My wife started a family tradition when the kids were quite young. Each New Years Eve, we would sit together, and jot down on our respective pieces of paper our personal goals -resolutions if you will- that we had for the coming year. Twelve months later we would repeat the process with the added amusement of reading what we had written the previous New Years Eve. The cramped jar has become a testament to my personal shortcomings, as a review of more than a decades worth of resolutions would indicate that I have either failed in miserably, or, perhaps Im such a perfectionist that I have always longed for the same personal improvements. In any case, my resolutions had some recurring themes.
In no particular order, the following areas received multiple mentions throughout the years:
Be more patient.
Be more decisive.
Buy more real estate.
An honest personal assessment would lead me to conclude that I have failed to reach my hoped for levels on all three accounts. Certainly the people closest to me (those with their own papers in the jar) would agree that patience is a virtue that may have passed me by. Though, if caught in a charitable mood, they may afford me the complisult of you are not as impatient as you used to be.
The last two shortcomings, fortunately both refer to my professional life, and have not affected the homefront. With the TV remote in hand, I am as decisive as the best. On a professional level however, I have probably been a poor example of one of my favourite quotes:
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. Theodore Roosevelt. Its probably not as recognizable a shortcoming as a lack of patience, but its one I am personally aware of, and alas probably contributed to my third shortcoming – buy more real estate.
As my profession involves the transfer of ownership of real estate, I may have had a heightened fear of being the proverbial bare-footed shoe salesmen. However, as selling real estate provides no pension benefits, it was probably more accurately my heightened fear of homelessness that caused me to repeat buy more real estate on an annual basis. If the first rule of sales is to believe in your product, I certainly pass that test and believe wholeheartedly in the adage keep real estate, and it will keep you. (a catchy industry slogan, that does not translate so well to the shoe sales industry). For those like me, who have no other pension, real estate IS our pension. When viewed through that prism, it is only natural to endeavour to improve your standing as best you can. Necessity it turns out, is a good motivator. I cannot say this area has been a complete failure, but really, who does not wish they had purchased more of an appreciating asset?
It is easy, and dangerous, to succumb to regrets and reflect upon how you may have done things differently if given the opportunity. If I have any regrets, they would only involve the first shortcoming – patience. Fortunately for me, my family seems to have been blessed with sufficient amounts to make up for my shortfall!
Thanks for reading – be patient, be decisive, and buy more real estate!