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The War Of Art By Steven Pressfield
The first one that I’ll reference is right now at the moment of the recording of this Joe Rogan’s podcast is a big deal. Now, the irony is I’m an MMA fan, Mixed Martial Arts fan and I’ve got to see Joe in that context, but then all of a sudden, he grew himself and he has a tremendously successful podcast and he’s a deep thinker and he’ll get in with people that really are deep thinkers themselves that have chunked up these simple ideas.
That’s what I like about Joe. He has the similar approach that I do to trying to find the simplicity of things, the logic of things, not letting people go down rabbit holes, but trying to chunk it up and so he referenced, this is the first point here, a book.
That book was called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, but it’s a real … Just a Joe Rogan motivational clip I think that I caught when I was working out after listening to YouTube videos and I’ll get into that in this episode as well.
That’s where I do a lot of my learning while I’m working out so I get the double whammy of the intensity of the workout and the learning moment where I’m very, very focused on the motivational message, the mindset message.
They really work hand in hand, but The War of Art, the reason I picked up the audio version, oftentimes I’ll make a decision, this is more of a technical and tactical book, I’ll probably get the hard copy unless of course, I’m just reading for fun, then I’ll definitely get the hard copy, but if I’m studying something, there might be a message I want to listen to.
I have a lot of long car rides in this business and back and forth between my two markets and I like to listen to a message. I’m thrilled that I got the audio book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art and listened to it because I had no idea that this guy would be such a funny writer, that this would be such a funny, practical, playful approach to this idea that there is this thing called the resistance.
You personify this thing called the resistance and it’s this attack on creativity. See, as entrepreneurs or small business people, we are reliant on our imagination. I mean, just go look at some of the greats like Napoleon Hill who talk about the power of imagination for all the successful people.
You have to see it and believe it before you can do it, right? Napoleon Hill’s little pithy statement, his secret that he discovered that was later ripped off by everybody else and called The Law of Attraction was, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
It starts with this conception of idea, creativity, but there is an assault on creativity. There’s an assault, there’s a dumbing down. Anybody who dares to think differently, especially kids, and I have five of those. I’m expert in this field.
I have been aware of all of the forces that rail against their creative brain. I mean, oftentimes people would say, “Oh, you have kids doing creative things.” No, every kid has a creative imagination until we stomp on that fire, until we throw a bucket of water and it’s, “Oh no, no, no, no, don’t do that. Just be very practical. Just get yourself in line. Get yourself a little cubicle somewhere. Make sure you have a 401(k) and live happily ever after.”
No way. No way. I would never, ever, ever have my kids be taught that that was the way. Now, if they chose that, there are some people that are fabulously great at their business and they go to a cubicle and they smashed the work that gets done in that cubicle.
It’s not the concept of that, it’s more so are they doing what they’re wired to do, what they love to do. Do they find love in that work? I remember meeting a CFO of a private equity firm and I said, “Do you like what you do?” He says, “I love it. I love to go to work every day.”
There is an example of somebody who absolutely loves that lane. If that’s where his creativity gets freed and he’s able to do what he does with his imagination, crunching numbers in boxes under a fluorescent light in a cubicle, fabulous.
Then I say, “He’s free.” And that’s wonderful, but for the most part, it’s the opposite case that so many of us are just being cattled, right? We’re being thrown into these chutes and our creativity is being sapped and that kills real estate agents who are entrepreneurial and really get this.
It kills them because they don’t look to say, “Hey, this is the way the world really exists and maybe I, individually could come up with a better solution. Maybe I could say something a little bit smarter to that client. Why am I always being dumbed down?” Okay?
Now, that brings me to the next point of the resistance, okay? Now, in this book, it’s been personified. The resistance is the white elephant in the room. That’s the white elephant and it’s everywhere and it’s scary.
Laura, my partner and I were … We were in the office the other day. She’s been working with me for 13 years and so we reference our work as a partnership and we reference our own mindset evolutions and as it’s affected by our family, our children, and then how those pressures bring to bear on our work and what was scary to us for a moment was that we were beginning to be able to name the resistance.
It wasn’t just this thing that we complained about when it came and tripped us up. When the deal doesn’t go so smoothly, when the co-broke is giving you a hard time, when the buyer is freaking out walking away from the deal post-home inspection with no issues.
When the negotiation is rigorous and it breaks down and it continues over weeks. I mean, that’s just the stuff of reality in real estate. It just happens, but all of that emotion and all that resistance, if we resist it, I know it’s going to sound a little weird, that’s us as the resistance.
We’re it. We’re the problem. You can have this external resistance that’s preventing you from consummating the deal, but if that triggers emotions in you where you lose it and you lose your creativity, your imaginary way to, “Hey, I think if I think this way, maybe I could solve this problem. Maybe I’ll suggest this as a solution.” You see what I’m saying?
You get emotional, you get upset, and you throw all your resourcefulness out the door, and resourcefulness is predicated on imagination. You have to think your way through these tough spots.
It’s just crazy that the resistance is in not only the world we live in externally, but more important internally. How do we get provoked? What happens to us? Do we lose our ability to problem solve? And by the way, folks, you want to become a great real estate agent? You need to become a tremendously good problem solver.
You need to become a therapist. You need to become a great technician with a little bit of the math, digging in deeper understanding it so you can empower people. You need to become a great negotiator who can put their own emotions aside.
You need to know when to push, when to pull back. I know it. There’s a lot going on here to become a great real estate agent, but there’s a lot going on to become a great anything. I mean, I am five kids and I see them all trying to become great at something and the resistance is certainly real out there.
You want to ascend the ladder, as my daughter does as a an actress. Another one as a business woman in Manhattan, another one as an elite hockey player, another one is a superstar student, another one has a photography major. All those things are difficult.
There’s no doubt about it, but the minute that they lose control over their own emotions, you can see the road becomes more difficult.
David Goggins & Pushing Yourself
Okay, so you get the point. The resistance is everywhere, but I want to deal with the one that’s inside your head and I want to go to another spot where I do some listening and tell you about another guy by the name of David Goggins and what I’ve learned from David Goggins about pushing yourself.
Now, a lot of you might just say, “Oh, all these motivational people with their stories, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.” “Yeah, okay, I get it. I get that that could bore you, turn you off or you’re not one of those motivational people.
I heard that before from a pro-hockey player. Yeah, right. Okay. Everybody needs to motivate themselves. We just all do it in different ways, but what we all share in common is that we must understand the basic workings of the human mind to be able to fix this.
Because I have a lot of people as a coach tell me, “Okay, great. I get it. I’m the problem. I’m the one that keeps tripping me up. What do I do? Just show me how to solve it.” In listening to Goggins, he has a very simple story.
He was 300 pounds, he wanted to become a Navy SEAL. He got his way finally into the Air Force. He was afraid of the water, he leaned in on some story about sickle cell anemia, but the truth was, he says he was afraid of the water.
He quits the military, opts-out, goes and gets a job spraying for cockroaches, balloons up to 300 pounds and one day all of a sudden, there’s cockroaches all over this restaurant and he makes a decision.
He gets inspirationally dissatisfied, he puts down his canister, he walks home and he decides that the resistance needs to be broken. See, some people might call it the comfort zone and I know that’s an ugly comfort to sit there and again, nothing against anybody in the bug business.
Thank God we have them in our business because they resolve a lot of problems for us, but for David, it wasn’t his dream. His dream was to become this Navy SEAL. He had to overcome this resistance.
What he decided to do was as he says, try to break himself into a fine powder by coming by becoming the opposite of a 300 pound guy and that was any elite fit athlete. He decides the fastest path to do that is to start becoming an ultra runner.
I’ll stop at ultra marathon runner because the first thing he did was go out, try to run a quarter of a mile, comes back, falls down on the couch and starts crying because he couldn’t do it.
Goes out the next day, goes a little further, the next day and you get the point. Next thing you know, this guy’s running a hundred miles, a hundred miles, then 200 miles, and he becomes this unbelievably elite athlete, goes on to achieve his dream, goes through three hell weeks, three hell weeks which is the most difficult hoop to jump through to become that Navy SEAL.
The image of people that quit have to go up and ring a bell. He gets through three of those, becomes a Navy SEAL and also becomes a Navy SEAL recruiter, but now he has this message to share with us.
Now, I don’t know how many of you are going to be able to relate what I’m saying to your real estate agent business, but hopefully enough of you get this, you must recognize what he says is the key that he recognized.
He calls it this 40% threshold that the animal part of our brain is designed to simply survive. Think about the king of the jungle, the lion. The lion gets hungry, it goes out and is ferocious in its pursuit of its next meal.
Everybody in the jungle is afraid of the lion and so, but think about the next image of a lion. Have you ever been to a zoo and gone to the lion’s cage which I hate by the way, but gone there and seen what happens there?
Your Animal Brain Is The Enemy
Most of the time, the lion is out cold, sleeping. Same thing in the wild. When you see a lot of these animal shows, I mean, they’ll try to get the lion in full flight, but they have to wait until the nighttime or the small window of time when the lion wants to feed itself because the rest of the time, its animal brain shuts it down.
It doesn’t shut it down, it closes it down. Think about that lion is out cold, snoring away and nothing’s going to wake it up until its belly needs to get filled up again to survive.
I don’t know whether it’s just the fortune of the lion that they’re built to be these powerful cats and that they’re just God’s choice to become the top of the food chain per se, but they are, but they only do enough to survive and then they go to sleep.
Think about that. Let that set in for a second. Is that what you’re doing in your business? Are you doing just enough deals to make this a viable thing that you hang around with? Now, I’ve challenged myself, my own team, but especially my coaching members.
I said, “Look, I can’t sit here as a guide knowing what I know, sharing what I’m sharing with the public on this podcast and watch you just be stuck there without giving you the tools and the way out of the hole.”
See, this industry, I don’t know. We even now have, we even now have statistics that are called typical. The typical agent does X number of deals. Come on. I’m like, “When does typical a statistic?”
It’s how many do we do? We do two to three a year on average. Over 1.3 million licensees in the United States alone who call themselves a realtor by joining the National Association of Realtors and it perpetuates itself year after year after year, so what’s wrong?
Two to three is just enough to have part-time income out of this industry. Well, you do something else to put food on the table. It’s not that we’re not good at the two to three. I don’t know that that’s the issue. Maybe the public perceives that you certainly don’t get great by doing only two to three deals a year, but there’s a lot of people that do those two, three extremely well. Bravo. I applaud you.
You follow a systematic professional approach, wonderful, but my real point here is that’s just enough. It’s just barely enough. Whether it’s your part-time income, supplemental income in a family situation, it’s just barely enough.
It is thermostatic. You are stuck there, so you have to do something to push yourself. Now, if you’re listening to this podcast right now, this is one of those things, and I am just in the throws of about to hire a note-taker to listen to these episodes, pull out some notes in a worksheet that you’ll be able to download, set up a membership where you can get that delivered to you monthly.
I’m trying all the time myself to push the message to you, but you’ve got to push yourself and I will share with you that outside of this, I push myself. I was a runner as a kid, but I can’t keep talking about way back when when I used to do that.
Of course, I still do work out, but you know what I say to myself? Stay within the striking zone is something that I say to myself and I’ve said it for the last four or five years physically.
Stay within the striking zone, which means what? That you could get in really good shape if you just stay in good shape. See what the mind does? It’s insane that it can do that. What do you think it’s doing in your business?
It’s saying, “Oh, you know, just keep it close. Yeah, that’s good, let’s just get a little bit more. Yeah, just get one more lead. Just put that one under the agreement. Oh, you don’t need to go make all those telephone calls. You don’t have to do all those open houses this weekend. You’ve got enough.”
You’ve got three or four people that we wake up 2:00 or 3:00 then blew up, they weren’t what we thought we were. We’re starting from scratch and we’re panicking all again. Are you getting this message here? There’s something sinister at play.
The resistance is in between our ears and it’s called our animal brain and it’s set to just survive. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and become an ultramarathoner, but I am telling you to go change yourself physically.
Go do something physically that’s better for you. Go push yourself beyond because this will take energy. When I endeavored to start my own coaching company seven years ago, I knew it would take all of me and I still had five young kids.
I mean, two of them are now college graduates but think about that. They were all in high school or younger. I knew this would take all of me to do my own book of business, grow my brokerage, train people so I really paid attention to my health.
I’m very rarely sick. I pay attention to pushing myself physically into the right places, eating organically wherever possible, right? Drinking enough water, doing enough exercise and it’s the only thing that sustains me.
When people look at me and they say, “How in the world do you do it all?” Because I took this kind of messaging seriously, and it turns out it’s a nice lifestyle. You don’t get sick that often, you’re not overly tired.
You get way beyond Goggins calls it this dark chamber, not in a bad way. It’s this place where there’s very few people to become uncommon amongst uncommon people is his endeavor. I’ll just take it, if you try to be uncommon against a former version of yourself, that you don’t recognize that person who didn’t push beyond, who didn’t stretch, who didn’t keep growing.
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