Monday, August 18, 2008

Coincidence; Destiny; or Divine Intervention

Coincidence; Destiny; or Divine Intervention
Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 6, 2008

There are four books and one movie I would like to recommend:

Book: “The Power of Story; Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and Life.” by Jim Loehr
Book: “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way; How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence and Sell Your Point of View to Others,” by Jeffrey Gitomer
Book: “Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude; How to Find, Build and Keep a YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success.” By Jeffrey Gitomer
Book: “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior; A Book that Changes Lives,” by Dan Millman
Movie: “Peaceful Warrior,” with by Scott Mechlowicz, Amy Smart, Nick Nolte, and Ray Wise and based upon the book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”
Book and Movie: “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield

Of all the books I have read, why these (and one movie)? The enlightenment (for lack of a better word) came when I read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. This was not a book that would have caught my eye on the bookshelf; it was recommended by my son-in-law. It did, however, sit on my shelf for well over two years before I read it. Once I started reading, it was difficult to put down. It is an inspirational novel based upon a true story. The main premise of the book and later the movie “Peaceful Warrior” is to always be aware of your surroundings, be IN the moment, and be aware of what you are thinking – it can and often does make a difference. When you become truly aware, activities that seem to be a coincidence probably are not and what once was a certain destiny can instantly change directions. The next time you meet someone for the first time ask, “Why did I meet this person, here and now? What significance did this meeting have – may none? What can I learn from this meeting?” People who have a servant’s mind (that would be you), would also ask, “How can I make this person feel important?” People with a “selfish mind” would ask, “What can this person do for me?” Remember, when you make it a part of your every day life to GIVE to others, you get in return ten times that which you give.

If you have read or seen “The Secret” you understand that the Law of Attraction tends to attract into your life more of what you think about most. When most of us trod through life (certainly not you), we miss opportunities that are presented to us on a daily basis. These opportunities can be something as simple as providing a smile to someone who at that moment needs a smile or something as major as a business opportunity. Yet when we fail to pay attention (be aware) we unconsciously pass on such opportunities.

Here is a perfect example. When most people get on an elevator they either look at their feet or the numbers passing by overhead. Rarely do they make eye contact with fellow passengers. An “elevator speech” was defined as “what you say to your fellow passengers when the doors to the elevator close.” Sometimes you need not say anything but simply look a passenger in the eyes and offer a smile as I did one day in New Orleans. Within a few seconds the two of us struck up a conversation and of course it turned to real estate because I was wearing my Keller Williams Realty embroidered logo shirt. People want to talk about real estate; this fellow wanted to talk about commercial real estate. This would not have happened had I not been aware of my surroundings and instead counted the shoelaces on my shoes or watched a series of numbers blink overhead.

People recommend restaurants, books, movies or events every day; how many of these recommendations do we listen to and take advantage of. How many do we even hear; most seem to go in one ear and out the other. Personally I have come to believe there is no such thing as a coincidence and that everything happens for a reason. So before I dismiss a passing comment or activity, I literally ask why this comment, activity, or person entered my life at this very moment in time. Such an occasion recently occurred when my friend, mentor and teacher Joe Tye recommended the book, “The Power of Story” that I purchased and read. If you decide to read this book, I would like to suggest that you first read it and then read it a second time but during your second read, work the exercises. It is a book about “your personal story” and who you tell it to including yourself and is it believable by those who hear it, ESPECIALLY you.

The coincidence occurred when I picked up the book by Jeffrey Gitomer “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way” and began reading it for the third time (I read all of Gitomer’s books more than once – they are that good!). Most of Gitomer’s books are about sales and this book is no exception. Gitomer explains the importance of developing and delivering a “good story” regarding your product or service and presenting it to a probable buyer or seller. The two books mentioned came together when I read in the Green Book the following:

The principles of persuasive storytelling are having a meaningful message, making the story germane to what’s being discussed, being able to tell it in a convincing manner, and combining your theatrical skills with your presentation skills to add the element of performance to the presentation of your story.

You know what Gitomer is saying – to be successful in sales you must first believe in your product or service and then create a very meaningful message. However to win your customers over, you must then develop skills to tell your believable story to customers who initially do not want to hear it and yet eventually buy into your product or service.

“The Power of Story” is about the same thing but this time it is a story about you, what you believe in, and where you want to go in life. The two books are best read one after the other with The Power of Story being first. When you truly know YOUR story, it can be compelling and should be interesting. When you understand the “power of a story” you can then create the story you want to convey to your probable buyers and sellers as developed in Gitomer’s Green Book.

None of this has any value if you do not first develop YOUR STORY, believe in YOUR STORY about you and then develop the skills to convey that story to others and more importantly to yourself. Can you believe YOUR story? Do you believe YOUR story? How can you possibly expect probable buyers and sellers to make the decision to work with you when you have no story about you and your product and services that is believable to them? It all starts with you and your story!

I would then recommend that you read “The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude” to put an exclamation mark on your learning by developing the proper attitude to tell your story to as many people as possible. A successful real estate sales career is truly a numbers game. The more people you can successfully tell your story to the more people will turn into probable buyers and/or sellers OR refer you to probable buyers and/or sellers. This is self-education at its finest!
“The Celestine Prophecy” is a compelling inspirational novel about danger and intrigue in the mountains of Peru. When I first read the book in the early 90’s I was not sure in the beginning of the book as to whether it was fact or fiction (it was fiction). The book became a word-of-mouth success in regards to sales. It was all about coincidences and how they were not really coincidences and to be aware of your surroundings because most if not all things happen for a reason. And speaking of coincidences, I was on looking for a book when the site indicated that people who bought the book I was researching also bought “The Celestine Prophecy.” I could not find my copy of the book and was about to order a replacement copy to read when I discovered they had made a movie of the same title. It closely followed the book and is very good and entertaining as well as educational. The book was so good that it became a constant topic of discussion for an online CompuServe Mastermind Group (before masterminds became popular) consisting of 33 real estate agents (including yours truly) from across the United States. The book details 9 insights about where society is evolving and how we can become aware of it.

I am going to suggest that some who read this Nugget For The Noggin are looking for something in their lives to make a change in their lives and this Nugget may be the “coincidence” discussed – remember things happen for a reason; this Nugget may cross paths with someone for a reason.

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