The Magic Pill During a Crisis
April 26, 2020
Vice President, Realty Executives
As I am sitting here writing this article, Covid-19 is literally capturing every headline in the media right now. Know that there are about three weeks between the time I am writing this and the day it is getting published. In my deepest thoughts and prayers, I am hoping that by the time you read this, we are back to some normalcy in our lives.
Candidly, I am confronted with a unique challenge because, as of today, circumstances surrounding Covid-19, which is being referred to as ‘the virus’ as of this writing, are changing daily. I’ve asked myself, “What can I possibly offer that will be relevant to you today?”
I have been involved in the coaching and consulting world for over 20 years and have worked with agents, brokers and a wide range of business owners through two major economic downturns. I’m not counting the impact that “the virus” is having on our economy. It’s too early to tell right now. Interestingly, many are not calling this an economic crisis but rather a health crisis that is impacting our economy.
Regardless, in my work with business owners and agents, in good times and bad, I have observed a common thread that differentiates those that thrive versus those that struggle.
Begin with knowing the brain: Understanding the common thread begins with knowing your brain and how powerful it is.
Have you ever bought a new car and as you were driving off the dealer’s lot you began to notice all the people that were driving a car similar to yours? That is due to a portion of your brain called the Reticular Activating System. The RAS, as it is often referred, is located at the base of the brain stem and serves as the brain’s filter for all the stimuli like sight, sound, smell, taste and information that we experience throughout our day. The RAS influences what we observe and experience based on what we might be focused on.
Indulge me as I further illustrate how it works. Carefully read the instructions below one step at a time. This will only take a moment.
- Carefully look around the space you are in right now and notice everything you see that is the color Take about 5 seconds. Stop and do it now!
- Once you’ve done that, without looking up from this article, describe all the things you saw that were Don’t cheat. What did you see?
Generally speaking, most people get stumped. Perhaps you remember something yellow from long term memory. The point is your RAS was focusing on red and that is what you saw.
The RAS reflects what we are thinking about either consciously or unconsciously.
This week I had a couple interesting conversations. One individual shared with me that everyone they talked to is struggling. She said they were afraid, scared, unhappy and things were not going good for them. I asked her how she was feeling, and she described the same sentiment.
The same day, I was speaking to another person who shared that they saw opportunities in the challenges they were experiencing. She shared that everyone around her is working through things and solving problems. They were cautious but hopeful and positive, just like her.
What they were experiencing and the people they were interacting with was a direct reflection of their underlying thoughts and beliefs. They were seeing what they were thinking.
Understand our nature: How is it that two people can have such varying perspectives? Humans are compelled to validate their beliefs. If I believe things are tough or I can’t impact a situation, I will be compelled to find evidence that will prove it. If I believe and am focused on achieving a goal, don’t make excuses because of outside circumstances, then I am likely going to attract the results I seek. The RAS seeks evidence. If you aren’t achieving your goals, then carefully explore your thoughts and beliefs. Once you do, your RAS will start to look for evidence to validate your focus and present opportunities for you to succeed.
This is why we are encouraged to surround ourselves with people that are living the lives or having the success we aspire to having. If you want to be successful in real estate or any work for that matter, surround yourself with people who possess positive, success-achieving thoughts and actions.
It’s really a choice: I understand we all have challenges in life. We all have curveballs that get thrown at us. We are in challenging times right now in fact. Be mindful of your thoughts and your underlying beliefs. Consider if you are looking for evidence that might be validating a result contrary to what you really want. Are the people around you positive, get things done type of people, or is your tribe made up of people that are often defeated and victims?
Let me conclude with a powerful quote from Tony Dungy, former NFL player, and coach. “Be positive. Your mind is more powerful than you think. What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. Fill yourself with positive things.”
Be well and safe my friends.