Problems, Happiness, Control… Its up to You.

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Problems, we all have them, and they always seem to be happening. Whether it be in your personal life or business life, problems always seem to keep occurring, and we keep wanting them to stop. Some issues we create ourselves, some happen, and some are just plain out of our control. However, problems aren’t going away in life; however, it’s up to us to decide how we will deal with them, react to them, and let them affect us.

For me, I have had many problems in life. Some I inherited, some I created on my own, some that just popped up and some that were completely out of my control. For example, a problem I inherited and caused on my own was my addiction to alcohol or the ADHD I inherited. Creating issues with other peers and friends, crashing my car at a younger age, being defiant, or money issues are examples of problems I caused on my own. The laws and regulations I must follow in my profession, as well as the insertion of Appraisal Management Companies into my career, are examples of problems I cannot control. It was up to me to figure out how to deal with these problems, and well, I didn’t do an excellent job of dealing with them in the past. It wasn’t until I got sober and started focusing on myself and diving deep into myself, my mind, soul, and history that I realized the reason I wasn’t dealing with these problems and, better enough, because I wasn’t focusing on the right thing. That thing: Its called happiness. I was so miserable in life due to all these problems that happiness was the one problem I wasn’t focused on; rather, I concentrate on all the shitty things in my life.

So began my quest to find happiness. Don’t get me wrong here, I have had my flashes of happiness, like getting married to my wife, taking vacations, rescuing a dog that was left for dead and becoming a healthy and amazing dog, however that happiness to me was like camouflage, just masking all the other parts of my life. So my quest began, and it was being filled with listening to e-books on how to better myself, taking coaching classes from my good friends Blaine Feyen and Dustin Harris to help not only build my business but build me as a person. In the one year five months I have been sober, I have listened to ten e-books while driving or at home, which is ten more than I have ever read or listened to in the previous 44 years of my life. Each one has provided me with some information to help me grow and expand my knowledge and life in a much more positive and productive way. Now combine that with all the coaching and teachings I have had from my coaches about business, I have managed to tackle and improve my personal life and business life. Business-wise, my coaches have taken me to a new level that I never expected. While they both helped me in this aspect, It was honestly the e-books that managed to hit home with me. One book in particular resonated with me. Now for all that know me, I am from NJ, and we tend to talk a bit differently; therefore, I was attracted to this book entitled “”The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson.

Let me share with you a couple of screenshots of passages that hit home with me.

This right here goes back to my focus on everything else but happiness. I never knew what happiness was in reality. To me, it was a gift, getting married, getting that check from the lender for payment, getting sober, etc. Problems to me were just that Problems. When I hear that word, I think it’s a negative, and there is no way it could be positive. Until I started to think differently, acted differently, and focused on what mattered to me. In my business as an appraiser, I run a group of over 3000 appraisers. Every day, there is a post or five about issues appraisers have with an AMC or lender, or client. Every day there are posts about everything negative out there in the profession. For years that’s what I too concentrated on—the negative.

It wasn’t until I WOKE up, read this book, got coaching, and decided to take charge of my business and life that my problems became enjoyable. I went from relying on lenders and AMCs for business to finally saying, “”Fuck It” and started looking at different options to obtain business. While doing this was not pleasant at the time and problematic, I managed to create an entirely different business model. Thus, I created problems for myself that are not adverse problems but will make my business and life so much better. Today I can say that most of my work is now what we call private work (not a lender or AMC-based work); rather, it is the result of hard work to obtain work from other avenues.

I needed to understand what I could and what I could not control in my life and business.

Control. We all want it; however, there is a difference between what YOU can control and what you cannot control. I most certainly can control my business, my life, and what I do or say. I can’t control the things around me that are larger than me, like regulations, laws, and what other companies or people decide to do. I used to try hard as hell to control all those outside things, and guess what. I never was able to, and well, it led to more negative problems. It wasn’t until I learned that the only thing I can control is ME and how I act, respond, or interpret things that my life got better. I had to stop complaining, stop being an issue instead of a solution, and stop focusing on the things I couldn’t control to free myself of problems that honestly really didn’t matter, to begin with.

This one here is a big one. I work hard. I bust my ass; however, nothing was changing in my life. I was doing the same thing others were doing, so I thought nothing was happening for me. This was my thinking for many years. Once I started to get things together in my life after getting sober and gaining clarity, I realized that while I was working hard and busting my ass, I wasn’t doing it in a way that was different from all the others. Once I took this passage in, once I started to get coaching and embracing the words and thoughts, I finally started to see some changes. I, as an alcoholic, had NO choice to make myself better and improve myself. I mean, here I was at the lowest point in my life and finally starting to understand myself. I began to approach life differently, focusing on me being a new person, thinking with better clarity and doing all the things I should have before. I wanted to be a better husband, a better friend, a better businessman, and most of all, a better person. Once I grasped this, things started to fall into place for me; the hard work of everything else I was doing was becoming more comfortable, thus making me more successful in all aspects of my life. I started to see all the problems I used to have as non-problems. I began to develop new issues once the success started. I went from seeing lenders not wanting to pay me what I charged as a problem to looking for someone to start helping me with my business because of all the personal work that I’m now getting. Was the original problem a problem to begin with? The second one is a much more enjoyable problem to have, I would think.

Now out of all the things I listened to in this E-Book, this quote right here stays with me every day. (I apologize for the language). I choose to give better fucks about the things that matter in my life and business instead of all the other things around me that I cant control, won’t make me happy, or just really aren’t a problem. I have developed better values, which have led me to better problems to deal with in my life. Is my life perfect? Absolutely NOT. I, like everyone else out there, will always have problems. I will always have worries and always have things to work on. However, I have decided to apply what I have learned, what I give a fuck about, what I can control, and how I apply that to my everyday life separates me from others.

For over 44 years, I have avoided true happiness due to preventing problems. Problems can create happiness and success if you so choose to focus on them correctly. Today, I work hard to create new problems. Problems that need to be taken care of in order for me to move forward and be even more successful than i am today.

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