Motivation matters but where it comes from matters more.

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Look for it everywhere.
Expect it from nobody.
Take it where you can get it.

What matters more than motivation is where we get our motivation. For a period of time, especially when I was a kid, I used to look for motivation externally. Like, a lot. Sometimes I would look to the people around me, sometimes the current circumstances, or the things happening around me to find motivation. Then somewhere along my journey in life I realized I can’t rely one anyone else for this. It was a hard lesson to learn since it came when I got dumped. I was disappointed and broken.

There are people that I can listen to and watch, things that I can read, and there are things that I can do to find motivation but ultimately it is found in the moment. Specifically when it comes to the business of real estate, I have found motivation in the strangest places. Here they are.

Motivated or frustrated? It’s a choice.

I got out of bed this morning at 3:45am. My motivation for that was my two year old calling out for me while my wife tried to get him back to sleep. It wasn’t like some nights where he is a little too excited, upset, or whatever else, this morning he was just being very very cute. He was calling out softly because he was a little restless and I don’t blame him, we were in a hotel room in New York City crammed together in a bed with my wife and my seven year old son too. Yes, all four of us squished in a queen size (maybe even just a double) bed. So in the middle of the night all we could hear is Xavier calling out, “Dada. Dada,” so what should I do? Let my wife deal with it or take a look at the clock and realize she’s already been up for nearly an hour already.

Motivated or frustrated? It’s a choice.

I chose to be motivated by the fact that one day he won’t be this small and one day it will be 3:45am and in that moment I won’t know where he is. When is is, say 17, there will be distance and he won’t be calling my name to cuddle. But in this moment, at 3:45am in New York City, he is here under my watch looking for my guidance and love.

I know that many people say it’s dysfunctional to have your kids sharing a bed or nurturing them in the middle of the night. Some say, “just let them cry it out.” But for me, since he was born, I knew I wanted to keep him close for as long as I can cause they grow up so fast. I don’t want to do this to shelter him or protect him from every little thing, but to nurture these moments so I got out of bed to rock him back to sleep. Then I stayed up, despite my wife encouraging me to come back to bed and get a bit more sleep. But in that moment I realize that I can squeeze a few more minutes out of the day that has just begun. This is the moment that starts today, a Sunday.

In addition to my adorable son motivating me to get out of bed, I also went to bed dealing with an offer. In real estate offers and clients are everything and that also motivates me. When a new lead comes in I try my best to jump on it right away, within minutes or even seconds. I have a rule that I follow almost religiously, in almost every circumstance, that within minutes I respond to each lead despite how busy we might be. And when I receive offers or are close to a deal late in the evening, which is about 9:00pm for me, I respond quickly to let everyone know that I will be dealing with it first thing in the morning and I go to be with an unopened email, offer, or voicemail.

Good news can and should wait.

Prioritize your life and your behaviour around the things that motivate you.

When I know that’s waiting, I’m exceptionally motivated. Sometimes it keeps me slightly awake at night too but I wake up motivated to start the day. It’s one of the places that I find motivation. Transactions and offers are the lifeline of our business. No matter how often or as infrequently as they come in this changing industry, each and every offer drives me. I’ve decided that the day that the drive, excitement, and anticipation slows down, that’s the day I’ll change my business but for now I’m fortunate to get to start my day at 3:45am with my family, with offers to open, clients to call, and opportunities waiting.

Fussy 2 year old at 3:45am or an offer at 9pm – motivation or frustration.

So what I’m saying is find what motivates you and use it. Prioritize your life and your behaviour around the things that motivate you.

Good news or bad news, at least it’s news. Motivation is not always positive but in the case of negative news, use it to motivate you to have the difficult conversations and find a positive outcome.

Either way, I greet the day the same regardless of children to cuddle or offers to counter, I force myself into my morning routine. A perfect morning looks like it did today. I have things to look forward to, children nearby, a wife who I love, emails to respond to, and offers to open so I get out of bed excited and grab my tools, my headphones, my journal and a coffee. I found a quiet place in the hotel to put in my headphones and meditate for 10 minutes, journaled for 10 minutes, and then I enjoyed my first sip of coffee. Also as motivation, I delay the gratification of the first sip of hot coffee until the morning routine is complete.

And in this moment while I write this post, I delay the moments of excitement until I’ve woken up, meditated, journaled, and today written this post. Soon I will open my emails, check stocks, and to the least important but often the most desired of checking social media.

That’s it, that’s all. Motivation comes from inside and it comes from being able to clarify what you want and value most. What we have, what we’re chasing, and the moments matter most according to you, not anyone else. So find your moments, stick to them, and set your life up around those moments. That is motivation you can count on and for me that’s the motivation that matters most.

Make it a great day!

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