FAR 153

Expected Air Date: 05/17/18


What has life handed you? Is it really that easy to make lemonade when life is a bowl of sour cherries? Today I’m going to share with you an essay I’ve written on the subject of Choices. Our lives and even our eternal fates are completely dictated by choices. I would say more but I’ll save it for when we get to the topic.

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Topic: Choices

In life there are laws and then there are implicit rules. For example, gravity is a law – and it will happen whether you believe it or not. Retaliation is an implicit rule. We naturally think that it is the only option we have. On the basketball court one player pushes another. The other pushes back harder. The first player throws a punch. Other players jump in, punches thrown, benches clear and the brawl is on. But retaliation is NOT a law. Not one of the participants HAD to jump in. Those that did, made a conscious decision to do so. Wait, what? We often respond so quickly it just seems automatic. You lash out at me, I lash back. You cut me off in traffic, I’m obliged to show you the results of your last IQ test. We respond without thinking, so how are we supposed to control that? I submit that you react that way because you’ve already done your thinking. And somewhere along the way you’ve concluded that retaliation is your only choice. Not only are you wrong, you are living your life under the control of anyone who might press your pre-determined trigger.

Has anyone ever deeply wronged you? They made you angry right? You were angry and there was nothing you could do – the decision was completely out of your hands. So you had no choice but to be angry for like – a day or two – or a week – or five minutes. How long were you angry? Well that depended on the severity of the injustice right? Or whether something else distracted you? Or something nice happened that changed your mood? So what will it be? Angry for 5 minutes, a week, or the rest of your life? The extent of your anger is the full extent of that person’s power over you.

Okay okay, what about something like sadness? Have you ever lost someone you love to death due to unexpected circumstances? There can be a sadness that grips your life and profoundly impacts the way you live the rest of your days. Unavoidable right?

No one plans on bad things happening in their lives, but we somehow instinctively accept that when these things happen, our lives are controlled by them. This may come as a surprise to you but this is not true. You are not a victim of your circumstances or even other people’s choices. You always have a choice about how to respond to whatever life hands you. Now I’m not saying it’s easy, especially if you are not used to living this way, but you DO have a choice and what you choose matters. What you choose to think, to act, or to react, is the sole determiner of the outcomes of your life.

Life is 100% choices. In today’s world, your mother even had a choice about whether to bring you into this world. Here’s a challenging thought for you. From about age 15 onward, your life is increasingly the direct result of the choices you have made and are making.

Someone right now is saying, “but Roger you don’t understand my circumstances.” That’s probably true but it doesn’t matter. Your current circumstances exist largely because of your choices and your way out, around, over of through those circumstances will come from the choices you make going forward. Yes you have circumstances, I have circumstances. We ALL have circumstances. But whether you remain “under the circumstances” is a personal decision. You can choose not to be under them. You can choose something else.

If your life is filled with drama, it’s because you choose and even embrace drama. If your life is a struggle, it’s because you choose and embrace struggle. If your life is peace, it’s because you have chosen peace. If life for you is filled with complexity, it is due to the fact that you have added complexity to the simple process of breathing. Can it really be that simple? Nah – unless you think it can be. If you think it has to be tough, it will be. If you think you need to be sad, you will be. If you think you are content with wherever you are and whatever you have, you will be. This is true whether your choices are positive or negative.

This fundamental reality doesn’t rise to the level of self-fulfilling prophecy. Deciding you will respond to injustice with rational thought rather than out-of-control anger is a choice that is manifested immediately by rational thought. If you choose to focus on the things that anger you, you will be angry. If you choose to focus on the things for which you are grateful, you will be grateful.

Should you somehow try to condition your brain to ignore everything negative in your life? Quite the opposite. You can’t do that and you really shouldn’t. Some of the negative things coming your way are warnings. Don’t ignore the negatives, don’t ignore injustice, don’t ignore your feelings. Embrace these inputs into your life with a determination to respond to them with intentionality. Occasionally anger is the proper response. But this is best delivered through the filter of reason and self-control. Sadness and loss are givens in this life. Embrace this as a part of life. Feel the feelings deeply within you. Recognize the inevitability of loss and focus on the sadness as a teacher, allowing catharsis, and showing the contrasting value of the moments of joy.

Choices have consequences. Small or large, every decision has consequences. They aren’t always easy to predict, but most are much easier than we think. Choose to live beyond your means and you’ll always be broke and financially stressed. Choose to spend your time with others who wreck their own lives with bad decisions and you will find yourself entangled in the wreckage. Spend time with people you admire and you’ll be more like them. Seek out people who are smarter, or who have the type of life you seek and you’ll find yourself on that path. It’s up to you.

Don’t tell me “but I love him/her.” This too is a choice. Love is not some cosmic force that overpowers you. You tend to love based on previous choices you’ve made about your ideal companion. I do believe in love at first sight, but even that love is determined by standards, conditions, and desires that both parties had established beforehand. I tell my wife frequently that I’ve been in love with her since my teen years although I didn’t meet here until after I was 50 years old. I can say this because I had an image of my ideal life partner. It took awhile to find her.

Your current circumstances are the direct result of the choices you have made up to today. Your future will be the direct result of the choices you are about to make. So choose wisely.

Motivational Thoughts for the day

  • If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it. Jonathan Winters

Comment Line calls and Questions

Call 404-369-1018, press 1 and leave your message!

Emails: Tell us where you’re from!

  • Candace from Kennesaw, GA, from lunch yesterday, “We are looking to get started, should we focus on wholesaling or fixing and flipping?”
  • Hector, Topeka, KS “Please tell us when you’ll be holding your next FlipStarter. Are you coming to middle America anytime soon?”
  • Emma from Austin, TX “I’m about to buy my first rental. I’m following the exact process suggested by a local guru here in Austin. I’m buying the property for $149,000. I’m prepared to make a $30,000 down payment. The loan amount would be $120,000. My principle and interest payment is $638. The rent on the house is $1000/month. This seems like it works to me but (mega-bank) won’t approve the loan. I have a 750 credit score, and good income. But they cited two reasons:
    • Debt to income ratio: insufficient income.
    • Debt service coverage ratio is insufficient. What the heck is debt service coverage ratio? I looked it up but don’t understand what I’m reading and why didn’t the guru talk about this? When I asked the banker she told me she just processed the loan and didn’t make the decision, but it has something to do with a 30% expense factor. None of this makes sense to me.
    • DSCR = NOI / debt costs. 8400 / 7656 = 1.09
  • Francine, Long Beach CA, “If you were buying rental properties anywhere in the US, it probably wouldn’t be CA. Where would it be?”

1 thought on “Choices”

  1. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I’m experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

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