What drives you? Is it fear of failure that gets you out of bed or the recognition that failure is an opportunity for growth?

Do you challenge yourself habitually, or would you rather not take on “too much” in the way of challenges?

At what point does a challenge cause paralyzing fear for you?

In our culture of unprecedented comfort (in the history of the world, no culture has enjoyed as much wealth as we do, here in the US) the lessons in life that afford us natural opportunities to build the muscles of intestinal fortitude and perseverance simply do not present themselves. We pay for trainers to “kick our butts” realizing that we need to stretch ourselves as human beings. But no longer do we have to walk a few miles for water. No longer do we lay our hand to the plow. And our kids can’t even be found playing outside, developing the playing skills that would prepare them to persevere later in life.

So opportunities for natural habituation of virtues are scarce, and on top of that, we now have the ability to get anything we want almost immediately. Fast food, shoes on your doorstep same-day, even the thrill of a car chase on our game console… without the possibility of enduring pain or even minor inconvenience. We get all of the thrill without any of the sacrifice.

This is what we wanted, though, right? Less pain, more convenience, more control, less responsibility?

But what happens when we dream to achieve something that cannot be obtained immediately? We’ve trained ourselves to not wait for anything AND not built the fortitude to go make it happen. In facing down obstacles, we say to ourselves: “If I were talented, it would happen immediately for me. I guess I’m just not cut out for it.” or “She’s a natural, that’s why she does so well at that. Even if I worked at it I couldn’t do that.”

We have, in the words of Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D, “a fixed mindset.” (From her excellent book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)

Fixed mindset people see failure as an affirmation of their lack of talent. On the other hand, growth mindset people realize that failure is the process by which they grow. We have a  tendency to believe that talented people are that way by nature, but most of these high performers would tell you that they have had to work incredibly hard to get to where they are, that their talents had to be nurtured, and that they began as very average or even low achievers.

Michael Jordan is a classic example of perseverance. Having been cut from his high school squad, he put in the hard work to become the greatest player of all time. He came into the NBA as a dunking showman and exited as the most complete player we may ever see. Other, more naturally talented players of the same era made excuses for their failings. Michael failed, then worked on his weaknesses.

What excuses are holding you back? What fixed mindset (some may also call these limiting beliefs) do you have that keeps you from being excellent or from even attempting something new? Who else are you holding back in your life through a fixed mindset?

The power to persevere – to grit through tough times – is the weapon of men and women who grow and ultimately change society.


What is the opportunity cost of not persevering daily, of not winning the battle to get out of bed, or to get to bed on time?

Or of not exercising?

Or of not planning your week?

Or of not making time to read?

Or of not allowing yourself to be coached?

Of checking your email when you need to stay focused?…
Persevere and win at the little things, and massive results will appear.

There it is, my short and sweet two cents. As always, if you plan on making a real estate decision soon, we’d be happy to chat with you about it anytime.

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