A big part of living SMART 365 is recognizing and discovering new and beneficial ways to create a life of wellbeing and happiness. Like so many other things in life, the journey is not a destination—rather it is an ongoing process of growth, experience and expression. In some ways it is similar to something that occurs in the commercial real estate field in the U.S. What? That’s right, no matter how wonderful a property (or a life) has been in the past, there comes a time when it is necessary to “reposition” it in order to experience its highest and best use. Although human lives are far more complex, we can learn a few things about change, creativity and feasibility by taking a deeper look at the art of repositioning.
My husband Thom has been involved in the commercial real estate industry for over 25 years. One thing that has made him successful is his ability to think outside the box and see things that are not yet apparent to the rest of us. When approached by a client he is usually asked to help them achieve their goals of either buying or selling a property. But if all he did is stick a sign in the ground, do the obvious, and then hope for the best, little would be accomplished. Instead, it is his ability to creatively reposition properties and objectives that consistently proves the most valuable. It’s the exact same quality that helps to make changes in one’s life.
Okay, so what is repositioning? In the commercial field, repositioning a property means to take that property and redirect it or turn it around in a significant way to maximize its potential. In the same way, repositioning a life is taking a closer look to discover exactly what is happening, evaluating that pattern, and then making necessary changes and choices that move it in a more positive and beneficial way.
For example, a simple repositioning of a commercial property is analyzing whether it is being used effectively. A large office building in Hawaii showed on careful examination that both the rents were extremely low and the management was ineffective. Both of these could be improved upon rather easily and increase both the value and the benefit of the building. In exactly the same way, small changes in a person have the potential to dramatically increase the happiness and benefits of that person’s life. Relatively small alterations like making a decision to eat in a more healthy way, to smile more often or to exercise daily, all can turn a person’s life around in a positive way.
A more dramatic example of property repositioning would be to completely change the use and appearance of the property. Taking an old dilapidated motel and turning it into a retreat-center or eldercare facility illustrates such a difference. A dramatic change when repositioning a life was when Thom and I decided to move from Colorado back to California. We clearly knew that we both preferred to live in a warm climate close to the beach and the mountains. Even though we uprooted ourselves from the security of what was familiar (jobs, income, friends, etc.), we knew we would be happier and more content in California over the long run.
So how does one go about repositioning your life? Again, the commercial property comparison is helpful. When a commercial property broker meets with an owner there is a list of important considerations to consider. A few of those that apply equally to repositioning a life are:
- Uncovering Objectives. A good place to start is determining if a change is necessary in the first place and if there is enough motivation to do what it takes. Has your existing life gotten dull and repetitive? Is the stress of debt making you crazy? Are your relationships destructive? By facing the truth about where you are, where you want to be and if you will do what it takes is the first step to repositioning your life.
- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Before making any big change these are important aspects to consider. While the word “threat” may seem strange, I think it addresses the fears we harbor (whether real or imagined.) Identifying these positions can help us be honest about what regularly works for us and what works against us—and then act accordingly.
- Highest and best use. I believe everyone needs purpose and meaning in one’s life. This question asks you if you know what that is, and more importantly, whether you are living it. It also questions the depth of our lives in ways that can be life transforming.
- Feasibility. How feasible is your desire to reposition your life in the way that you want? If you decide you want to be a professional ballerina after retirement, that might not be humanly possible. If instead, you want to be a part of the ballet in a meaningful way—there are dozens of ways to go about that at any age. Honesty is critical when discussing feasibility.
- Resources. In order to undertake any journey we need assets at hand. The more resources, friends, support, discipline, education, etc. that can gather together, identify and create, the better. The bigger the change, the more necessary it is to have a large supply of things to help us on the path.
- Action Plan. Any hope to reposition either a building or a life requires a general plan. While the plan doesn’t have to be a complete blueprint, there needs to be enough details so we at least stay headed in the direction that we say we want to achieve.
- Flexibility and Trust. Ultimately, no matter how carefully thought out any repositioning is, there are always surprises. A detailed plan doesn’t mean that it will never alter, only that we are moving in one particular direction. Plus, flexibility opens us up to possibilities that we might not have even known about when we first started the journey (change). By staying open and trusting the process we may discover that the best opportunity remained hidden until we took that first step.
Up until now you may never have thought that the commercial real estate industry had anything to do with your life. The truth is, the world around us offers dozens of signs showing us the way to proceed. Much of that path is paying attention, staying conscious, having the desire, and refusing to settle for anything less. Unfortunately, far too many people seem to be content to be merely alive, rather than experience and celebrate living. There’s a big difference—and SMART Living 365 is a resource to help make that happen.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” ~Bob Proctor
“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” ~Tony Robbins
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson