GOING BACK TO THE FUTURE…
TO FIX THE PAST!
As most of you know, I’m a business, wealth building, and success coach in a few industries, most notably in the real estate appraisal industry. It’s the industry I relate with the most because I’m in it every day since I still lead my own appraisal firm, while also getting to work with literally hundreds of great appraisers at True Footage. I’ve been learning and evolving in this business, like many of you, for over three decades now. 21 years on the appraisal side, 5 years on the lending side, 4 years on the real estate sales side, and as a real estate investor since 1988. It has been through my coaching experiences over those years that I’ve been granted the awesome opportunity to see time after time what people struggle with in their lives and in their businesses. What I can tell you from doing this for as long as I have is that almost all of the issues and challenges people deal with in life and business can be boiled down to less than 10 things.
What I mean by that is that whatever issues you’re having in your business, for example, can be thrown into the marketing and branding category, the sales category, the systems and processes category, the management and leadership category, or the goals and vision category. Those are just examples, but very real ones. Maybe there are two or three more, but you get the idea. However unique you believe your issue to be, it’s a similar issue that somebody else has or has had, and there is a solution. The solution is usually pretty simple. It may not be easy, but it’s simple to identify and diagnose. Whether or not you’re capable of taking the advice and doing something with it is a where things go from simple to more complex. No matter how easily identifiable the issue is, nor how simple the prescription might be, we often have mental and emotional blocks that keep us from moving forward with the solution.
Why do I bring this up? Where are we going with all of this, Blaine? Where we’re going in this episode is back to the future. We’re going to go back in time to fix some things that are absolutely guaranteed to change your future. How do we do that, you might ask? It’s actually quite simple. It really only takes having an understanding of things work to understand how and why you are where you are, wherever that may be. I don’t mean to be elusive and all Zen about this, but we do have to set the stage first before delving into the science of all this stuff. More importantly though, is the ‘why’. Why are we talking about how to change your past to change your future in this episode? We’re talking about this topic because it seems appropriate at this point in time.
I could do another episode on how to get more business coming in for all the appraisers listening. I could another show about marketing or branding. I could do another show about getting your systems and processes in order, and I will at some point, have no fear. However, right now, in December of 2022, people are stressed and anxious. People are wondering what’s going on, what’s coming next, where do I go, what do I do? Do I wait this thing out? Do I get a second job? Do I look for a side hustle? Will things ever go back to the way they were?
All of these are valid questions and I’m not going to answer all of them directly in this episode because those questions represent our innate need for clarity and confirmation before acting. We want to know definitively that things will go in our favor before we make a move and I’m not qualified to give you that in a podcast. What I can give you is some understanding of how our brains and thoughts work, however, and what that will help with is finding the answers to those questions within yourself, not outside of you. What it should also help with is vision and clarity going forward. And, in fact, what I will say about the time we’re in right now is that this is time when some of the most beneficial changes to your life and business are likely to occur.
The greatest life alterations tend to occur around crisis, pain, suffering, discomfort, and trauma. To say it another way, most people make no changes to their lives without some painful impetus. Most people, myself included, naturally seek more comfort, more familiarity, and more guarantees from life as we age. This means we’re less likely to make changes to continue growing once we believe we’ve found the path to increase. We’re unlikely to disrupt routine and seek more discomfort as a path for growth. No, people rarely do that on their own, they tend to wait until something outside of them forces the change. However, many look back years later and say it was the best thing that happened to them because it forced them to move in a direction they wouldn’t have otherwise if it wasn’t forced upon them in some way.
So, let’s talk about the why of all this so you can get to the fun stuff. Here’s how things work when it comes to our brains, our emotions, and our actions. It is an indisputable fact that the way we think has an effect on the way our lives go, how could it not? The thoughts we have are always connected to a feeling within us, even if we’re not aware of it. Every thought has a corresponding emotional (chemical) reaction within. Some emotions are stronger than others, and some of those corresponding emotions are negative, while some are positive. We think a thought and it triggers a chemical reaction inside our bodies. The thoughts we think, and the emotions we have about those thoughts, inform the actions we take on a moment-to-moment basis, again, even when we’re not aware that it’s happening.
Many may not be aware of this statistic, but humans tend to have between 50,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day, most of which fly well below our conscious radar. The more staggering stat is that 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts that you had yesterday and are the same ones you’ll have tomorrow. The same thoughts trigger the same emotions, which trigger the same behaviors. It makes sense that the same choices and behaviors tend to lead to the same experiences, more or less. Since we’re having the same experiences, more or less, each day, it stands to reason that the same emotions happening over and over trigger the same thoughts over and over. It becomes a cycle of confirmation and eventually becomes what we call a habit.
How we think, feel, and then act is what we eventually call our personality, and your personality is largely responsible for what becomes your personal reality. Said another way, your personality creates your personal reality. If you want something to change in your reality, you literally and figuratively have to become a different person. If you want to change your reality, you have to change your personality in some way or in some area. If you want to experience something different in your personal reality, you have to change that part of your personality that is getting the result you want to change. Remember what we said earlier that most people never make a change until something forces them into the change. Why is this? Because most people never think about what they think about. They never stop and listen to the thoughts in their head and then ask, ‘why do I have that thought and what result is that thought getting for me?’
Where most people get it wrong when trying to get different results is that they try to have a different personal reality with the old personality, and it simply doesn’t work that way. You can’t think the same thoughts, have the same emotions about those thoughts, behave in the same way based on those emotions, and then expect a different result long term. You may get some new results in the short term, but if the personality is the same, the thoughts and emotions are the same, we eventually fall back to our old, familiar patterns and personality traits. It’s like a massive tractor beam pulling us back into our old ways of thinking, feeling, and doing.
Brain studies have shown that, by the time we’re 35 years old, we are a big set of unconscious memorized behaviors and habits. The same thoughts trigger the same emotions trigger the same behaviors and it’s all automatic. In fact, by that time 95% of our behaviors are a conditioned set of unconscious habits and programs. The synapses in our brains have made connections that just continue to fire automatically without any conscious input from us. The saying in the neurology world is that the nerve cells that fire together, wire together. It’s the reason we will consciously practice something over and over. We consciously practice things to wire together the synapses and neurons in our brain so that we can automatically do that thing unconsciously at some point.
Think about this way; every morning when you wake up you do the same routine, more or less, the same way. Bathroom routine, shower routine, even the way you dry yourself off after the shower has a distinctly familiar pattern to it. Coffee, breakfast, brush teeth, whatever your particular routine is, it’s just like a computer routine in that it runs in the background without you having to think about it. While good for getting stuff done in an inefficient way sometimes, what it means is that 95% of what we think every day is from our past. Our brains are a record of every past event and experience we’ve ever had. It’s those records of the past that create the automatic programs that run 95% of our day. And, since 95% of our thoughts are from the past, we’re essentially always living from the past. We might have thoughts about the future, but without a clear vision and plans for stepping into that future, that tractor beam of past thoughts, emotions, and subsequent behaviors will always draw us back into our familiar patterns.
This is the reason that most people make no changes until something big happens and they’re forced to change. There’s a saying in meditative and deeper spiritual practices that essentially says, ‘the essence of life is to die before you die, so that you won’t die when you die”. This is a fairly deep concept that I won’t go in depth on in this show, but, at its core, this saying speaks to dying to the old thoughts, the old ego, the innate habit of living in the past and from past thoughts and giving up many of the attachments we all carry. Knowing what we now know about how the mind works; thoughts, emotions, beliefs, actions, results and then back to the thoughts again, what the early Sages knew was that to truly grow we have to die to our old selves and slowly be reborn to a new self each day. We have to give up our attachments to those old patterns of thinking, break those old neuro-patterns, and then establish new ones based on a vision of a future you want to live into, instead of a past you keep living from over and over.
Let me summarize what this all means and why I think it’s an appropriate time to be talking about this topic. What this means is that, if you want something different than what you’re experiencing now, you literally have to become a different person in some way. Your personality becomes your personal reality based on the moment-to-moment thoughts, which come mostly from our past, the subsequent emotions that are triggered by that thought, the actions we end up taking or not taking based on the thought and the trailing emotion, the results we get from the action, and the inevitable confirmation loop of then thinking about the result we just got and creating a habit. The habit becomes part of who we are and, thus, part of our personality. If it’s part of your personality, it’s informing your personal reality. You’re getting the results you’re getting because of who you are and your patterns, not necessarily because of external circumstances.
If you want something different, you have to become somebody different. Since most people have a hard time holding an image or a vision of something they’d like to have or be in the future, they fall back to their past hard-wired patterns and end up getting the same results. They have a difficult time believing in a future that they can’t see and feel with their senses yet, so they default back to what they can see and feel, and that is what informs their reality.
You look around today in December of 2022 and say, ‘my business is down 75%! And it’s because of stuff going on outside of me! These are things I can’t control!’ This just confirms what you already believe, and the pattern is set. Now, everything you see around you just confirms what you told yourself was true. Your personal reality informs and becomes your personality, and your personality just keeps reinforcing your reality. It becomes a vicious cycle that you’re completely unaware of because it’s all happening beneath your level of conscious perception.
The nerve cells that fire together, wire together. Keep firing the nerve cells that see lack, not enough, that say, ‘this is the way I was taught’, ‘I don’t know what to do’, ‘I’m helpless’, ‘I’m not good at that’, ‘I’ll wait it out’, and ‘this is just who I am’, and those nerve cells will wire together and become who you are. If you want something different, you have to become somebody different, literally.
If you’ve never read the book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear, I highly recommend doing so. James Clear says several times throughout the book that humans don’t rise to the level of their goals, they fall to the level of their systems. This isn’t a new concept. In fact, I firmly believe that he stole the idea from an ancient Greek poet named Archilochus, who said, “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training”. Whatever the quote and who said it, the sentiment is that, whether it’s our systems or our training, both men are talking about the subconscious patterns that keep pulling us back into a way of being, doing, and experiencing life. If you want something different than you’re experiencing, you have to reprogram the systems. The systems are all of your old thoughts, beliefs, patterns, and the nerve cells that have long since wired together from firing together so many times.
Before I wrap up this episode with some important questions for you to ponder, if you want to get the podcast delivered to your email box each week, you can join what we call the Value Syndicate, which is completely free to join. It’s simply my way of adding value for you as a loyal listener. Just go to RealValueCoach.com/blog and you’ll see a quick sign-up box at the top. Not only do you receive the podcast before everyone else gets it each week, but you also get some bonus episodes that the general public doesn’t get. I record special episodes from time to time just for members of the Value Syndicate and it’s all completely free. I’m passionate about teaching, coaching, and helping people level up, so if you’d like to be part of the inner circle, so to speak, just go to realvaluecoach.com/blog and get those bonus episodes. (check your spam box and be sure to confirm your membership).
To close out this episode, I’ll ask you some questions that you’ll want to write down and ask yourself from time to time. The questions are these: can you become somebody different than you are today? Are you willing to do something you’ve never done before to have or experience something you’ve never experienced before? Are you able to monitor your mindset moment to moment for a time and become aware of the thoughts that are responsible for the results you get day to day? Are you willing to change your personality to experience a different personal reality? Are you willing to stop drawing on thoughts from your past in order to have a different future? And can you believe in a future that you can’t see and feel yet? If the answer to that one is ‘no, I can’t believe in a future I can’t see and feel!’, what would it take for you to be able to see and feel something that doesn’t appear to exist yet?
If you want help with the answers to any or all of these questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and have a chat with me. It’s what I do every day and I’d love to have a chat with you about these things. Until that happens though, keep asking those questions and start becoming somebody new.
Until next week, my friends, I’m out…
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