I resolve to make more money.
I resolve to lose weight and become healthier.
I resolve to bring more love into my life.
I resolve to be a better person.
I resolve to… (fill in more assorted BS here).
Striving for a goal for that goal’s sake is ineffective for me.
Yes, I can be more disciplined and try harder to achieve the things I want in my life.
Yes, I can put myself in the fire and try to bear the pain. After all, no pain, no gain, right?
Yes, I can get angry and twist myself into contortions – beat myself on the back – submit to all kinds of humiliation and self deprecation.
But I don’t want to. So I won’t. Not just because these things are hard (they are hard). But I won’t do them because I don’t believe they are effective for getting what I want.
Those things have never helped me get closer to a happy and fulfilling life.
I’ve tried them all, but they have not made me a happy man.
And yet, despite my failure at trying harder, I am happy.
Here is my secret.
I love what I do and I try NOT to do things that I don’t love.
Does that mean I love everything about the real estate investing business. No, not at all. In fact, most of the tasks that are required to create a successful business I don’t enjoy – some of those things I downright hate.
I hate to manage property.
I hate doing my bills each month.
I hate to do the same thing today that I did yesterday.
I hate repetitive tasks.
I don’t like talking to sellers and buyers on the phone.
I don’t like dealing with all the little annoyances that arise from running businesses every single day.
So I stopped doing them.
But you can’t have a business if you don’t get these tasks done.
Someone wrote me an email the other day and said, “This real estate business is filled with headaches and struggle. I’m making a lot of money, but it’s driving me bat shit crazy.”
He’s making money, but he’s not happy.
He dreads going to work in the morning.
If I did what he does everyday, I’d feel the same way.
So what do I recommend for myself?
Instead of doing all the things that cause me headaches and struggle, I do the things I love.
How is it possible to do what you love? Get someone else to do all the stuff you don’t like to do.
Yesterday, one of the guys who works with me had a pile of things that went wrong. He kept skyping me with problems as they were arising. He said – “It looks like a lot of things are hitting the fan today.”
And I said, “Yes, it sucks, but you’ve never failed me before and I appreciate you fixing them for me.”
He gets paid whether things go wrong or not – and I actually think he enjoys the challenge of fixing the problems – so the things that would be very painful for me are actually fun for him – or at least fixable without major stress.
And me? These things can be a bit annoying when he tells me about them, but I know that I won’t have to deal with it – and that he can solve the problem… so I let it go and resume what I was working on – something that I am enjoying.
I know that business is full of headaches and struggle, but the things that bug me, don’t necessarily bug someone else. My goal, when I need something done that can’t be automated with software and requires a human to do it, is to find someone who genuinely enjoys that task.
I have a coder who loves to figure out the bugs and build new code.
I have a property manager who loves getting properties filled, maintaining them and running a successful property management business.
I have a bookkeeper who gets real pleasure from seeing the numbers line up on my bank account like they are supposed to.
They do an amazing job – a better job than I could do at those tasks.
I also prefer to have someone else putting deals together for me – but I love to be involved in making the right choices for marketing and structuring the deals.
I make money because I have mastered those things. Making money comes when you are a master at something – and it a lot easier to master something you like to do.
I can hire others to do these tasks because I know how to do them myself and know what needs to be done to accomplish them.
I know that when someone who works with me says, “Today it hit the fan, but I’m working on it.” I don’t have to worry. I know they will get it done. And if they ever stop enjoying what they are doing, I’ll find someone else who does.
So – let’s get back to resolutions…
I won’t resolve to make more money – I just find something that interests me that I think can also make me money. Then I learn as much about it as I can. I start on the path to mastery.
As I get better, I make money… and it makes me more interested because it pays off… and it’s self perpetuating.
As tasks arise in the process that I don’t like (and they always do), over time, I automate or outsource those tasks and NEVER resolve to work harder to accomplish them – I just teach or hire someone to do it for me. This keeps me from burning out.
It also gives me time to pursue more of the ideas that this kind of thinking produces. The more you learn, the more ideas about new ways to do things will arise.
I won’t resolve to lose weight. I love to eat and I try to eat things that make me feel good, that give my mouth and my body pleasure. I also love to do certain things with my body that are both healthy and give me pleasure – so instead of building muscle through pain, I try to stay healthy with the use of pleasurable activity. What I enjoy may be different than what you like, but I’ll bet you can think of a lot of things that give you pleasure that are also good for your body.
Could I look better? Sure, but it’s not a high priority for me. I don’t have to go on television everyday and be judged for my looks (thank goodness).
What about resolving to improve your relationships and you friends. I find that it’s often better to get rid of people from your life rather than bring more people in. Most of us have people around us that do nothing but bring us unhappiness. When I get rid of these folks – when I avoid new people like this, I suddenly find myself surrounded by good people. People I love.
And when I love them, and they are good people – they usually love me too. So I don’t have to resolve to be better, I don’t have to resolve to stop this or do that – I just need to pay attention to my life and my choices and make them wisely.
And when I make bad choices (which I do my share), I try to remember not to make them again – sometimes successfully.
And I try to forgive myself – if I can forgive myself, it becomes easier to forgive others.
So this is why I think resolutions and goals are hogwash. They don’t make me happy, they don’t improve my life. They make me miserable because they aren’t sustainable even if I accomplish them for a little while.
Take interest in the things you love. Learn about them, go deeper into them, let your curiosity guide you.
Don’t send me an email telling me you will get into my program when you make enough money doing real estate deals – that is WHY people join – not something they do after they learn.
Follow your curiosity. Follow your heart. Follow your bliss. Follow the joy and the happiness that is there if you will only release yourself from the slavery of goals and resolutions.
Thank you for a wonderful year.
Let’s have a wonderful NEW year too. Life is good.