Celebrating "Defining Life Moments"
So much happened it the past 2 months - that I would consider Defining Life Moments.
December was Marlene’s and my 34th wedding anniversary (choosing a life partner - a defining moment) Then in January -we celebrated the start of my 37th year in Real Estate (choosing a career - another defining moment ),
Jared’s 28th birthday (having children – another defining moment) and my 60th birthday ( a defining number. But just a number—I feel like I’m 45)
I was recently reading that life is the sum of “what we do” with the moments given to us. Those moments can be filled with Chasing the Wind, the Clock, worrying about the past or being Anxious about the future. Or if we look for them – there can be special moments in each day – that can make a difference in us & others.
One defining moment - becoming a realtor 37 years ago, was a decision that radically changed Marlene’s and my life trajectory in so many ways –
especially with meeting and being involved in so many people’s lives.
It's a crazy thought, how that one decision – introduced us to thousands of people, influenced thousands of coaching moments, thousands of cups of coffee & heart to heart talks, phone calls, emails, birthday wishes and friendships +++
Here is a Fun Thought – What is the one defining moment in your life that just blows you away - the life-changing moment that has influenced your life, your friendships, influenced who you are & who you are becoming?
Just reflecting – and letting you know Marlene and I are so happy we have had the chance share some life moments together with you.
Saying No - To Instant Gratification
Marlene I and dated for 4 + years and even before we were married – we had started a savings account to buy our first home.
When we had saved decent down payment we started hunting for a place we could call home - bought it - rented it out - and moved into it when we got married.
It was an interesting first few years of married life. Most of our furniture was “Hand Me Down Stuff”…. The couch, tv, table & chairs. (even our “water bed” came from one of our siblings - thanks Norma & Hank). At that time we seldom went out for dinner and even a tenting holiday was rare.
When we purchased that home, we had the biggest debt in our life. In our minds, we wanted to get control over that debt – so instead of buying “the stuff “ we chipped away at the mortgage month after month with any savings we had.
Then there came a day, we got our bank statement – and those years of extra payments paid off – the mortgage was over ½ gone! It was an AWESOME surprise and we were sooo happy we didn't buy all the “stuff” !!
It sounds crazy… with today's access to personal loans, 2nd mortgages and credit cards…why wait for the prize – buy what you want now / pay later. Right?
A recent statistic indicated that 60+ % of families have more credit card debt than savings - That instant gratification – a buy now / pay later mentality is becoming more and more a problem = happy credit card companies and unhappy stressed out families.
With Christmas just around the corner – the highest season of credit card debt is upon us. Remember there are so many awesome gifts that can be given that money can’t buy. Time together, activities & hanging out…. Demonstrating: love & kindness, forgiveness & appreciation with those special people in our life is the gift….. Bring on that turkey dinner!!
When the going gets tough - the tough go on holidays
How is your elasticity? I’m talking about your mental capacity when the going gets tough and / or when you are going through some stress filled weeks or months?
My business coach Joe ingrained into my life to take time off regularly and “shut off”. Over the years, both Marlene and I can “feel” when that time is and to do something about it.
How do I create elasticity in my mental capacity? Sometimes it’s as easy as a 15 minute “Cat nap” after lunch for a few days in a row and other times it may be a long weekend away (or at home) doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes it is a good workout or some hard physical labor on the property—but—then there are the holiday times. Periodically sharing that time with friends and family is exactly what is needed and other times it takes a little hibernating to get my head screwed on.
Here is the cool part—When I learnt to listen to my body, and do what is needed, it’s like hitting the reset button.
So here we are. Summer holidays are over - and we have worked that reset button a couple of times and we are ready for Autumn. So, what is Autumn going to be like?
With 36 years of marketing real estate, we have been involved with changing markets many times ( it happens every 8-10 years. Some real estate agents are stressing out and uncertain as they have not experienced a changing market (if they have not been in the business prior to 2007) and some are even leaving the business.
Here is what is exciting for us. Experience show that every time this kind of change takes place—our real estate business grows. We are prepared, we have been there before and we have the marketing campaigns in place to get the job done.
Larry & Marlene
Your friends in the business
Hit The Restart Button - On Your Life
While I was having lunch with a businessman today—we had an interesting conversation about hectic schedules / family issues & mental exhaustion. He had a boat load of stuff on his plate—and his boat was sinking.
We talked about hitting the “RESTART BUTTON”—on life…
I explained that the average business life of a realtor is approx 5 years—because of all the
demands / pressure etc. (that’s if you let the business run you.)
But—if you run the business—and have scheduled times (Time to work in the business—Time to work on the business and time put aside for yourself)—to get your head screwed back on—life will just go better.
This businessman and I talked about regular—time set aside for yourself. Experience shows that when I take time off—No phones—No email—no knowledge of issues (a 1-2 week get away without phone / or computers) its just like hitting the restart button on my life (just like hitting the restart button on your computer.)
When you restart that slow messed up machine (or myself) I find myself working more efficiently—less glitches—less issues in my life—joy and energy is reignited.
So… feeling tired, drained, stressed or just basically messed up? Maybe its time to hit the RESTART button in your life.
It’s the get away with out all the “Stuff” that will refresh you. Your spouse and kids will notice a definite new you—give it a try.
Feel free to call us for some RESTART ideas or if you have any great ideas to share.
Larry & Marlene
Taking Care Of People That Are Important To Us
This year has been another fast paced blurrrrrrrr. Not just for Marlene and I, but for many of our
clients and friends as well.
We have all heard it before…”the craziness of life”. Most of us get so caught up in life that we do not guard ourselves or our hearts from our busy lifestyles and all the problems that occur when we get fried or even burnt out.
Problems? You know… breaking promises, commitments, family times, date nights, no time for play, can’t say no, getting stressed, or even the start of serious bad habits!
“Sorry, I can’t make it home for dinner tonight...Yes, it’s the second time this week”
“I know I promised the kids I would take them to the movies, but this just came up”
“Wow! What a long hard day...I need a drink to calm my nerves”
“I have no time to cook today, I’ll just pick something up at one of the drive-thrus”
“Hockey, judo, gymnastics, skating, swimming, music & singing lessons… the kids need a chauffeur”
In talking with Marlene, Jared & Tianna about what their hearts need to be revived… what makes them come alive. Some thoughts were sunlight, a good movie, bicycle riding, roller-blading, a nice family day or date night, peace, getting along, a feeling of love, a nice dinner, listening to music, a game of cards, reading a good book & hanging out with friends.
I would love just to be involved in the “amazing & fascinating” in all aspects of life—with my friends, family and clients… How about you?
Larry & Marlene
Do You Have a “Strong Why?”
For over 20 years my (Larry) business coach has engrained in me to have a
“Strong Why”. Any change in life and business needs a Strong Why…
What that means is to have a “Burning Passion Reason” to do something, to make something, to change a behavior or even transform . It becomes your deep down motivator.
Here is the real life story—I needed to change…
Just over a year ago the doctor told me to change my eating habits– I was pre diabetic. At 6’1 and 160lbs—it was nothing to do with being overweight...but diabetes was in the family history. So I needed to change my eating habits, and here is what that looks like:
Lots of vegetables, salads & protein, nuts (Paleo Style Eating), no bread or pasta or potatoes, no desserts or
sugary anything (juices, treats, sauces).
After eating this way for over a year, some of my friends were totally amazed—how I just quit eating the stuff I LOVED. They ask—what keeps me on track? Repeating to them what Joe (my coach) said is—I needed to find/ have a “Burning Passion Reason” - “A Strong Why”…
So here is my “Strong Why” that keeps me on track. I have a picture that burns in my memory of a client whose father was diabetic. I remember being with him and their family in Osoyoos boating & water skiing together. And years later I also remember him—having to have both legs amputated and in the end, being at his funeral. That picture is my “Strong Why” that keeps me on track.
So why the story?
Many times people get caught up—they want to change—but don’t know how to change or how to stick with it. To have a “Burning Passion Reason” / “A Strong Why” is one of the “tools” that has worked for me—and I hope it can help you or a friend.
Larry & Marlene
The power to Imagine...it’s life changing
Recently I was at a quarterly meeting in San Diego to connect with my business coach Joe Stumpf at “By Referral Only” Real Estate Marketing University.
Joe asked: “Imagine what life could look like—if you removed/delegated even 1 or 2 of your current irritations & tolerations”. “Imagine what life could look like if you focused more on the “amazing” & ”your happy place”. “If you put the work into these changes—the pay off will be for a life time”. So lets “Imagine together…”
Imagine a couple of your work irritations and tolerations gone. What are the things that could be removed or delegated? One of our clients recently imagined not having to cut the lawn, shovel the snow covered driveway, and clean up after a winter storm...ever again. So they bought a townhouse! (one of my tolerations is the accounting end of our business. Fortunate for me, Marlene enjoys numbers and she took that over—and with that time I am able to work on bettering our team’s plans, systems and campaigns—” “In my happy place”)
Health, fitness & energy - Imagine 1 or 2 of your irritations / tolerations gone. (For me (Larry) - my “Happy place” is following a morning and afternoon daily ritual. By not guarding daily rituals—my toleration is low energy) For a friend of ours—their “happy place” is to imagine a regular work-out routine with a work-out partner or trainer.
Imagine family & relationships - What to do some people tolerate in relationships? Manipulation. Being driven by guilt, other’s
expectations or always saying “yes” - but for the wrong reasons. (Marlene and I guard our hearts - when it comes to manipulation - we want our home to be our kids’, grandkids’ & friends favourite place to come to - This is our “happy
Joe asked us to “imagine our finances, our wisdom, growth & mental capacity and our spiritual life”. What would happen if we removed or delegated just 1 or 2 of our irritations and tolerations and spent more time in the “amazing” & “our happy place”
“Put the work into these changes - and the pay off will be for a life time…”
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Have you ever noticed that when you focus on what is not working in your life, that you feel discouraged?
When things don’t quite work out the way that I had expected them to or hoped that they would, my negative self talk can easily wreck my peace of mind. I have also found that when I focus on what is working in my life I get this feeling of encouragement.
As an example:: I (Larry) was told by my doctor this past Spring that I was pre-diabetic. “ARE YOU KIDDING? I’m 6 ‘1” and 155 lbs...how could that be? I thought diabetes was a weight thing for larger or inactive people?!”
“No, Larry,” my doctor went on to say, “you have been blessed with it geneti- cally. It’s in your DNA. Your Dad has it.” So ok, here we go. No pasta, no potatoes, no bread and certainly no dessert. Even minimal fruit. My inner self talk was screaming, “POOR ME!” and this continued at every dinner over the course of the next week or so. (You need to know that I LOVE bread, potatoes and spaghetti.) This was not good news to me...AT ALL.
I have a few people in my life that encouraged me to go for it and make the change. I have made the decision to eat clean and exercise more and over the past 6 months I can’t deny that I feel healthier and I’ve even gained some muscle and have lost an inch around my waist. Feeling fit and trim!
Here is the nugget. We all hit bumps on the road, don’t we? We can have blue days (or really bad hair days), but encouragement can help bring us out of these valleys and dips. We just don’t have to live there.
So...who are your ‘go to’ people who continuously speak encouragement into your life? Be an encourager and you will be encouraged right back. Try it out for yourself. The gift of encouragement. We all have it.
What are You Tolerating?
Do you ever notice how things just build up in your life and start to make you cranky or just uncomfortable? It’s those little, yet persistent, distractions we try to ignore around the house, office or cars.
Sometimes we don’t notice these distractions until they are removed, and then breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why we didn’t deal with it sooner.
That’s what is happening in our life. Marlene and I like where we live, but there were just so many little and big tolerations that just bugged us. So we decided to work at removing them one at a time. I chose a couple of things that bugged me, and Marlene chose a few things she felt needed help.
It started with the outside of our home. The landscaping eye sores. So out came the chain saw, and I cut down 38 old cedar hedges (and had lots of fun with the stumps that were left). It was a bit of work, but we both said we should have done that years earlier.
Then it was Marlene’s turn. She felt that our 35 year old drafty aluminum windows needed help, as well as the exterior of our home. So while preparing for new windows, I removed all the old vinyl siding and sledge hammered off over 1,000 bricks for an exterior face life.
My turn—the drywall in the garage being 25 years old, had so many dings and issues (the stipple on the ceiling was falling off and was so nasty I didn’t want to park my truck in the garage anymore). So new drywall and insulation was installed. Marlene and I then painted it. Wow! We should have done that years ago!
Marlene’s turn—our original 35 year old heating system needed help, so it was upgraded with a high energy efficient furnace, heat pump and a new gas fireplace. We thought wow...we should have done that years ago!
My turn—we took out a wall between the family room and dining room to give our home a more open feelings, and while we were at it, I removed all the old doors, moldings, baseboards and window trim. Time for a new look. Wow...we should have done that years ago!
For a final touch, I sanded all the beams down to a natural wood so we could stain them, and as we speak, Marlene and I have just finished painting the first coat of paint in the entire inside of the house (ceilings, walls and trim), and you know what...we should have done that years ago!
I actually feel a bit tired just describing all the work we did, yet it was well worth it. So what are the tolerations in our life? Try this exercise. Sit in one room of your house, look around, and make a list of everything you see that is out of place, torn, cluttered, ugly etc., then eliminate one distraction at a time with no time pressure to stress you out. Take a week or take a month, (or like Marlene and I did, take a year).
Then notice how you feel each time you correct whatever is bugging you. A few cans of paint can go a long way!
Your friends in the business,
Larry & Marlene