Tuesday, March 11, 2008

RE/MAX Convention Inspiration

A bit of background: I've always had a fairly firm grounding in what I believe psychologically. I think people respond to the world because of what they think about it. Simply put, if you think things will turn out well they generally do. Norman Vincent Peale was perhaps the greatest advocate of this school - the power of positive thinking.

As a student I was inculcated in B.F. Skinner's methodology. He literally funded the labs at Mount Holyoke and we learned Skinnerian thought. It made sense as far as it went, but there seemed to be more. My pigeon learned rapidly to peck at the stimulus, but I had to think he was getting fairly tired of "learning" by my Friday lab.

In grad school at Ohio U I was introduced to Albert Ellis and Rational-Emotive Therapy. That made sense. The client worked on things that needed to be done, and thought produced emotions that produced positive feelings.

Entering real estate I was introduced through Gallinger to Maralyn Schwartz. She gave a lengthy class - over the course of months - in simply getting out there and talking to people. "Just do it!" You get out of life as much as you put into it; the harder you work the more you gain. Real estate is like that - the ebb and flow is for the most part a factor of your work ethic (and a few minor things like being efficient and communicative, but that's part of the ethic of hard work, so....)

Back to the convention. RE/MAX brought in three major speakers: Brian Buffini, Marcus Buckingham, and Les Brown. Buffini spoke about working hard. "Not enough hours in the day? Get up earlier!" Marcus Buckingham talked about positive psychology. It's a new exploration into emphasizing strengths over weaknesses. You won't change the bad stuff, but channel the good stuff into positive traits. Can't stand to lose? You are competitive and will persist when others drop off.

Les Brown spoke the most to me. He is the author of the phrase "Shoot for the moon because if you miss you will land among the stars." He idolized Dr. Peale, having heard him as a very young man who was labeled educably retarded. He chose not to be, and now lectures to the world. He talked about our privilege to be alive and not wasting it, a theme I repeat often. I look forward to hearing him again - it's a message I could hear over and over. (Check out his website: www.lesbrown.com. He has a 60 minute free message he's sending out tonight....)

It's energizing, all of it. Not just to get going with real estate, but with life itself. To not leave anything on the table, to jump out of bed each day with renewed vigor.

"Let us then be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate,

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait."