Advertising
Advertising

What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination

What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination

I want to tell you the story of Hank.

I work in the Real Estate industry in San Antonio, TX and in our community, Hank is considered The Lion of our business. I train, coach, and teach real estate agents how to become better at what they do. Hank has been doing that for 40 years, he puts me to shame, and that is after a whole other career in The US Air Force where he served hazardous duty, posted all around the world, and protected The President of The United States.

If I ever feel myself getting cocky, all I have to do is look down the hall and see Hank, and I remember that I have a long way to go.

Advertising

My Business Hero

An elder statesman now, Hank could kick back. He could rest, play golf, collect stamps…….But not this man. At 86 years young he works a full day every day at our brokerage and then often teaches real estate courses at our local school at night. I often joke to new agents that I am hiring that he will never quit, he will not go quietly. The truth is, he is my business hero and I would be heartbroken to see him not here.

Hank sat in a chair in my office yesterday, told me he felt “Like Crap” and that is sucks getting old. This has become our ritual. I am a crazy morning person, comes with having small kids that have to be at school before the rooster crows, which means I usually beat him here. He will walk into my office, sit down, and we catch up. Sometimes it’s nothing more than small talk, sometimes its much larger issues. The truth is I could speak to him all day.

Don’t hustle. Don’t try.

His demeanor and his attitude about the world are outstanding to me. I have never once heard this man say “What’s in it for me?” Do you know what he complains about? Not having enough work! He so wants to share his knowledge and passion for real estate that no matter how many agents I hire, it’s not enough. And he is heartbroken every time I hire an agent and then they don’t amount to much. Don’t hustle. Don’t try.

Advertising

See these are foreign concepts to Hank. It just isn’t in his DNA. Why would you choose this job, or any job, and not give it all you have? Think about it like this. Hank does not work for the money. He has a very comfortable retirement. But he out works and out hustles people half his age, or less, who do need the money. These people have families to feed and bills to pay, yet he works harder than many I know. Why?

This is not to say that we do not have outstanding agents in our brokerage, we do! I am biased but I think we have the best team in the industry. This is more a symptom of the industry as a whole. It isn’t what you see on TV. For the most part, it isn’t glamorous, and it certainly isn’t easy.  Sometimes there can be big bucks……..sometimes, but often you are fighting for all you have, especially in the beginning. Some agents go on to have wonderful, fulfilling careers, and others flame out. Most never even really get started. If I knew the answer as to why then I would be a billionaire. I would have bottled it and sold it time and again.

Why Then Did I Succeed and Others Do Not?

I never set the world on fire as an agent, but I was successful. I hustled every day ( most days ) and fed my family. I was proud of the job that I did. When I think about it though, I had no special training. No secret was given to me when I started. I am not any different than those students sitting in real estate school right now. I had no special knowledge or hidden insight, yet I had a career I could be proud of and now I am happier than I have ever been in my life. Why then did I succeed and others do not?

Advertising

If I had to guess I would say that I succeeded simply because I refused to procrastinate. In the beginning, I rarely knew what I was doing but I did something. Maybe I learned this from Hank. This is his life every day. If I didn’t, then I am sure that I re-learn it from him on a day in and day out basis. He is a role model to me of how a man should behave, and treat others.

Each time I write an article for LifeHack, I give it to Hank to read before I submit it to my editor. He never fails me. He always likes the content but doesn’t like the way I wrote it. I can completely respect that. There is never any BS when it comes from Hank.

Yesterday, in my office, he told me the next time I write, it should be on procrastination. So we can get these agents off their duffs and get them hustling. I completely agree and thought what better way to do that than to remind them and the world…………that this 86-year-old man is cleaning your clock and shows no signs of slowing down.

Advertising

These lessons are not confined to the Real Estate industry. Not by a long shot. Each one of us can use Hank as a model for how to go about our daily lives.

Hank, of course, is not his real name. I have never asked but I am sure he would tell me that writing about him is useless. I think, however, that his story needs to be told.

Let me leave you with this, though:

If Hank is the exception and not the rule, then what are you? After all, you decide. Procrastination is a choice.

maxresdefault

    More by this author

    Glenn Killey

    Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

    What Is Your Defining Mental Picture? What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control The Law of Reversed Effort

    Trending in Brain

    1 Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science 2 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life 3 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory 4 15 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Brain Power and Your Mood 5 How to Build Good Habits

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 10, 2018

    Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

    Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

    We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

    Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

    Advertising

    Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

    Looking at images of loved ones

    While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

    Advertising

    In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

    Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

    Advertising

    Exercise

    Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

    Meditation

    Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

    Advertising

    In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

    When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

    With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

    Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next