The Gospel according to John

OK, let me clear up any misconception. This gospel is not from any of those dear folks that shared information back when we switched from BC to AD. This is my gospel (good news). It is a free blogdom and these are little things that I want to share.

Why? Well, today I have accomplished surviving 66 years on this mortal coil. As the songwriter lamented, “they’re only words, but words are all I have to take your heart away”.

For background purposes (it’s always nice to know the roots of the author), let me again dip into the musing of another songwriter. “I’ve been a puppet (working three jobs while raising my children), a pauper (honestly, most real estate agents can relate to this over the last few years), a pirate (bad boy until Lenn Harley advised me about the use of images in blogs), a poet (the love of words and putting them together coarses through my blood), a pawn (I was a Manager for Long & Foster, enough said) and a king (Maria Lourdes Tudela chose me!).

Fourth paragraph, time to begin sharing before you just click away. Sort of an on-line version of Clemont Clarke Moore’s “dash away, dash away, dash away all”, too much visual prattle and the results create “click away, click away, click away all”.  So, in no particular order, here is the gospel according to John.

I found this very recently. Now, I have been in class rooms, I have read text books and I have listened to the words of some of the finest minds. This little document may be one of the most powerful tools I have ever seen. The good news? Simple solutions often can be used to resolve what appear to be complex problems.

In life, both professionally and personally, we are often struck blind by the various pieces of puzzles we face. The root of problems are dissected and examined. We break things down into minuscule particles of facts. Our vision is usually clouded by emotions that are inherent in each of us. Those emotions are directly linked to our life experiences.

It doesn’t have to be that hard to fix anything. Yes, we are a brilliant species. We have moved beyond earthly limits. We have stock piles of solutions for every sort of problem. We constantly suffer from paralysis by analysis.

Stop wringing your hands over our collective failure to act. Act now. If you are slow to move. Act now. Don’t wait to step forward with a solution to any problem. Act now. And always remember, you’re just a wave, you’re not the water.

Life goes on. On September 11th, not many of us could believe that there would be a tomorrow at all. Since then, we have seen many changes, but life has moved on. Those of us that have had the good fortune to live over 50 years probably remember the “Cuban Missile Crisis”, the Civil Rights Movement, the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the sorrow that followed the death of Robert Kennedy, the New York Mets winning the pennant, the introduction of personal computers, cell phones, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Viet Nam, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the acquittal of O.J. Simpson, Janet Jackson’s costume malfunction, who shot J.R., despots ruling other nations and the list goes on.

The sun always rose the next day. There has never been any crisis we have not survived. All those mentioned were on a national level. Each of us has faced what appeared to be dire situations. Life goes on. We survived.

I have learned this. You can not control anything other than your own behavior and your own reaction to events around you. Every one of us has the power to stand up when knocked down. Seconds wasted bemoaning any situation turn into hours and days lost working on the solution. Life goes on. The sooner you accept that fact, the quicker you will discover the resources you have within yourself to make the journey more pleasant. So many wonderful bits and pieces of advice are passed over when seeking deeper answers. There is a power in simplicity.

Now, it would not be fair if I did not mention real estate. Most of you that have bothered to read this far have a connection to the industry. The gospel? Every single transaction in every single town is unique. The market at any time is a measure of thousands of individual transactions. It is never locked in stone. While seemingly dead in many areas, it thrives and continues one house at a time. The  numbers fluctuate for all sorts of reasons. Each of us must get past the joy or gloom presented in the media and focus on our clients, one at a time. We are so terribly self defeating. I dare say there is not one licensed agent anywhere that is not capable of success. Knowing what to do and when to do it comes with experience. Obeying a code of ethics and continually learning your trade is the root of your growth as an agent. There is no value in measuring yourself against the piecemeal claims of others. Certainly, you will read of the great success of some agents. The everyday, plug along group draws few plaudits. In most cases,there is little newsworthy about completing a transaction. Your clients will find nothing on the evening news that will compare to their feelings about the closed transaction. You see, you change the world, one client at a time. It matters little to your client after closing if you are in the top 5% of agents or if it was your first closing. You changed their lives. As soon as you accept the power you have and understand the significance of what you do, you will find a quiet peace in your heart. You will discover why so many older agents keep plugging along. We are blessed to have chosen a field of endeavor that enables society to grow and prosper. You do make a difference, one transaction at a time.

Personally, I will close with this bit of good news. Life is worth living. There is always hope for a better tomorrow. Each of us has our own place in time. Looking within gives us the strength to look out.

Now, I have lived a lot. I have made more mistakes than I am comfortable remembering. I have accomplished a few things as well. I have two beautiful children, four delightful grandchildren and a new extended family. I have friends all across the country. I am blessed.

I also have to share that I hit damn near every bump in the road as I traveled through life. I have been arrogant, mean spirited and hurtful. I have learned to be humble, cheerful and kind. Lessons learned the hard way, but learned none the less. It is impossible to remain satiated with life’s offerings when they are accompanied by a steady diet of crow.

The good news? I apologize to any of you that I have slighted. It is not all about me, it really is “all about you”. As I have grown older, it has become vividly apparent that our journey is one of service. When we stop taking and begin giving, we put our self in position to enjoy all the things life has to offer.

Some lessons are learned in a more gentle fashion. The lovely woman in the photo with me is my wife Lourdes. Her firm belief that you must accept yourself as you are, the good and the bad, opened the door for me to step into a life I never dreamed was possible. She never stopped believing in me. She never stopped believing in us.

Today, I begin the journey through the rest of my life. I am not alone. I was never alone. As time has passed, I have slowed down and realized that focusing on what I can offer brings greater joy than striving for what I can have. It is a place that is open to all of us. We need only to step away from the trappings of ‘madison avenue” to the pure joy of main street.

So, the gospel of John (at least this portion) is simply put. The answer to most problems is much simpler that we care to admit. Regardless of the situation, it will change and regardless of the outcome, tomorrow will come. Real estate agents should focus on the power they possess without regard for how powerful they appear. Each of us will find greater joy in giving than any temporary delight found in taking.

And as always, peace be with you.