IC Elesson: The Only Way You’re Going to Make Your Real Estate Knowledge YOURS is…

So, back in May, at the urging of a friend who had lost about 40 pounds and looked fantastically in shape, I read a book called Younger Next Year.

The main theme of the book is that, unless we take actions to avoid it, our lives from about 50 years old to death are a consistent downward slide of pain, injury, disease, and decreasing quality of life, but that if we DO take a smallish set of positive actions (working out 6 days a week and not eating crap, primarily) we can actually live in roughly the same health at 75 that we have at 50—and that, while there will still be death to greet us at the end, the bad/painful/unhealthy part of our lives can be restricted to a much shorter period.

This is going somewhere, I promise.

Given that I’ve actually suspected that a lot of the problems of old age are really lifestyle related rather than “age-related”, I grabbed on to this message with both hands, and started a project called #100DaysofHealth where I committed to do all the things I knew I should be doing (working out every day, wearing sunscreen, meditating, avoiding sugar and alcohol) for 3 months and some change and seeing what happened (if you’re super-interested, you can read the whole blog at https://healthyin100.blogspot.com/ ). Long story short: yes, I felt a lot better, and yes, I looked a lot better.

And yes, when it was over, I totally backslid, and haven’t worked out consistently in 2 months or so, and I feel a lot grumpier and weaker and generally not nearly as good.

So, what happened?

The same exact things that happen to you when you go to a real estate seminar or boot camp or read a book or whatever, and you get all inspired and learn a lot, and then you go home and do some stuff, and then you stop.

First, it’s super-easy to know what you should do, and still not do it. I mean, if knowledge were all it took to lose weight, we’d all be supermodels, right? Without action, nothing you know really means anything. I’ve spent the last 2 months KNOWING that I’d feel better if I’d take the time to work out, and if I didn’t eat that cookie, but, oddly, knowing it didn’t make it so.

Second, I didn’t make that healthy, working-out person part of my identity. In my head, I’m still the high school girl who avoided gym class at every opportunity, ate coneys and fries for lunch every single school day for 4 years, and hates exercise. Only the weird thing is, I didn’t actually hate it when I tried it. I actually liked a lot of it. It felt good to do things (like pushups) that I’d never done before. I found out that I LOVE biking. But I still have that limiting thought that I’m NOT an energetic, athletic person—and that’s all it is. Until I change my identity, working out will always be something I do, not something I am.

And finally, I didn’t create the habits I needed to create to make my healthy actions stick over the long term. My goal was to do it for 100 days, not forever. It was to complete the activity, not to create a lifestyle. In order to make it forever, I have to get into the habit of (almost) ALWAYS getting up at 6 am and heading to the gym, no matter what. I have to get into the habit of (almost) ALWAYS skipping desert, no matter what.

You get the analogy now, right?

You can absorb all the real estate knowledge in the world, and still never make any money, because you don’t DO anything to make it work. You can be inspired without taking action. You can do a few things to get started without having a vision about where you want to go in the long term. You can make offers without seeing yourself as a real estate investor. You can play around with doing stuff from time to time without being in the HABIT of doing those things.

If you want to make all that knowledge and inspiration stick, you have to do something, every day, with intention and with an understanding about what that activity is supposed to do for you in the long run.

In real estate, knowledge without action is useless. Action without intention is useless. If you really, really want this, don’t just think, do…and don’t just do, create habits, on purpose, to keep you doing even when you’re busy with other things, or distracted, or bored or fearful or whatever.

Don’t worry, I’m back on the heath bandwagon. I’ve discovered that in order to get to the gym every day, I have to do it right after I wake up, or I talk myself out of it. I discover that I have to pre-plan what, exactly, I’ll do each day at the beginning of the week, or I talk myself out of it. I have to go straight to the produce and fish departments at the store, or I pick up some cookies just in case.

You’ll learn things about what you do to avoid success in real estate, too. Don’t give up. Learn, do, and prosper.

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