Some of the posts here on SMART Living 365 might lead you to believe that SMART Living is merely keeping a positive attitude. You might also think that once you embrace what I have been calling SMART Living that nothing unpleasant or bad ever happens in your life. Actually, while it might be nice if that were true—it’s not. SMART Living isn’t a place you arrive at like taking a trip to Hawaii and never coming home. Instead, SMART Living is a journey of discovering that no matter what happens, you have the consciousness, understanding and tools to deal with whatever comes your way.
For example, some of you know that Thom has been a commercial real estate broker for nearly 30 years. What you might not know is that in order to be really good at commercial real estate you need a number of qualities that typical real estate agents don’t usually have. Those qualities include specialized knowledge of the marketplace, creativity, flexibility and patience. A normal commercial transaction (like a shopping center, investment property, or restaurant building) can take months and sometimes even years to close. While having an agreeable personality is valuable to anyone in sales, in order to be successful in commercial real estate you must raise the bar on complexity (especially in a down real estate market) and you must be able to spend all the time it takes to cover thousands of details—hence, patience.
Then, even if you spend months or years dealing with investors and working out a hundred details to bring a property to close, there is always the chance that something will happen that can’t be fixed. And because commercial real estate brokers only get paid when a property closes, everything that you’ve done up until then is gone. Yep, that means that all the time, expertise, energy and expectations you’ve invested in the deal have gone up in smoke. If you can’t deal with that, if you don’t have a strong enough sense of where your good ultimately resides, then the business will eat you up. That’s why there are hundreds of good residential brokers and only a handful in commercial.
During the last two weeks, Thom experienced not one, but two real estate transactions teeter on the edge of oblivion. Both transactions had been in the works for several months each—and now it looks as though there may be no payday for either one of them. Think of it—all that time and energy and expense—just gone. To make matters worse, both involved people behaving badly—or at least on the surface without justification or rationalization. Unfortunately, this happens all the time—to Thom, to you, and probably everyone you know. Face it—stuff happens. Even if you feel justified, even if you did your best, even if there is no plausible excuse, stuff happens. So what do you do?
You breathe. That’s right you breathe and you go on. And hopefully along the way you learn not only techniques that help you do better next time, you also get grounded in a personal philosophy that helps you recognize a much bigger reality than the surface level event that created the drama. Now I can relate Thom’s personal spiritual philosophy (and probably will at some point in this blog!) but what really matters is what you believe and if it helps you. Frankly, I know far too many people who relate ongoing stories of drama and don’t hear one little bit of a growing awareness, a consciousness, that helps them heal and go on from their troubles.
Face it, any event in your life is only a problem if you don’t learn from it and can’t leave it behind you. If you can return to a life that you love, with a sense of peace and happiness within yourself in a relatively short amount of time (that hopefully gets shorter just about every time it happens), then everything that happens in your life has positive purpose and is a benefit to your expanding consciousness. And once you let that sink in, you start taking steps, learning, growing and becoming a person who can deal with the lifetime of “stuff” that happens in everyone’s life, without letting it be the navigator of your life. That is a huge part of what it takes to live SMART 365.
So, what is happening with Thom’s transactions? Well, one sale is completely gone and the other one is still in limbo. Remember, as long as you are alive then stuff will continue to happen. The good news is that Thom woke up with a smile on his face and was able to laugh and appreciate his life in spite of it. He is refusing to let that external situation determine the quality of his today. And yes, you can be sure, he is still breathing too.