Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

November 27, 2009

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and it’s all Small Stuff.” Richard Carlson

Today was a challenging day. By 3:30, I was pretty exhausted and was heading home a little early. When I climbed into my car I saw a pile of green glass shards covering the front passenger seat. Then I noticed that the passenger window was gone except for some jagged patches of glass around the perimeter. It hit me that someone had broken my window (I’m very quick). I looked down and noticed that my video Ipod was missing from where I’d left it—cleverly visible by all passersby. Ah-ha—it finally dawned on me—someone had broken my window and stolen my Ipod. More than that, they stole my daughter- Moorea’s- music, other albums I cherished and the audiobook I was in the middle of listening to. If that weren’t enough, they opened my trunk and stole…… I have to tell you, I had been waiting for the Star Trek movie DVD to come out every since I saw it in the theater. I’m a huge fan and, well, when I saw it at the Metreon on Imax, we got there late and sat in the front row and, while it was exciting, we missed most of what went on in the upper portion or the screen. It came out on DVD today and I was there at Best Buy at 10am to buy my copy. It was gone, swiped by the window-breaker.

I should have been really mad. I wasn’t. It surprised me at first. And then I just went with it. I realized that I am so fortunate to have a loving family, a great job where I’m surrounded with wonderful, supportive people, good health… well, that’s enough. It occurred to me that if some kid needed that Ipod more than me, then what the hell. It only cost me a deductible to get the window replaced and my Iphone will work just fine as a replacement Ipod. I’m not telling you this because I think I’m anything special. I just want to share a perspective that was very helpful to my well-being today. Like Carlson said, Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. I’m still kind of surprised that I’m not hopping mad. But, I’m glad. Who needs it? Anger is a very unhealthy emotion. Not good to stuff it, but nice to just let it slide on by.

Postscript: I wrote this the same day as the break-in and published it in an e-newsletter I send to all of the people I work with. The next day one of them brought me an Ipod Touch that he’d been given and had never used. The next day another co-worker gave me a new copy of Star Trek. Does life always work like this? No, at least I don’t think so…humm. All I can say is, this time it did. I accepted the damage and the loss and moved on, shared with my friends the positive lessons I’d gained from the experience, and everything I’d lost reappeared. Like magic. I’ll have to try that again.

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Never too late to have a happy childhood

November 4, 2009

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

 I also like what Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

 A dramatic shift occurred from the time my parents transitioned from teenagers to adults, and today’s baby-boomer generation. My parents seemed to buy into roles that were modeled by previous generations and reinforced by the advertising of the time. If you are too young to have experienced the generation that reached adulthood in the late 40’s to early 60’s, watch Madmen sometime (television series). They dress, consume and act as if adulthood brings an unwritten obligation to “get serious.” Playtime is for children. Adulthood carries with it certain obligations – serious obligations. 

 Whether the cultural revolution of the Vietnam era, a new paradigm born on Madison Avenue and distributed by the explosion of mass media, or global warming, my generation is not afraid to get loose and have fun. I love seeing people in their 50’s and 60’s out surfing, running marathons, driving hot cars, and refusing to dress old. Blue jeans, baby!

 So why do I see so many real estate agents presenting offers as if they were going to a funeral. The business of representing a client is important but it doesn’t have to be “serious.” Most people respond positively to salespeople who are relaxed, natural and who are not afraid to display a little humor. If you’re too serious in your approach, it may be interpreted as staged behavior, a prelude to manipulation. So relax, take some time to engage the seller in a little non-business banter. Gain their trust by making a human connection and you’ll find that the road to compromise just got a little bit shorter.

 Don’t get DOWN to business.

Get UP for business.