Thursday, April 2, 2009


by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 31, 2009

There are some amazing books and CDs available but they serve little purpose while sitting on store shelves or worst, the book cases and drawers of your home. I discovered a free E-book written by Ms. Byron Katie and that 18 page E-book generated sufficient interest for me to purchase her book, Loving What Is and a 6 set CD selection on Inner Awakening. You can download the E-Book by going to her web site at

It would be easy to “write off” Ms. Katie’s work as being new age psychobabble. I was not influenced nor was I deterred by the labels or even the book cover testimonials. I was intrigued by the E-book I had read and it was that E-book and the visit to Ms. Katie’s web site that created my desire to order the CD set and book. I have not as yet read the book. I have, however, listened to the CD Set. In truth, I am finishing up my second listening because they are so compelling.

Just about every one of us has a problem of some sort. Some have far more serious problems haunting their life while others only think they have more serious problems. Every personal problem is as big as anyone wishes or thinks it to be. After all, it is your problem and no one’s problem could possibly be worst than your particular problem and certainly no one has ever experienced a problem quite like yours before; have they?

Ms. Katie asks students to write down a stressful belief; something that is bothering them or something that they are not at peace with. It can be anything from a medical problem to a relationship issue. I will relate one of mine and then give you an example of her program the best I can. Understand I have only listened to the CDs – twice. Twice does not make me an expert on working The Work (that is what Ms. Katie calls her program, The Work). So here goes:

I am very leery about expanding our real estate presence into Mississippi because it may not work out as well as hoped.

Is that true? To answer this question I have to really think about what I had written. Before I can answer her question, I have to think about the answer. Is it true that an expansion may not work? I could easily convince myself that the answer is yes, it is true. If I say no, it is not true, I would advance to the third question that follows but for this example, let’s say that I say it is true.

The next question is: Can you absolutely know for certain that it is true and of course the answer is no, it is not true. There is no way anyone could predict the future either good or bad. Very few of our concerns, issues, fears or problems are true when you really analyze them. How many fears of the future have you fret over only to eventually discover your fears were unfounded?

With the answer being NO, what happens when I believe the thought that expansion may not work out as well as hoped? I get nervous and worry about the consequences, the possible loss of money, and/or failure. I would probably take any loss as personal and a reflection on my ability as a Broker to expand into Mississippi.

Okay, that’s fair, how would you feel if you did not have those thoughts? Tell me what would happen. I would fee much happier. I would move forward with more confidence. People in the office would be aware of my confidence and want to follow me into this new endeavor.

Now turn your statement around. What is the exact opposite of what you have said and written down?

Remember the statement: I am very leery about expanding our real estate presence into Mississippi because it may not work out as well as hoped.

So turn that statement around. I am confident that expanding to Mississippi would be a great success. Then find three truths about that statement. What do I know to be true about expanding into Mississippi?

  1. I know real estate principles
  2. I know sales
  3. I know how to build relationships
  4. I believe I have a good reputation within the industry
  5. I believe I am a good teacher
  6. I know what it takes to be a compliant licensed designated broker
  7. I have been successful, why not Mississippi

As you can see, once you get started, you can usually find more than just three reasons to believe the new thought.

You can also see where this is going. It all started with a problem, issue or concern. Then the four questions were asked:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know for certain that it is true?
  3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without that thought?
  5. Turn it around, I would be ….. without that thought. Find reasons what this is true!

The first time I heard Ms. Katie work with audience members using the four questions, I was fascinated. Each time I heard the interaction, the interaction became better and more meaningful. Audience members examined themselves in a live recorded audience format. They brought out the good, the bad and the ugly of their lives. It was both unpleasant and enlightening for them. You can try it yourself to see if it elicits any deep feelings about the way you feel about a problem, issue or personal relationship. It is a fun exercise and I have found it to cause me to seriously think about the way I have been thinking. Can I and should I think in a different way – absolutely! Can you think in a different way? Absolutely!

Two recommendations and then a suggestion. I would highly recommend getting the CDs but more importantly, don’t just listen to them, listen to them with the idea of studying them. Rather than dismiss them for whatever reason, really listen to them and identify areas that you can at least try the principle before simply giving up on it. I can see where it will help me on the job, in my marriage but especially on the golf course; had to say that.

Trigger Point. Trigger points were not discussed in the book; a trigger point was something I discovered studying golf. A trigger point is something that when I see it causes me to begin thinking in a certain way. Professional golfers know that they do not have to concentrate on golf for the four hours it takes to play. Instead, they only have to focus for the very few seconds it takes to hit just one shot at a time. What they discovered was that if they create a certain motion or movement like adjusting the strap on their golf glove, that action starts a certain chain-of-thinking and action events just prior to and during the golf shot. It is a “trigger point” that causes something else to immediately follow systematically and routinely. In relation to the CDs and using golf as an example, first I have to accept what has already come the past; I put my golf ball into the hazard. It’s history and there is nothing I can do to change it. I also have to accept what is present; the ball is in the hazard, what am I going to do about it, I need to be in the moment not worrying about how the ball got into the hazard. No one can know for certain what the future will bring, certainly not me, so worrying about what will happen next is extremely non-productive. The only moment I can control, observe or possibly have an impact on is the present moment. In this moment what must I do? Analyze the shot, the lie of the ball, the hazards between where I am and where I want to go, select the best type of shot to make and what are the consequences that could happen with each type of shot. Select the best shot that would provide the most predictable AND acceptable results. Then, and this step is huge, accept your decision and the results you know you could get in advance and then make the shot never looking back on what might have been. How is that any different than almost any problem you are currently facing?

Look at your problem again but this time think: “What was, WAS! In regards to the Future; What is, Is. I control only this moment. Certainly make plans but don’t dwell at all on what might happen in the future. If you want to create your own personal nightmare – create your own mental future and then you can really start to worry about it and think of all the “what ifs” in the future. But it is THIS moment that you can change - only this moment. Then once this moment is past it is history and nothing can be done about what was done while it was in the moment.

This is what I am suggesting: The past truly is the past and no amount of worrying will change what happened.

The future is just that - the future, there is no guarantee what you think the future is going to be or if it will actually turn out as expected; good or bad.

The important thing to remember is that I can only experience this very moment.

So if you happen to be hung-up on a situation or a relationship, get over it. Take the one moment you control and use it to make a change. A golfer who came in second place this past Sunday said he had not talked to his father since the player had married; quite a while ago. Johnnie Miller the announcer suggested he might get all his ducks in order because it is difficult to focus when all cylinders are not functioning. When someone chooses not to talk to a father or mother, there is something terribly wrong that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. He was obviously dwelling on the past and nothing can be done about what actually happened but everything can be done about the way you think about it right now, this very second. What was, was; what is, is! I can only control this very second.

Therefore, I created an 8 x 11.5 wall photo that I use as my “trigger point” to remind me to begin thinking in a certain way whenever I see and read it. It reads:


What Was; Was! What Is; Is I Control Only This Moment

In real estate sales, I see people getting really upset quite often regarding the actions or inactions of a buyer, a seller, a broker or manager, a loan officer, appraiser, etc. They are mad! But move forward 6 months and few if any of these “present” situations are but a distant memory if remembered at all and certainly no one is angry any more. So why do so many people get so angry? It is my opinion as reinforced by Katie’s “The Work” that instead of focusing on the present, what are your choices at this very moment, you tend to dwell on what happened and you worry about all the variables that might happen both of which will accomplish nothing.

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