Once again the news media has been filled with stories of the inappropriate word choices that people make, reiterating the need for political correctness and sensitivity. The Daily Show featured an amusing satirical debate last week on which was worse, the “R” word or the “N” word, and suggested that in today’s stressful environment people may more often choose words poorly. In my opinion, the media has got it all wrong. The only word that really matters is the “H” word.
I got out of bed early this morning as usual and, after completing my shower and other necessary morning rituals, went to wake my wife. She wanted a few minutes extra in bed so I went into my office and began to read my email. When I returned after 30 minutes to provide my wife’s second wake-up, I sang her the Nestles’ good morning song which prompted her question of “why was I in such a good mood?” Without a moment’s hesitation I responded that “it was such a pleasure to see her each morning that it always put me in a good mood.” Fortunately I was alert and my brain was functioning at that hour as it seems that this was the correct answer.
After a moment’s thought I realized that I am almost always in a good mood because I am happy (the “H” word) and, even though I am not regarded as the greatest motivational speaker, I wanted to share my analysis of why this is true in the hope that one or more of my readers will find some benefit.
I am feeling the effects of the economy and the current housing market like anyone else and I am seeing the stress which appears to permeate all of our society. My business is slower than I would wish and while I am not hurting financially, I am feeling slightly “pinched” as I have responsibilities that I had not anticipated within my personal economic plan. But while several of the factors in my life are certainly not optimal, they do not come even close to negating all of the very positive elements.
I have been married to the same wonderful person for 40 years. My wife and I and our families are in good health, even, for the most part, our three “senior women” for whom we are responsible, although two require full-time live-in caregivers. While there is the unanticipated financial responsibility of the caregivers, we are fortunate in that we have my mother (age 96), my wife’s aunt (age 92) and my mother-in-law (age 90) still with us to share in their love.
We have two wonderful sons, one fabulous daughter-in-law (hopefully another in the near future) and two amazing grandsons who provide us joy every day. My wife and I have successful careers that continually stimulate us, challenge us mentally, provide us opportunities to serve within our industries and community, and we are fortunate to have earned the respect of our colleagues and business associates. And we have good friends to share in our lives.
So I was very happy that I had, in fact, awakened that morning, happy with who I am and what I have accomplished, happy to be married to my wife and happy with my life. My life is not perfect but on balance it is far, far better than just good. And I believe that is also true for the great majority of the people in this country and is the only message that needs to get out today, tomorrow and every day, especially to every member of the homebuilding industry. Our lives are good and we should be happy.
Business is admittedly far below what we would wish. But new homes continue to sell in every market in the country if they are situated in desirable locations, intelligently designed, offer fair value, and are presented to the market creatively and professionally. Our goal must be to make certain that we are doing everything possible to obtain our fair share of those sales and a little more and to prepare for an even better future and I believe that one of the best ways to accomplish that goal is to start each day with the proper frame of mind.
As I am apparently in a proselytizing mood this morning, I will share “Levitan’s affirmations for life in the homebuilding industry” and suggest that each of us, regardless of our specialty in the business, whether we are the builder or on the maintenance staff, the bookkeeper or the estimator, the secretary or the sales person, starts our day by repeating the following:
— I like myself, I have a good life and I am happy!
— There are constant challenges in my life but there is no stress because I choose to recognize that stress is internal, not caused by external elements, and I will accept those challenges as opportunities rather than let them affect me negatively.
— I am fortunate and proud to be in an industry that provides a product of real value to our customers – quality new homes that respect the environment and are eco-friendly; homes in which our purchasers will put down roots and create ties to the community; comfortable places to raise families, celebrate joyous occasions and build lasting memories; homes that will reflect our buyers’ personalities and lifestyles and give them the opportunity to express their own unique sense of self.
— I am good at what I do and try to always do my best. I can always be a little better and I recognize those opportunities as they present themselves and am constantly working toward improvement.
— My company is good at what it does and I am an essential component in its ongoing success. I don’t compete; I cooperate with my team members to create our joint success and I am always pleased with the success of others.
— I believe that everything I need is available to me in abundance. There is a wealth of knowledge and talent in my company and within the homebuilding community for me to improve my skills and my results and I need only to reach out to those resources to gain whatever assistance I may need.
— I do everything with joy and enthusiasm, confident that I can succeed in everything that I do. I always give 100% and I am pleased that whatever I give out to others comes back to me multiplied in value.
When I was a child I would come home from school and turn on the TV to watch the Mickey Mouse Club. One of the reasons that I enjoyed the show was Annette, she was “hot”. My favorite day of the week for the show was Wednesday because that was “Anything can happen day”. I believe that now, every day is “anything can happen day” if we start with the right attitude and invest the time and effort to make it happen. But that’s just my opinion.
Please visit our company’s website to learn more about our background, qualifications and services to the homebuilding industry at www.levitanassociates.net.
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