What you can’t get back

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This past summer when I worked in politics, I got myself a brand new blue suit. I loved that suit. It looked great on me and I never got more compliments on my clothes than I had ever before. It was a total stunner.

Fast forward a few months to when I am working at BMW and unfortunately one day I tore a huge gash in my sleeve while at work. I went to my local tailor who gave me the bad news that the jacket was toast. They couldn’t fix it and that based on where the tear was a patch would look not only awkward, but bad as well.

I was a little heartbroken.

After all it was my favorite suit! So for a while I just dealt with it, not having it to wear anymore. But when I got my real estate license and was signed up with a brokerage I decided that I wanted to look my best so I went and bought the same suit again. I had it tailored just like before and in fact, I am typing this blog while wearing it before I head out to work to look at Broker Open Houses.

Sure it cost me money, but I got my suit back.

There are lots of things in life that you can get back. A nice suit, a nice car, and even a nice house. Depending on how life goes you can lose these things as well, as maybe a simple accident at work ruins your suit, or some jerk not paying attention while tailgating you hits you on the freeway and totals out your brand new hot rod, or your family’s income might disappear amidst an economic downturn and you lose your house.

I’ve been there in all those moments.

But guess what? I got a new suit, I got a new car, and I got a new place to live again. All those things that were lost, I got back. Sure, there was a struggle, as there always will be, but I got them back. But there is one thing though that you can never get back.

That is time.

Every moment that passes is gone. It’s here. Ah. Now it’s gone. After you read my blog, you can’t get those minutes back. They are over. So I work to make my blog count and not waste those. Which brings me to crux of today’s post.

Managing Time is paramount.

And boy is it difficult. But the rewards are tremendous once you have it done. With a well scheduled day and solid habits of sticking to your schedule you are free to accomplish so much. But if you don’t plan things well and stick to timelines, many things are skipped or not attended. I have been struggling to budget time properly with my blog personally. Ideally I want to be waking up early every morning and getting this posted first thing in the day, not at 11:30 AM like today. But this is because I am not managing my time as best I can.

I need to get this under control.

Just one observation I have noticed is that ever since I have regularly posted on my blog every day my readership is at levels higher than ever before. People check because they know a post will be here. If I wrote my blog at the same time every day, I bet my readership would even go up more.

That is just one instance of where I know managing time will help me, but it can help me better in every regard. So, with that, it’s time for me to run off to work, and use the time I have left in this day wisely.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

Don’t close doors

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Today’s post is very personal to me. It is about the woman who will always be special to me. Her name is Alice and I will never forget meeting her.

I was on the train from Oxnard California headed up to Klamath Falls Oregon. It was going to be a long ride, but I was no stranger to this trip at this point. I was prepared for the trip with a new trusty book, I was reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris at the time. I was settled into my cozy chair in the viewing cabin, where passengers of the train could sit with chairs facing outwards and see the areas that the train passed through. I was prepared to finish reading my book.

But then this absolutely gorgeous woman sat beside me. And she wanted to talk to me too.

So naturally I bite, and I get to chit chatting with her. And I was absolutely blown away by her. The two of us naturally vibed more than any other woman I had ever met with. We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. So much of us was in sync it was absolutely unreal. Then she looked at her watch. It was midnight and we were stopping in Sacramento where she was getting off the train.

10 hours had passed by.

They were the fastest 10 hours of my life. Neither I nor her wanted them to end. I asked for her number and she laughed and gave it to me. She told me that if I had not asked that she would have asked for mine. I loved that. She got off the train, and then I spent the rest of my ride thinking about her.

The two of us started talking on the phone regularly after that and eventually when I was back in California a few weeks later I went to visit her in San Luis Obispo. The two of us really had a great time together but sadly our relationship was marred by the fact that I was still getting my Masters Degree in Washington D.C. and that she was living in San Luis Obispo California. Further, she was older than me and she gave me some to the truest advice I had ever heard, despite not wanting to hear it then.

She had made her decision to be a teacher and she was very content with that. She was out of school, and settled into her career. She pointed out to me that not only was I not done with school yet, I still had to figure out what I wanted to do in life. She told me that while she was extremely attracted to me, she needed to be rational and not hold out in an irrational manner as I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life first. She had been through this with two boys before, and she said that she was not going to do it again.

It was very sound advice.

So I was off back to Washington D.C. but the two of us were remaining in touch. It was tough though because we both really wanted to see each other but we were 3,000 miles apart. It became clear that being so much in touch was making it too hard for us to just live our normal lives and move on.

Alice wanted to remain in touch with me, she made it clear that she was going to go on dates with other men, but again she stressed that she wanted to stay in touch. At the time I thought that I just couldn’t bear thinking about her going on other dates so I made the decision to end things and to move on.

What a stupid decision.

And I will tell you why.

No one ever knows how their life will turn out.

I sure as hell didn’t then, and I sure as hell don’t now. I thought back then that I wasn’t going to be back in California anytime soon, or potentially even at all. Well at this point, I have been living back here for over a year and a half now and I really wish that I had not closed the door with Alice.

Again, it was such a stupid decision.

And unfortunately, as far as I can figure out, I closed that door pretty good and I don’t think it is ever going to open again. So the least that I try to do now is to learn my lesson from that experience and not do the same thing again in the future. I made the mistake once, I am not interested in making it again. So this brings me to the main point.

Closing doors can be simply unnecessary.

Sure, in the moment you might feel a certain way, and it may seem reasonable, but later on when circumstances change you really might be kicking yourself for doing so. I sure have. Yes, I know, sometimes things may be hard (especially in emotional situations) but closing the door might be the wrong decision. Maybe you think closing the door will help your heart in the short term, but maybe you closing that door becomes “the one that got away” in the long term.

So you really might not be sparing yourself any heartbreak.

So my two cents for today is just that. Don’t close doors. Don’t be too emotional. Don’t over think it. Sometimes things might work out, other times they might not. But in the future they may work out. And if they do, you will be ever so thankful.

Keep that door open.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

A Simple Lesson

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Yesterday I received a call. Unfortunately it was not a potential buyer or seller of property as a newly licensed real estate agent like myself would hope for, but rather it was a telemarketer. He then began to try to get me to buy something or do a survey, either of which I was not interested in. I could tell he was pressing me and he knew that I was not interested so I then decided to press back.

I will be honest I had a beer in me so I was being a little silly. I then asked him if he was interested in making an offer on a house in a particular city. He told me he was not and then replied well what about with another house in another area.

He then said to me,

“Sir if you are going to waste my time I will make you regret it.”

I thought to myself oh shit, this telemarketer is threatening me.

This was a first.

Instantly I said alright then and decided to not waste his time and I hung up. The man then preceded to call my phone repeatedly of which I answered every time only to hear dead air.

Finally I blocked the number.

But again, it got me thinking. I really did not need to mess back with that telemarketer. All I should have done was say sorry I am not interested, have a nice day, and hung up the phone. Instead by messing with him I ended up making him mad and he started to screw with me. Not only was I being unprofessional from the get go, which I shouldn’t be, I then risked making an enemy.

The lesson here is don’t act in any manner that is unnecessary, even if you are getting harassed non-stop every day from telemarketers.

Just behave professionally and end the call. And in other circumstances as well, behave professionally. You never know when someone might snap and get angry and then ruin your day.

It’s not worth it.

Just maintain a good level of professionalism and even if people mess with you, just brush it off and carry on. I will just tell future telemarketers that I am not interested at this time and that I am busy, thank them for the offer, but then hang up. Anything more is just unnecessary.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Being there in a time of need

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Today I received a call. It was from Alex. I was about to go to work. He said to me,

“I need your help.”

I looked at my watch. I had somewhere to be. But I could tell he was in a time of need. I knew that this was one of those moments in life where the rubber meets the road and that I had to be there for my friend. I asked what was the matter. He said,

“I locked my keys in the car, and the spare is at home and I could use a ride.”

I laughed and said of course man, I will be right on over. I called my boss first and told him the situation and he gave me the okay to come in a little bit. So then I swung by and picked him up my friend. We both hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so we stopped by a McDonalds on our way back to his house to get the spare the key. We recovered the key and then I dropped him back off at the car as I then drove into work.

It all worked out, and further it gave me something to write about.

I was glad Alex called me because after all I was able to help and it really was no big deal. He could have ended up calling auto club but then they would have to get into his car and charge him at the end of the process, but by calling me and since I was available, we were able to have a nice morning together and turn a lemon into some lemonade.

It got me thinking, as life events often do, that it is good to reach out to your friends in times of need, especially when they are small ones. I was happy to help out, and I was happy that he asked me to do so. Too often do we not reach out to our friends when in reality they would love to help us out.

It was not at all too much to ask for me to give him a ride.

When you think about it, how often do we get a call from a friend asking for a huge favor versus when friend calls asking for a tiny favor? I find the latter happens much less of the time than the former. But so often, when maybe we could use some help we think to ourselves that it would be too much to ask, and that maybe we don’t want to inconvenience our friends, or waste their time, etc., only to sometimes end up in messes later on that are way much more of a problem than they should have been due to us not asking for help in the first place.

So that is my nugget for today. If you need a little help, or a small favor, reach out to your friends. There is nothing wrong with that: in fact that is what friends are for. And for when your friends reach out to you for help, if it is manageable, extended yourself to them and help them out.

Heck, you might get a nice thank-you dinner out of it too.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan