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GAME ON!! How To Stay IN the Game!

How do we refocus and regain our ability to continue bringing our best to the table?

I'm going to share my three pillars for maintaining and increasing pace in The Game!

So this is my first written BLOG and I know a lot about how to do them, or how you SHOULD do them, because I consult real estate professionals on the practice. However my purpose right now, is to share through my personal story. I know, I know...I need to do a video story, but writing it will help me make sure I don't forget something! If you're interested, keep reading. If not, you can email me with suggestions for blog subjects that matter to you!

In 2017 I enjoyed the fruits of my labor for my 2016 business with my fourth consecutive year as Top 10% in Sales Nationally for Fidelity National Title Group! Escrow and Sales combined, our 300 top producers brought in nearly $900M in 2016! It was an incredible time in Vegas with the theme "GAME ON!" We were inspired by our surprise guest, Joan Lunden, spoiled by our top leadership and motivated to finish the year strong so we can return in a higher category next year! I am blessed that I work with a company that not only expects exceptional production from it's employees, but also acknowledges and rewards them with an all expense paid trip to a 5 Star resort and gifts, like the two pair of RayBan's we received this year. All I know is that being recognized, just plain old feels good!

I haven't mentioned it on social media since I returned because I've been quiet, pondering on how I got here - how I achieved all I've accomplished in light of my shortcomings, insecurities and challenging life experiences along the way. Even with all my numerous roles at Lawyers Title over the last five years, I've also been able to achieve what I put my mind to in sales achievement. So what is IT inside that pushes me and continually seeks new opportunities to conquer in life? What is it that spurs the energy, because let's admit it, we all get really tired of working this hard! How do we refocus and regain our ability to bring our best to the table ? What do you think? Is it training at home? Is it just out of financial need to provide for our families? Is it mimicking a parent or leader and simply following in their footsteps? Is it what we NEED to do so we receive positive feedback? Is it personality? The easy answer is that it's all of the above, but yet, what one word or chromosome or personality trait can be used to pinpoint what exactly MOTIVATES and DRIVES us to do more and reinvent ourselves along the way? There are three pillars that I've clung to in my life over the last 40 years to bridge the difference between establishing a goal and achieving a goal; to separate the exceptional from the ordinary.

MINDSET: Do you really want what it is you say you want? What's the payoff if you succeed? What's the cost if you don't? A habit is simply the repetition of a behavior. Your mind guides what you do, so what you think, feel and say to yourself matters. When runners get cramps, they tell themselves "It will pass"; when Olympic athletes prepare for years and they are exhausted, they remember the destination and visualize the podium. They keep working. So when you are faced with a setback, defeat or exhaustion and want to quit, do the opposite of what you would do naturally. Remember what Jerry said to Constanza from Seinfeld? "If every natural instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right!" George quits lying and says to a gorgeous woman, "My name is George, I'm unemployed and I live with my parents". Refreshed by his honesty, she turns and says "HELLO". Sometimes doing the opposite of what comes naturally is exactly what we need to do to be exceptional!

TIME: Like junk food prohibits our bodies from performing at their highest ability, so does cheap entertainment, steal our time - the one sustenance we cannot regenerate after it's gone. If you were given the HOPE DIAMOND, with its 45 carats and worth $250M, you would protect it in a secure vault with 24/7 security staff, alarm system, emergency plan, and Lloyd's of London insurance! So how do you protect your most precious non-renewable resource? What programs can replace the time you spend doing things that are below your worth per hour? Does your mind have TIME to focus on the ONE THING you need to do today to get you where you want to be tomorrow? Whether it's our phones, tv, games, socializing, or just lost time doing nothing beneficial, we allow non-important distractions to steal our time just by being non-intentional. Make the decision to be intentional in protecting your time! Don't let anything steal your focus - everything else will wait and you will discover what activities aren't important in your life that you can discard and live without.

INFLUENCE: Who do you surround yourself with? Instead of being intimidated or feeling competitive with another persona, compete with your inner self. Whatever season in which you find yourself today, know that the people you need in your world to push you ahead are probably already in existence through your sphere! You just need to ask. "Who do you know, that I need to know?" You know that phrase, "I married up!"? You should "friend up"! Consider who inspires you - who do you trust - who surprises you with the way they tackle problems by focusing on seeking solutions quickly - who speaks with intelligence - who makes adjustments when faced with challenges - who is well respected in their field - who adds value and challenges your mindset to elevate and achieve more? Who has TRAITS you want to emulate? Follow those clues to find influential people; learn from their connections and their methods of success.

Since I was probably 8 years old, I've been driven to win performance awards whether it was as a student, joke teller, most shy or biggest talker (we moved around a lot so I got used to changing schools every couple of years and HAD to talk to people), music, art, powder puff football, softball, field hockey, being 1st chair in band, dominoes or just the top of anything - I really didn't care what it was. I just always wanted to achieve the highest point in whatever it was I was doing because I saw that it felt good when other kids were at the top. I remember my first meeting with the woman who was to become my favorite piano coach, a prodigy from Warsaw before and during World War II. Her sisters were talented as well - an artist and an actor. Their father was a famous engineer who designed the first elevator in the government buildings and in their home. The first meeting I had with her was not by any means, an enjoyable experience! I was 16 and had been playing piano and performing for eight years with six different instructors throughout all our moves across the country. She had two beautiful Steinway grand pianos and asked me to step up to one and begin playing. In her thick Polish accent, she said "You sound pitiful! Like you've been playing 2-3 years at most. I don't know if I can do anything with you, but I give you six months." I was devastated for several reasons - first, I didn't even want to play piano but my Mom made me. Did I really need this abuse? Secondly, I had worked really hard with other teachers in other states we lived in and even studied in a conservatory before meeting her. I wanted to quit, but my Mother wouldn't let me. So I had a choice - either let her break me down and rebuild me, or feel sorry for myself and discount the talent I did have and the work I had done the last 8 1/2 years just to get to where I was. Admittedly, I truly enjoyed performing - it was the nerves and all the hours practicing that I hated beforehand. At this point in my life, and in her opinion, I had nowhere to go but UP, so I submitted myself to her process. She demanded 2 hour lessons once a week for six months as a trial basis. My high school was an hour away, I was in AP classes and trying out for field hockey and softball, both of which I had to quit because she wouldn't coach someone who could break their fingers, hands or arms doing sports. She took me back to the basics with her technique. Musically, she painted a picture of what it felt like to move the emotions of listeners just by her own playing. I was mesmerized - I was moved - I could be still or quiet and at peace when she played. Often, I would get an assignment from her on a Friday - a difficult concerto - instructing me saying, "If you memorize the cadenza and play it perfectly, I will let you play the rest of the concerto." Okay - Thank You...I guess?? I held on tight to those feelings I had when she played for me and subsequently when I would perform for others. Performing music at that level was a high. Within 6 months, she said I was bored, so we moved to two 2 hour lessons a week - Mondays and Fridays. I had earned her designation as her fastest learner in her career - not the best pianist, but the fastest!

I was able to gain acceptance at Eastman School of Music through her coaching, encouragement and vision casting. That acceptance letter truly is the greatest achievement in my life thus far, and she remains my greatest influencer. Helena Rynd Vinograd was her name and she past away after my first son was born, but her influence continues in my current career with disciplines and humility that I learned as her student. I have higher goals to still achieve, but I carry with me her mental training in mindset, time and seeking influencers to challenge my status quo. To me, that is priceless, and she is who I try to emulate as an influencer in our industry.

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