Media are full of ominous headlines: wars, 18-year high interest rates and inflation, derisive political divides, rampant lawlessness in sanctuary cities, shortages of workforce housing. No wonder anxiety is rampant! Rather than write another article on these headlines, what if there is a way for you to shed crippling anxiety and thrive, not just faintly hoping to survive? Here are a few suggestions.
Interest rates are at an 18-year high. If you’re under 40, this is your first rising interest rate real estate market, and it can be frightening. Fear not! My real estate career started Jan. 10, 1981, in Lee County when the Prime Rate was 21.5%. Today it’s 8.5%. We’ve had six recessions over the last 40 years. The Great Recession was brutal, but the last few years have in many ways eclipsed the halcyon days of 2006. Fear not!
Rock legend Bob Dylan had it right in his 1979 hit song titled “Gotta Serve Somebody.” We each have the luxury to choose whom to serve, but we all “gotta serve somebody.” If we try to navigate life’s travails solo, our journey will be lonely, anxious and burdensome. We aren’t built to carry the weight of life alone, but if we acknowledge and believe there is a higher power that wants good for us, we’ll have more peace and joy.
Financial budgets are good, but do you have a kindness budget? Budget time for intentional and random acts of kindness. Leave margin to serve people joyfully and passionately. Here are some possibilities: The Salvation Army, Better Together and Hoops on Mission. Reserve time in your life hoping to randomly see a need you can meet – buy someone’s coffee, lift a heavy item if someone is struggling, allow a shopper to move ahead in line or send an encouraging text. Here’s a suggestion: perform random acts of kindness and don’t post about it on social media.
Isn’t this the same as the above thoughts on kindness? It’s too powerful to not address separately. Kindness is mostly giving of our time and maybe talent. This is giving of our treasure. Giving money to others helps keep our greed in check. It positions us for money to be multiplied back to us, often in ways we didn’t create. Its intrinsic fulfillment never dims. If you struggle to pay your bills and question how to start, start with a dollar and test it. Next, budget some percentage of your income and consistently be generous.
CHARACTER VS. PERSONALITY
Personality influences the pace of our success, but character determines its duration. Do you prefer a good year or a good career? Personality, fame and connections can take us places our character may not. To thrive, work more on who you are becoming than how much you’re earning. Money can be fleeting, but character – good or bad – remains.
A friend and real estate professional who I sincerely respect recently overcame cancer and, sadly, then divorced. He recommended a book entitled “From Strength to Strength” by Professor Arthur Brooks. One quote stands out: “A key to happiness isn’t getting more, but wanting less.” My hope is for you to thrive despite the headlines.
Fort Myers-based Stan Stouder, CCIM is a Founding Partner of CRE Consultants and a broker, investor and developer specializing in industrial and investment properties. Reach him at 239-481-3800 or email@example.com