New Year, New Opportunities, Your Choice!

As we say good-bye to 2011 and look to the coming year with hope and anticipation, I can’t help but to think it’s going to be a much better year. It HAS to be, right? The question, then, becomes: How do I (that’s you, me, anybody) make it a better year? For me, the answer has always been clear: Optimism. It has been said that “what you think upon, expands,” so I guess I have to believe that if I (and others, you too) can think optimistically, we have a chance at turning this big clumsy pessimistic ship around. (I wrote about optimism and the housing market at http://richyacks.blogspot.com/2011/11/want-better-housing-market-remember.html)

We’re born optimistic, we don’t know any better. Babies don’t read the paper or watch the news or listen to water cooler “woe are we all” oratories. Unfortunately for babies, and for us, the world doesn’t always share our bright-eyed, bushy tailed enthusiasm for this life and everything in it. But what if it did? What if we stopped living scared; stopped expecting the worst; stopped succumbing to the negativity that seems to be as rampant as mushrooms on a stump. I would imagine it would become a very good year! After all, the symbol of the New Year is a BABY, right?

We: you, me and others, are the leaders of this real estate industry (and this certainly applies to the leaders of ANY industry unless you belong to the Scientific Society for Pessimism and Cynicism Research). We are the examples, the trend setters, the deliverers of the message. Patricia Ireland said, I don’t think you lead by pessimism and cynicism. I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy. And if that is true, each of us must ask ourselves how we are leading. For me, I must ask myself what my courses say about my attitude, my optimism. My words are the public measuring stick for my attitude, so the responsibility to use them wisely is huge (by the way, it would be great if our country’s leaders and wanna-be leaders understood that too). As an industry, we need to check our dreary outlook at the door, and focus on the upside of our business, the good we provide to the public, and the fact that the American Dream is still very much alive!

Generally, I’m a pretty optimistic kind of guy. In 2012, my focus will be to stay that way. We enter an election year where our “finest” characteristically perform at their worst and mediocrity and criticism substitute for excellence, ideas and action. We, the real leaders, must stay above the fray. Optimism is alive if we choose it to be. Look around, remembering the words of Robert Brault, who said, The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.

I know what you’re thinking, what about REALITY? Optimism doesn’t have to be a disconnection with reality. What is, IS. Luckily we have the ability to look at reality SUBjectively. The glass can be half full or half empty (or as accountants and engineers note, it’s 8 oz in a 16 oz glass). This optimism thing is our option, it’s our choice. So, the question is, what’s our choice? I know mine.

I wish you the best of new years and a wonderful 2012. Aim high.