by Wendy Maitland
The universal truth "In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity", attributed to Sun Tzu (The Art Of War) by some, to Albert Einstein by others, is only relevant if you have the tools to perceive and seize opportunity.
This auspicious year has just begun and the energy it brings is intense. How we manage ourselves impacts our friendships, lovers, families, and our businesses/work lives equally. Deep awareness about how we navigate our multitudes of priorities to protect our souls and those around us, and to be a part of any solution, rather than the problem, is essential to generating winning results in all aspects of life. The concept of managing chaos is highly relevant when countless factors impact what might come next, and the ability to make the right game-time decisions can change everything.
People tend to ask all of us in real estate more than ever at this time of year "where are values heading? What's in store for the market?" Excuse me while I fetch my crystal ball...the truth is that we never know for certain, but a close look at history predicts some likely scenarios. In any election year, especially one in the current polarized climate of our culture, you can count on a certain degree of chaos. Add to that the fact that we currently have SIX years of luxury inventory to be absorbed in Manhattan alone, a market that's considered the greatest barometer for luxury real estate world wide, and we have a perfect storm of unpredictability with indications of continued downward pressure on luxury and ultra-luxury pricing. I anticipate surprises based on yet unknown geo-political events which are certain to occur given the global political tensions that are only intensifying, thanks (at least in large part) to a sociopathic president on a power trip, aided and abetted by all the presidents' men and women. Yes, the stock market has been largely positively impacted, however investors are reacting to short-term upside in a climate of tremendous economic volatility that promises nothing in terms of long-term stability and wellness of the market or the economy. Ironically, Wall Streeters are some of the most emotionally driven buyers and sellers I work with. To win the long game, look beyond the month or this quarter. Look inward.
It is said that we are not given more than we can handle in life, but that theory is tested daily and repeatedly, for all of us. I think that we are doing a damn good job considering the challenges. But we can do better. I believe that our opportunity right now, “IRL”, is to become smarter, deeper, stronger and more adept human beings who are more effective problem solvers.
Naturally we need the right tools to navigate this world that’s changing at the speed of light. The method to create opportunity from chaos is beautifully simple: Breathe. Finding the calm within oneself arms us with the tools to manage ourselves - our hearts, our minds, our reactivity, and our physiological well-being - through any storm, and that, my friend, is the most powerful tool in life.
I am fortunate to have been introduced to transcendental meditation by Ray Dalio, the founder and CEO of Bridgewater, the biggest investment fund in the world. Talk about pressure. He's got it. Talk about calm, he's got it. Talk about self-made success. He's got it. When he introduced me to Bob Roth, the CEO of The David Lynch Foundation (who became my teacher), Ray described TM as "taking a twenty minute vacation, twice a day". There are countless ways to get to calm but TM works for me. After practicing it for over six years, I can honestly say that it's been the most effective tool in navigating my life through thick and thin, bar none. Ray describes his increased abilities due to TM as being able to "think in slow motion, like a ninja". That resonates with me. Kobe Bryant, whose loss we mourn despite his imperfections, whose inspiration we are grateful for, said “Mamba mentality is about 4 a.m. workouts, doing more than the next guy and then trusting in the work you’ve put in when it’s time to perform. Without studying, preparation and practice, you’re leaving the outcome to fate. I don’t do fate.” Preparation isn't just a physical concept for competitive athletes, our minds require the training. Let's mamba mentality our brains.
You see, if you develop the ability to step back, to breathe, to look, to see what others miss, to listen, to hear the true message behind the words (different from listening), under any circumstances or pressure, you will find that you are in a state of openness and preparedness for the unexpected, no matter what that may be. You will find the inner strength and resources to take actions, rather than being led by reactivity. You will find the ability to lead people and situations to the best potential outcome, whatever the challenge.
In this era where we know to expect the unexpected, there's no greater asset than to be not the "smartest" person in the room, but the most emotionally intelligent, tuned in, calmest person in the room. That's what I call badass and it’s what I believe leads to the most brilliant success. Forget the list of accolades. Bring me your presence, and your calm, intuitive intelligence. I promise you’ll become more effective and empathic, and will generate positive results. You will also be the one I admire most in any room. What's more important than investing in yourself for something that brings lasting constructive impact to each realm of your life? I pride myself in doing my best to bring conscious presence to each person in my life, to life itself, and to you, here. I hope we find ourselves creating magic together soon.
The opportunity's on. Breathe.
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