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Are You a Possibilitarian?

If you want to achieve great things, you first have to see the possibilities.

I recently read a book that had a quote at the beginning of each chapter, like many books do. And while the content of the book itself was great, there was one quote in particular that stood out to me.

It was a quote from Norman Vincent Peale, who is considered by many to be the king of positive thinking. Peale was born in 1898 and died not long ago, in 1993, having lived to the age of 95. Needless to say, he gained a lot of wisdom over his lifetime. 

He has written many books that I would highly recommend, but in this case, we’re talking about a single quote. It goes something like this…

“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities—always see them, for they’re always there.”

Now, when I read that I had a few thoughts. On one hand, I agree with what he’s saying. But on the other hand, I felt like it needed more… So it got me thinking.

Access to more
When I read that quote from Norman Vincent Peale, my mind immediately went to the 2008 recession. I’m in real estate, so that recession was a terrible time for me and my business. We were really struggling and I needed to hear something like this when I was in the midst of that.

But as much as that quote would’ve helped me, I needed a whole lot more than just those few lines.

I know this now because my business now focuses on coaching other real estate professionals, some of whom are in situations just like I was in 2008. I’ve even had people call me and say, “I went through what you did in 2008 and I still haven’t done anything about it.” My job is to help them get out of it, and I’ve found there are two things everyone needs to get out of a bad situation they find themselves in.

First, before you do anything, you have to commit to not staying where you are. You have to make a conscious decision to get out of the situation you’re currently in. If you can’t do that, there’s no way you’ll ever get out—and there’s definitely no way I, or anyone else, can help you.

I had to do this myself in 2008. I literally told myself, “I’m going to commit to getting out of this,” and I did. It took a little while, but I did get out of it and now my business is doing better than ever. 

Are there challenges like this in any industry? Of course.

But that wasn’t the only piece to this puzzle… 

Second, you need access. Now, what do I mean by access?

Access to means access to mentors. It means access to accountability partners. It means access to a sounding board. Ultimately, it means access to the tools and individuals that will take you out of wherever you are.

The first part is all mental—it’s about committing yourself to something. The second part is about actually getting there. 

During the 2008 debacle, I sought out mentors that ended up guiding me out of the situation I was in. I gained access to accountability partners and sounding boards that helped me get out of that slump. If I hadn’t done that, I know I’d still be there.

How do I know?

Because I still use the same mentors and accountability partners every day. I couldn’t imagine not having them.

Becoming a possibilitarian
In the end, I agree with what Norman Vincent Peale said about becoming a possibilitarian. But becoming a possibilitarian involves more than just thinking about the possibilities.

Becoming a possibilitarian is all about commitment and access. If you feel like you’re not getting what you want, what you deserve, or what you’re entitled to… I have some news for you: it’s because you’re not committed. If you want those things, you have to be committed to changing. 

And the next step is to commit yourself to getting mentors and whatever else you need to get there. It all comes down to making that decision, sticking with it, and accessing the tools that will get you there.

So, are you a possibilitarian? If not, how will you commit to getting there?

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