Embracing life lessons can be a make-or-break scenario in life. Those who cannot learn from life can easily be destined to repeat the same failures over and over. Those who do choose, and it is a choice, to learn from life can overcome almost incomprehensible circumstances, but until you internalize that it is a choice, the choice may never unleash the greatness that lies within each of us.
This is such a great topic for reflection. Sadly, there are too many things that can be discussed, and that makes it hard to decide which lessons to pick. One thing I learned early in my adult life is that you cannot please everyone, and it can be exhausting trying to do that. I have found that giving one’s best is the best you can do.
I just left a client who talked about how she could never please her mom, who is in the starting phase of dementia. She bought a house for her mom to have a place to live where she can be cared for by family, and her mom is complaining. The reality is, she would end up in a nursing home, or she could end up in her daughter’s home. It hurts her heart, but she finally realizes that it is what it is, and she may never change that. I’ve had many similar experiences in life, and I learned along the way that for my sanity, I can’t afford to be consumed with trying to please others.
A second life lesson I’ve learned is that you are as successful as you are willing to be. In my family, I am an anomaly. I’m the only one who has not had a guaranteed pay check for most of my adult life. I realized early on that I was not a clock puncher. I kind of break the world up into clock punchers and free spirits. Thank heavens for the clock punchers who keep the world on track while those of us who are free spirits create.
When I started in real estate, it was because of a few individuals who talked to me about buying properties with no money. I remember the infomercials when I was much younger, and I was intrigued. Local Realtors told me no would sell me a house if I didn’t have any money invested. That slowed me down for a few years, but I kept coming back to the principles and finally jumped in. Well, I’ve bought 26 houses and one commercial building over 30 years, and I only put a down-payment on one house. I’ve used a lot of creative techniques to succeed, and I’ve been able to help others follow. I realized early, the level of my success was dependent on my willingness to succeed. I’ve had so many people say, “Why I would I think I could be rich? Nobody in my family is rich,” at the investment seminars I’ve taught. My response is always the same. What does that have to do with it? You can be as successful as you are willing to be. Family history has nothing to do with your future unless you choose to allow it. It can be a weight, or it can be a catapult.
A third life lesson I’ve learned is that you never know it all, but you can always learn. I’ve watched many of my high school classmates stay in the 12th grade for decades. They never challenged themselves to grow beyond the basics of high school. I’m about to get another look at that phenomenon in about a year when my high school reunion comes around. I have a broad academic background, but the lessons I’ve learned in life have been my true education. If I had never gone to college, I have a feeling I would be where I am today. Learning never ends unless we don’t seek new knowledge. My wife thinks I’m a boring reader in that I typically read technical journals and books. She loves mysteries, and I’ll do a mystery while at the beach, but at home it’s all new knowledge and information I can use for something I’m involved in or about to be involved in.
Knowing that I can’t please everyone has freed me from thinking I need to take every client that comes along, I need to bring every Realtor onboard who asks, and I must do what others think rather than what is best for me and the business. I recently had a group of realtors whose office closed inquire about joining our company. Our group is a very cohesive group and even though I probably could have incorporated the new agents with our crew, I decided not to. I did encourage them to keep looking for a better fit.
In business, I’ve incorporated more opportunities for clients than most any brokerage in our community. I didn’t look at the brokerage as the end of all things. It really has become one component in meeting a client’s needs. If I just owned the brokerage and sold real estate, I would do fine. But, with the real estate services, home inspections, repairs and preparation we offer to our clients has aided the business in gaining a wide outreach. Clients are referred to us because they have a unique situation that will make it hard to sell their house. A very high percentage of the time, we can remove the obstacles and get them to the finish line beyond what they thought was possible. I realized earlier in life that I can be as successful as I choose and that makes my clients more successful.
Thankfully, I have learned to use new knowledge to empower new and broader success. My brain craves new knowledge like a starving person craves food. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I know very little of what is to be known. It is an endless cycle.
This is my entry into the August 2023 Challenge: Embracing Life's Lessons.