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   Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." 
 
~ Anonymous 
 
TIME TO FERTILIZE! 
 
You see them out there, all the folks in the neighborhood fertilizing their lawns for the spring growing season. It’s like a competition, to see whose yard will win the prize for “greenest.” But are they really trying to be the best, or just trying to be better than the guy over the fence? 
 
Well, forget about fences, because the grass grows greenest where it is quite simply tended the best. You can’t blame the fence for poor lawn quality on this side. You and you alone are responsible for discovering the gardening secret that will yield the pleasure and satisfaction you seek at home. 
 
Perhaps you might learn such secrets by building a better relationship with your neighbor, sharing and comparing cultivation routines. They say that good fences make good neighbors, but it should always be about what’s on this side, not that one. “He who leaves his house in search of happiness pursues a shadow.” 
 
If you’re not happy with what you’ve already got, you’re not going to find it "out there." You may learn a lot when you cross the fence and experience the world, but you can only learn satisfaction at home. Once you’ve got that, fences won’t matter anymore. 
 
Why? Because now you’ve carefully cultivated your own green grass, for your own feeling of satisfaction and not for a sense of competition. Now you can carry your watering can over the fence, and tend the grass wherever you may be. Happy gardening! 

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"You will become a great philanthropist in your later years."  
 
~ Chinese Fortune 
 
THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES! 
 
Today’s quote was lifted from an actual fortune cookie that a friend opened after a recent dinner at the local Chinese restaurant (Lucky Numbers: 34, 15, 26, 38, 17, 8). It’s got to be the best cookie fortune ever! Its positive message is twofold, a doubly wonderful possibility for the future. 
 
Becoming a great philanthropist is hopefully founded on the premise of becoming very wealthy, so the fortune seems to imply that not only will my friend become rich, but that he'll also be responsible enough to put that wealth to good use. 
 
Capitalism is a “necessary evil” of this global age, and it creates a sense of obligation to help those less fortunate. Or to help them to help themselves, primarily through the improvement of education systems throughout the world. 
 
The idea of the dog-eat-dog corporate mentality (see “The Apprentice”) is becoming outdated. Selfishness is no longer in style, and trampling everyone else down is no longer seen as the best road to success. More and more “celebrity” entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Paul Newman, and Richard Branson are teaching a message of social responsibility. 
 
Even if my friend never attains the kind of wealth those gentlemen have built, it's still certain that the cookie’s fortune will come true, because everyone has a responsibility to help others, no matter who you are, where you live, or the balance in your back account. 

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim." 
 
~ Graham Greene 
 
THE TORTOISE OR THE HARE? 
 
This weekly column often encourages you to reach high and focus your energy towards achieving your dreams. What happens when the dream eludes you, or you feel that you're not measuring up against the standards of your peers? 
 
Sometimes we do set our sights too high, or expect to reach them in an unreasonably short period of time. Just as important as establishing a goal is to map out an intelligent route. It's not usually all Super Highway between where we are and where we want to go. There are often plenty of other roads leading to and from that freeway, and you shouldn't drive 70 mph on a narrow two-lane country road! 
 
But... what better place to slow down and enjoy the scenery? It's these paths that define the greatest part of our experience, and we shouldn't overlook them because we're so focused on the ultimate objective. Strangely enough, the things we see and experience along the way often lead us to change our path - or even our destination. 
 
Ignore the worry-warts and over-achievers who want to know why it's taking you so darn long to get there. There is no time limit on success. You'll get there when you get there, and you won't be too old for it when you do. Success is sweet at any age, but it tastes best washing down a lifetime of experience, pleasure, and pride in one's work. 
 
Achievement is a certificate that never expires, and there's no "due date." With the right attitude, you'll find small successes every day to keep your outlook positive and your life moving forward - at your own pace. When you make it clear that you are in the driver's seat and enjoying the trip, others will find themselves wanting to get on board. Happy motoring!

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING!

by Becky Sill

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
“So is cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more remains.”  
 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING! 
 
"If everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane." We've all read or heard similar humorous observations regarding the idea that, when all seems to be going well, it's merely the precursor to some sort of disaster. Unfortunately, many people seem to base their attitudes on that perception and, even more regrettably, they often permit such negativity to influence not only their lives but also the lives of others. 
 
Is it possible you’ve never been guilty of this transgression? When a colleague made a particularly impressive sale, did you ever say something along the lines of "Well, it'll probably take forever to top that one!" or "Too bad you can't do that all the time, huh?" 
 
Ever told someone going on a trip that you've been there before and had a terrible time? Even telling a child who brings home a good report card to "Keep it up!" can lessen the moment, because it implies that the current achievement isn't truly enough or that you fear poor performance in the future. Such statements carry “conditional approval” that demands future accomplishment as well. 
 
One of the keys to harmony, in the workplace or at home, is for everyone to feel good - about themselves and about their accomplishments. The next time you have the opportunity to make a comment, take a moment and carefully consider what you're saying - and how you're saying it. Squash any negativity right then and there. 
 
It's an attitude that’s easy to change once you're aware of it and its effect on those around you. Simply put, view the glass as being half full, not half empty. The power of negative thinking can make an even stronger impression than that of positive thinking, so be careful how you wield that power! 

I Dare You To Be Bored!

by Becky Sill

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."  
 
~ Susan Ertz, writer (1894-1985) 
 
THE FRENCH CALL IT "ENNUI"! 
 
Can you remember the last time you were bored? It’s kind of hard to pull off these days, what with DVD players in our mini-vans, BlackBerries in our pockets, iPods clipped to our waists, and cell phones that surf the net, take photographs, and download the latest sports scores. There are vast numbers of quick and easy diversions available to us at almost any time in almost any place. 
 
You’d think that these modern marvels would be welcome harbingers of the Death of Boredom. But does the quantity of the time we devote to such pursuits measure up in quality? In some cases, the argument could be made that doing nothing is indeed better than doing something, and that boredom may not be the adversary we’ve all been led to believe it is. 
 
Indeed, boredom is a kind of a dare unto itself. To quote journalist Michael Crowley, “It sets you up on a date with yourself and challenges you to find some chemistry.” Do you feel uncomfortable and awkward during those times when all is quiet and there is no opportunity to bombard yourself with the gadgets of work and of play? Can you make sense of the voice(s) in your head, or do you even want to hear it? 
 
Even Superman had to retreat to his Fortress of Solitude once in awhile! If you had time, just a little of it, to be alone and quiet, without any distractions, what do you think your mind would finally formulate? You don’t have to be a Luddite to appreciate the spiritual freedom you can feel when you escape from all of life’s electronic input. 
 
Fear of boredom may indicate a fear of oneself. Take some time to confront that anxiety. Sit down on the front porch, back deck, beach, wherever, and be quiet – very, very quiet. You may just hear your imagination calling you – listen! 

The Moment of Change is the Only Poem

by Becky Sill

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"The moment of change is the only poem." 
 
~ Adrienne Rich 
 
SPRING FORWARD! 
 
The beginning of Spring always seems like a good time to appreciate the changing of the seasons, and to ruminate on how the cycle of life continues. The shrubs and flowering plants are all green now, and we're just waiting to see those first beautiful blossoms that symbolize another cycle of death and rebirth. 
 
Sooner than we know it, Spring will blend into Summer, which will likewise end, and then Fall, and finally Winter again. While we certainly look forward to Spring during the chill of Winter, it must be said that even during the Summer we sometimes find ourselves longing for a view through the leaf-barren trees and the first flakes of snow. 
 
But we have to be careful not to look so far ahead that we're missing what's right in front of us! Don't wait to take an opportunity to watch the plants bloom and the hummingbirds return. Waiting until next Spring just won't do. 
 
Ponder how the fluidity of the seasons gives us the chance to realize change in our own lives. It teaches us to learn to accept how everything changes, everything passes, and everything eventually returns. It reveals a spirituality that goes beyond, and yet includes, any religion. We begin to recognize and embrace these ever-changing yet never-changing cycles in nature and ourselves. 
 
If you already abandoned your New Year's Resolutions a couple months ago, why not look at Spring as truly the ideal time to imagine changes you'd like to make? It seems to make more sense at this time of year anyhow, when everything is transforming and thriving and beginning anew, while Winter passes away behind us. And when Winter does come again, how will it find you different? Now is the "moment" to write the first line of your "poem of change." 

The Art of Failure

by Becky Sill

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
 
 ~ Woody Hayes (Ohio State University Football Coach
and WWII Veteran) 
 
THE ART OF FAILURE! 
 
Have you noticed that there are fewer “losers” in schools these days? That there are more "awards" for achievement than actual accomplishments? There seems to be a trend developing whereby we are afraid to let our children fail. 
 
Are you successful simply because you do not fail? What of the lessons of disappointment that go unlearned? The highest achievers lack recognition, while those who place second, third or fourth still get gold medals! 
 
It’s no joke – a recent article about a rural youth horse show reported that all of the riders in the class who “placed” took home a BLUE ribbon. This is disastrous. What meaning does winning have when everyone is a winner? 
 
We’re robbing our children of the developmental opportunity to fail and then lose their fear of failing. They must lose the championship and learn that the sun will rise tomorrow, and that another season will come with its prospects for victory. 
 
Scientist and inventor Charles Kettering once wrote, “We need to teach… that it is not a disgrace to fail and that [we] must analyze every failure to find its cause. [We] must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts of the world.” 
 
By all means, do encourage young people to try their very hardest and to enjoy victory when it is theirs. But do not try to protect them from the disappointment of failure when it falls to them. It is an absolutely critical building block in developing their ability to have faith in themselves. 
 
We love to see their smiles when they win an award, and we hate to see their despondence when they do not. Now let them experience those same contrary feelings, and continue their growth into the balanced and well-adjusted folks we strive to be!

SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO DREAM!

by Becky Sill

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night's sleep." 
 
~ Edgar Watson Howe 
 
SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO DREAM! 
 
How did you sleep last night? Hopefully, you didn't toss and turn worrying about the start of another workweek. A lot of us have trouble these days getting what our minds and bodies need most - rest. We rush around all day, do chores into the evening, don't eat as well as we should, and go to bed later than we ought to. Then we lie awake thinking about everything we did today, and everything we have to do tomorrow. We're so darned tired when we go to bed that we can't actually sleep! 
 
It's a modern day dilemma of our fast-paced, do-more-in-less-time culture. The irony, however, is that our periods of rest and relaxation are vitally important to our success. When we sleep, we heal - and we dream. Bedtime is the time to put aside worries of today and plans of tomorrow - to take a reckoning of the day and be satisfied that you made it through. 
 
Try to squeeze in some "downtime" before turning out the lights - some light reading or a little quiet time on the porch or patio. Anything you do to put the day's cares out of your mind will help you sleep when you finally close your eyes. 
 
A big factor in clearing your mind? Forgiveness. It has been said that "one of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed." Whether for ourselves or others, forgiving what's happened today will greatly improve your outlook for tomorrow. 
 
Imagine the beauty of going to bed with no anger or regret in your heart. Imagine waking up in that same state. Forgive our hectic world, forgive yourself for trying to do too much. Tonight, relax and let yourself dream.

Playing Follow the Follower?

by Becky Sill

 Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference." 
 
~ Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
 
PLAYING FOLLOW THE FOLLOWER?
 
Every morning a telephone operator in a small town received a phone call in which she was asked the time of day. One day, the operator asked her mysterious caller why he called every day to ask the correct time.
 
His answer? "I'm responsible for blowing the town whistle every day at noon, and just want to be sure I'm right on the second when I do it." With a chuckle, the operator replied, "Here at the telephone exchange, we set our watches and clocks by the town whistle!"
 
Watch children in a schoolyard and you'll notice the same thing. Children watch the child they perceive to be the leader, and then mimic his or her actions. They never realize that the other child is following the lead of still another.
 
So how will your day play out? Have you made original choices for the day, or will you be playing follow the follower? Either way, by bedtime tonight you will have been awake for about 16 hours and involved in some activity. Why not end the day with thanks - knowing that whatever you accomplished was by choice - not chance?

How Do I Organize My Home Search?

by Becky Sill

Dear Coach,

 

I’m just starting my home search as a first time home buyer and overwhelmed by the process.  How do I organize my home search?

                                                                   Barry, Valencia

Dear Barry,

What you are feeling is very common in first time home buyers.  There is a lot to buying a home and selecting the right professionals to coach you through the process is #1.   Here are some questions to get you started and organize your search.

  1.  How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  2. Do you want a new home or would you prefer an older one?
  3. Are there special features you must have?
  4. Is the school district a factor for you?
  5. Do you want to be close to a shopping center?
  6. Is commuting to work a concern?  If so, how far are you willing to drive?
  7. What style of home do you like? 
  8. Do you want a fireplace, pool, yard, etc.?

Keep in mind it is rare that will you find EVERYTHING you want in a home.   I like to use the 80/10/10 rule.  You love 80% of the home, 10% you can change and 10% you can live with.  When you find the right home you will know it!  J

If you have a Dear Coach question you’d like answered in this column, please email it to dearcoachbecky@gmail.com or contact me at becky@beckysill.com for an immediate response.

 

Becky Sill

BRE #01802609

Troop Real Estate, Inc

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 33

Contact Information

Photo of Becky Sill Real Estate
Becky Sill
Troop Real Estate
23822 Valencia Blvd. Suite 101
Santa Clarita CA 91355
Direct: (661) 373-3875
Office: (661) 705-0715