For many years I worked as a banker in real estate. My clients were hugely successful commercial developers and/or residential mortgage groups. To make a good banking loan, you have to be focused on the property that is being financed. The property becomes the primary collateral for the loan. The borrower must work to maintain the value of that property as long as the loan is in force.
In real estate there are ever-present forces, almost gravity-like, that work to decay the property and erode its value as soon as it opens. Here are just a few of the chief concerns:
- The weather beats down; sun, wind, cold, heat, rain, storms
- Tenants/occupants can tear up the place
- Natural wear and tear, so upkeep is required
- Vandalism; people stealing equipment, fixtures, and trim
Harrison Barnes (noted career coach) writes: “It is like that with people too. There is a constant gravitational-like force challenging you as well. There is an incredible amount of negativity and other forces out there that will destroy you and your dreams if you let them in. These forces are unavoidable, and the number one characteristic of the most successful people is the ability to avoid these negative forces. They succeed despite negativity coming at them from every single direction every minute of every day.”
If you let any of the negative forces around you influence your view of who and what you are, you are destined to a less than fulfilling life. The choices you begin to make only serve to compound the downward spirals that may already be underway.
You need to avoid the negative forces out there – the negative gravity and information that will seek to keep you down. You need to watch your mind: You need to put more positive things in your mind than negative things.
No one who ever achieves any form of greatness is realistic. Instead, they are able to ignore the negative forces and messages coming at them – guard their bodies and minds. Then, they create conditions in their minds and bodies that promote success, happiness and possibility. This is what you need to do as well.
The actions that make good real estate people successful at managing great properties can work in your life too.
- You do not let anything bad inside (forces that destroy from the inside)
- You keep everything up-to-date (reduce the effects of forces that cause decay)
- You make the best of what you are (avoid forces that drag you down)
- You put nice things inside (prevent bad habits from forcing you down)
Barnes goes on to write: “Most people, however, do not maintain themselves as well as they can. Instead, the elements around them have taken hold and reduced them to something less than they are capable of being. They have long ago given up on their dreams and what is possible for them.
Why do people give up on their dreams? Many people are negative because they are afraid. They have been disappointed so many times that they are now afraid of getting excited about anything. If someone is negative, then the chances are they are fearful. The problem, however, is that we typically get what we look for: If we look for negativity, then that is what we end up finding.
There are all sorts of forces around us that create doubt and hold us back:
- Things people have said about us in the past
- Things we have said about ourselves in the past
- Poor results we have gotten in the past
- Our current situation and fear of change
- People around us that give us negative messages
- People who used to be around us that gave us negative messages
- Our overall environments and how positive and negative these are
- Good results others around us have gotten
- Goals we have not accomplished in the past
- Information in our environment that frightens us
Scripture says we should renew our minds daily, but that can be so hard. If you watch the news, read the paper, or join the average conversation of most groups (co-workers, friends and others) you are likely to discover that a significant portion of this information is likely to be negative and uninspiring. Why this is the case, I do not know. What I do know is that this sort of information can act like a gravitational force on your life and keep you down.
Since negative information cannot necessarily be avoided, the best solution is often to counteract this with more positive than negative information. You need to pump your mind with positive thoughts daily — or else you will end up being unhappy.
1. Decide That You Do Not Need to Be Perfect
Most people become very negative because they feel they need to be perfect. They do not participate because they are afraid of losing or of not being the best. They are afraid of what people will say if they screw up or otherwise fail.
Everyone is going to screw up, and you will too. The worst thing you can do is to let the fact that you might screw up stop you from acting or doing anything at all. Far too many people allow the prospect of failure to shut them down or prevent them from acting. They also allow the fact that they are not perfect to make them feel bad about themselves. No one is perfect, and you are not either.
2. Keep Improving
Many people hit a plateau of sorts in their lives and stop there. Or, they fall down to a certain level and stop there. The rare person keeps improving and keeps setting goals for themselves. One of the most important things you can do in your career and life is to constantly set goals for the person you want to become and never stop improving.
Improvement is powerful because when you are always improving and do not stop improving you are sending a message to your mind that tomorrow can be better than it is today. Tomorrow should always be better than today, and when you are constantly setting goals for yourself and improving, you are sending yourself that message.
Whether your idea of improvement is about fitness, mental acuteness, or growing wisdom, there are plenty of opportunities to add these kinds of activities in your life to allow constant improvement.
3. Stop Being Judgmental
Most people are quite judgmental of others. They look at people who are different than them and find all sorts of fault. They find all sorts of fault with others, whether it is how they dress, talk, live, or conduct themselves. In fact, many social groups seem to exist and thrive based on judging others.
The problem with judging others is that as soon as you start judging others, you also start judging yourself. Any person who takes joy in judging others or watching others in pain will also eventually experience a great deal of pain. You need to free yourself from the disease of judging others and making them wrong.
4. Find Things to Appreciate
Everyone needs to find things in their lives that they can appreciate, and every life has things in it that can be appreciated. You can even appreciate things that seem to be negative to you. You need to focus on the things that you have and not things you do not have.
The reason you need to appreciate things is because you will attract into your life what you focus on. If you focus on the negative, then you will attract the negative. If you focus on the good, you will attract more of the good. You need to find the good and what you can appreciate.
The world and the people in it are full of negative thoughts that will eat you up and take hold of you if you let them. The smartest thing you can do to be happy and not negative is to find aspects of your life that you love and focus on these. Be grateful for who you are and what you are.
5. Have Faith in Yourself
The most important power you have in the world is faith. Faith makes everything possible. Being positive is about having faith in yourself and that things will get better than they are today. You have been through a lot and whatever negativity you see in your life today will pass as well.
Your life is controlled by your thoughts and through faith you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. You need to believe in yourself first and do everything within your power to believe in yourself even when that does not always seem like the smartest thing to do. Everyone who has achieved anything worthwhile generally only was able to do this by having faith in themselves.
“There is a tremendous amount of negativity, harm and hurt in the world. These forces are all around us and conspiring to bring us down and reduce us to less than we are capable of being. In order to reach our potential and be the people we are capable of becoming, we need to do everything we can to be positive in the face of overwhelming negativity. This will save us, make us strong and give us the lives we are entitled to and deserve.”
All I can add is AMEN!!! You can be a force in this world. You might not be the next headliner in the Wall Street Journal for a breakthrough invention, but the difference you can make at home, at work, and in your community can have a lasting effect on so many around you.
Article written by Doug Thorpe, shared with permission. Original article posted here.
Footnote: This piece is a collaborative effort inspired by an article Harrison Barnes first posted on December 16, 2015.