for The Great Depreciation of '07-'12, but we can be grateful for what it made of us, what we learned, how we pivoted into distress property expertise and helped homeowners that needed a competent professional.


Because I've had my hands 80% amputated in an industrial accident in (1989),
I did not panic at a world-wide pandemic in (2020); I've already experienced my own personal pandemic, that for me - was much, much, worse physically, mentally and logistically. I did not down-play the pandemic, but I absolutely did not allow it to own me; in fact it made me more independent and grow into a better person, it made my marriage stronger and it allowed me to improve my relationships with my friends and clients too. It could have shrunk me back, but instead it inspired me to persevere.

You may have dealt with your own "personal pandemic" and feel similar; because when you've been through a hurricane, you no longer fear the rain. We can be grateful for how experience lends to our wisdom and competence that can face down any challenge. If we have strength of character, we can be grateful for the opportunity to grow and help others that need us along the way.


Gratitude expressed erases negativity, it's impossible to be angry when we're grateful. Gratitude expressed is the secret ingredient for affecting change in yourself and others. If you have a grateful heart, your brain's reticular activator will filter and reveal amazing changes in your own attitude as well as those you surround yourself with. A gratitude journal is a great start. Incorporating gratitude in your daily affirmations is powerful. We all go through storms, but it's the only way to test the "seaworthiness" of our vessel (our minds) and stay on course.


Photo 1 by Ron Lach :

Photo 2 by Andres Ayrton:

Photo 3 by Johannes Plenio:

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (15)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - we adjust and adapt.  We learn lessons through observation and experience.   Education never stops.  

Nov 29, 2022 01:37 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

very good points about gratitude...I never looked at it this way...thank you for the insight

Nov 29, 2022 06:38 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Thomas- I absolutely loved your post. You have learned to "make lemonade out of lemons" and this has given you the ability and self-confidence to handle any future "lemons."

Nov 29, 2022 06:52 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Love this post - especially that last paragraph, Thomas. We can't be angry or fearful if gratitude is in our hearts. I had no idea about your "personal pandemic" - being a former nurse, of course, that grabbed my attention.

Thank you for your posts of gratitude and for sharing more about you in this month's challenge, Thomas!

Nov 29, 2022 10:25 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Wow, that third photo is amazing - I'll have to check out pexels. As for your message, it IS impossible to be angry while grateful. When we come out of the other side of a disaster/challenge/etc as a stronger person, future challenges can be easier to deal with. Thank you for your post!

Nov 30, 2022 05:35 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I love your perspective and how you approach things in your life!  Talking, drinking wine, and visiting with you, your wife, and Whiskey was a very enjoyable time for me.  I am sorry to hear that you are feeling a bit under the weather right now, I hope that you will recover quickly and I look forward to having lunch with you again soon!

Nov 30, 2022 05:49 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thank you Brian England I'm on the recovery path, just a mild cold, but wasn't feeling camera-ready on yesterday's AR Zoom lol. See you at the lunch on the 12th. With the Meetup time change I'll  be there for the first hour as I'd already pre-booked an appointment afterward based on original Meetup time.

Nov 30, 2022 06:23 AM
Brian England

Perhaps we could meet for lunch at 11 a.m. rather than Noon?  Jeff Dowler, CRS might be amenable to that as well.  That way we will have more time to visit and you don't have to feel rushed to get to your appointment.

Nov 30, 2022 06:28 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thank you Kathy Streib I certainly do own one of "life's lemonade stands" LOL it seems. In the immortal lyrics of Bruce Springsteen, "You've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above." I choose to rise above as often as ain't easy.

Nov 30, 2022 06:27 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Kat Palmiotti yes do indeed try Pexels, it's free and it's robust with photos, it's my #1 source of blog pictures. Thank you for your comments.

Nov 30, 2022 06:29 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Dec 03, 2022 06:53 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Brian - You have been through so much but show how you have been better.  "You made it through the rain!"

Dec 04, 2022 05:03 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I get called Ted a lot, but Brian is a new one Grant Schneider - but just like the rains of my past, this too shall pass...😂

Dec 04, 2022 06:28 AM
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

What a powerful lesson in gratitude and being grateful for what we HAVE. 

A definite post I will bookmark to read often.

Dec 04, 2022 08:02 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Yes "gratitude erases negativity" and allows one to let go and move forward. Your story was beyond touching and one worth reading again. Thank you.

Dec 04, 2022 09:48 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and make it a wonderful day!

Dec 10, 2022 07:31 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dear Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets - you have been through many adversaties that others never could have or would have tried to survive. You're a better man than anyone could hope to be. Your accident sent shivers up my spine. But the best part and what I want to commend you for is that you rose up like a phoenix, more powerful, stronger, and determined to change your life for the good. The only thing I regret about reading your blog post is that it was not FEATURED. I find that heartbreaking and very, very sad. I have read so many copycat features and ones I knew were plaguerized but no, not yours. This is not something you would make up, plaguerize, or wish on anyone. And yet, it was not featured. I don't understand. 

Drawing from your well of gratitude, there is hope and I don't think anything can break you. Your experiences, may have taken you (at the time) to sorrowful lows, they did not keep you there. You elevated yourself to greater heights and for that, I am humbled and proud to know you.

I am grateful to have read your life stories. 

Dec 23, 2022 10:36 AM