hand writing on blackboard

What’s The Number One Reason People Invest in Real Estate?

Or how is wanting properties like wanting a six-pack?

“I really want to make more money!”

This is often where conversations about investing start. Is this really the true reason why we want to invest?

Think about it this way. How many gym memberships are bought with the words: “I want a six pack for summer…” ?

Do we really want the six pack? Or are we after something else? Wouldn’t it be better to feel fit, healthy and confident when you wear that bikini or pair of board shorts to the beach?

My guess is it’s more about how we want to feel and less about the six pack itself. Maybe the six-pack is just shorthand, because we’re a bit too lazy to think about what will really make us content and confident in our skins.

Perhaps the gym membership is only part of the solution.

Why Invest in Real Estate?

Real estate investing isn’t that different.

Most of us start out thinking it’s all about the money. But what do we want more money for? When we really look at our motivations, we may find that we’re really after something else… something that will be better than a big bank balance.

To find out more, watch the first video in my five-part series on the basics of real estate investing…


What You Can Learn About Investing by reading Conversations With God

Book Review: Neale Walsh’s Conversations With God

Here’s why you should read Walsch’s so-called chat with God. Even if  it sounds hokey or blasphemous. Even if it has nothing to do with Real Estate.

The title Conversations With God is probably one of the least controversial things about this book. Walsch’s premise is that his writing is a sort of revelation. He claims that the ideas in the book come from a divine source, with him as a kind of channel.

It’s a bit hard to see why it makes sense to go there.

Blasphemy or Atheism: Take Your Pick

Claiming you’ve had a revelation means you’ll probably offend a lot of religious people. The whole channeling God thing’s got a bit of a blasphemous ring to it. Along the way, the atheists will check out because they don’t want to hear about God in the first place. It’s not really a winning proposition.

But, and it’s a big but, wait! I promise there’s baby and there’s bathwater.

If you’re interested in mindful living and how we create our lives – and our financial situation along with it – consider these few lines.

Start with this whopper:

“Every human thought, and every human action is based in either fear or love.”

Which one of these are you running on most of the time?

Or what about this: “Life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.”


“No prayer goes unanswered. Every prayer is creative.”

Wow! What if you applied some of this logic to how you practice real estate or your financial life more generally? Do you act like you’re creating all the time? Because you are. Are your actions and thoughts around finances motivated by worry, anger, Ego, competitiveness or anxiety? Or by creativity, joy and connection?

Conversation with God or not conversation with God, it’s worth thinking about. And it’s with a grain of suspension of (1) disbelief or (2) judgement for blasphemy that I suggest you read what Walsch has to say.

If you’re trying to make any kind of positive change in your life, or if you’re in the process of trying to wake up into a more mindful state of being, there’s some really interesting ideas in this book. The love and fear distinction was enough to make it worthwhile for me.

Offended? Keep Reading

Does it matter whether Walsch is talking to God?

I don’t think that is does.

I actually think it’s possible to make a wider comment on how we hear or read things in this increasingly polarized time. Just because part of what someone says or where they come from a triggers knee-jerk abhorrence in us doesn’t mean he or she has nothing good to say. It doesn’t mean we should tune out right away. To do so is our loss. There is baby and there is bathwater. Before we throw them both out, we may want to stick our hand in to see which is which! The quality of the baby might just merit getting your hands wet.





I often wonder how to handle the less pleasant people, situations, and things that come into my life. Knowing how to deal with life’s little annoyances is key to maintaining balance.

My good friend, psychologist and Mindfulness coach Joe Flanders sent me the following article of his on the topic.

 He calls it the life-as-a-bus-metaphor.

“Imagine that you are the driver of a bus (the bus of your life). Whenever you have an experience, passengers get on the bus, whether you like it or not. Some are pleasant, some are unpleasant. You may want the pleasant ones to sit in front and the unpleasant ones to go to the back and remain quite, but it rarely pans out that way.

Sometimes, when you choose to drive toward what’s important to you, some of the unpleasant passengers become upset; they come up to the front and start demanding that you change course.

You can argue with them, but they usually fight back even stronger and the conflict escalates. In the meantime, the bus isn’t moving.

Alternatively, you can give in to their demands and go their way, so they calm down. But now, the unpleasant passengers control the direction of the bus. As soon as you try to head back in the direction that’s important to you, they attack you again, and so on.

Lastly, you can notice all the passengers, invite them along for the ride continue driving the bus in the direction you want to go. In the end, the unpleasant passengers can be pretty annoying when they come to the front of the bus, but they don’t know how to drive, so they never take the wheel.

 Which would you choose?”

You can check out Joe’s website at :

 Mindfulness-Based Tools for Valued Living

THE EFFORT EFFECT | From Arno Illgner's Warrior' Way Site)

THE EFFORT EFFECT | From Arno Illgner’s Warrior’ Way Site)

From an article about Carol Dweck (THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK HERE—Summary reprinted from Arno Illgner’s Warrior’ Way Site)

Researcher Carol Dweck’s study asked the following question:
“What makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?”
She studied results of a British soccer team to see why the most talented players at the start of the season tended to show the least improvement.

  • The difference seemed to be in the mindset of the person: fixed-mindset and growth-mindset.
  • Fixed-mindset people who attributed their failures to lack of ability would become discouraged even in areas where they were capable. Growth-mindset people thought they simply hadn’t tried hard enough and would be fueled by setbacks. Students referred to their errors as insufficient effort. Those children learned to persist in the face of failure—and to succeed. The fixed-mindset showed no improvement at all, continuing to fall apart quickly and to recover slowly.
  • Common sense suggests that ability inspires self-confidence. And it does for a while—so long as the going is easy. But setbacks change everything. the difference lay in the kids’ goals. “The mastery-oriented children are really hell-bent on learning something,” and “learning goals” inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviours than “performance goals.”
  • For performance-oriented students (fixed-mindset): want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat.
  • Students with learning goals (growth-mindset), on the other hand, take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn.
  • How we label things: if some students want to show off their ability, while others want to increase their ability, “ability” means different things to the two groups. “If you want to demonstrate something over and over, it feels like something static that lives inside of you—whereas if you want to increase your ability, it feels dynamic and malleable.
  • People with performance goals, think intelligence is fixed from birth. People with learning goals have a growth mindset about intelligence, believing it can be developed.

You pick which attitude you think is best 🙂 !

Psychological Fears Revisited

Psychological Fears Revisited

We discussed types of fears in previous lessons. Let us revisit them now to see how they diminish our power and what we can do to minimize them. There are two types of fears: psychological and physiological. We will revisit psychological fears in this lesson.

Psychological fears originate from our egos. We may experience fear of failure or success. Our egos feel diminished when we fail and don’t perform to others expectations. We fear to succeed because we feel others will expect us to continue to perform at that new level.

Recall that warriors define “power” as the ability to keep attention at the moment. Fearing failure or success focuses our attention on the end result, which we cannot control. If we fail, we fear how others will judge us; if we succeed, we fear we won’t be able to continue to succeed at that level. Our attention is distracted onto how that end result will impact us.

We need to notice when this occurs and redirect attention to climbing. Climbing is very simple: we need to go from the bottom to the top of a cliff or mountain, taking the reasonable risk along the way. We will stop at stances to think through the next section then we will commit to climbing through that section. Then, repeat. If we notice our attention shift to thoughts of failure or success, simply redirect attention to this process. With our attention focused on this process, psychological fears diminish, and we retain our power to act.
Check out Arno’s blog at www.warriorsway.com



As you transition from preparation to action, you move from one skill set to another. In action, you use the doing skill set; you focus attention on acting out your plan. If you drag thinking into doing, you mix skill sets and attention will be diffused between the two, limiting the effectiveness of either process. Remember, climbing includes stopping and moving. Thinking occurs when you stop, at mini and micro decision points. Then you move between them.

Remember to stop and think, OR move and do. Students in the Espresso Clinic learn the mantra, “When you rest, rest; when you climb, climb.” This helps them separate the skill sets of thinking and doing. Heighten your state of arousal by doing a few deliberate exhales. Breathing shifts attention out of your head and into your body and helps you break free.

For making decisions we discussed how to break free of thinking. Heighten your state of arousal by doing a few deliberate exhales. Breathing shifts attention out of your head and into your body and helps you break free.





“May I be happy, and have all the causes of happiness,
May I be free from suffering and all the causes of suffering,
May I live in equanimity, with neither attachment nor aversion.
May I live in loving-kindness toward all.”

This is the Buddhist equanimity prayer.
Another version goes “May I live in the big equanimity, free of passion, aggression, and prejudice.”

Equanimity means accepting whatever comes, without choosing. In other words, it means accepting rain and sunshine without anger or elation, but rather with an “Oh, ok, rain is good for the flowers”. Facing life with equanimity is what gives those who cultivate it suppleness. It counters the type of cognitive rigidity that might allow a small hiccup to ruin your day.

Equanimity is one of the basic principles of Buddhist philosophy. Buddhists hold that dividing experiences, people and life in general into categories such as good and bad introduces judgement and distances us from ourselves and from the world. The process goes like this. We become preoccupied with our judgements, perceptions, past experiences and preferences and, as a result, in our reactions to what we meet on our paths, we focus on these old feelings rather than on allowing each new facet of life to impress us in the present.

Says Buddhist thinker, Gil Fronsdal on the subject:

“Equanimity is one of the most sublime emotions of Buddhist practice. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being.”

But what, really, is the point of equanimity?
Well, to cultivate a mindset that can free us from being hopelessly and wildly attached to a particular outcome or set of circumstances. Afterall, in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want”. Equanimity helps lead life regardless.

Says Fronsdal:
“Equanimity is a protection from the “eight worldly winds”: praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute. Becoming attached to or excessively elated with success, praise, fame or pleasure can be a set-up for suffering when the winds of life change direction. For example, success can be wonderful, but if it leads to arrogance, we have more to lose in future challenges. Becoming personally invested in praise can tend toward conceit. Identifying with failure, we may feel incompetent or inadequate. Reacting to pain, we may become discouraged. If we understand or feel that our sense of inner well-being is independent of the eight winds, we are more likely to remain on an even keel in their midst.”

There you go!
Now put a little equanimity in your breakfast cereal every morning. It’s good for your cholesterol!!

Determined & Prepared: Interview with Julie Kitchen

Determined & Prepared: Interview with Julie Kitchen

I was lucky enough to get an interview with Julie Kitchen this week. It was later in the day British-time, and I caught the champ running up the stairs to her new and extended gym (Touchgloves in Cornwall). Number-one ranked British fighter and Mum of two 8-year-old twin girls, Julie had a few things to say. She named determination and preparation as secrets to her success.

A very shy and reserved person, the current K1-world-champion has noted and cultivated her determined spirit through fighting and training. The best way to face down a challenge, according to Julie, is preparing to the very best of your ability. In her case, this means putting maximum effort at the gym and mentally, at home, because—in the fight game—you can assume your opponent is always training. It becomes much easier to banish negative thoughts if you know you’ve done everything in your power to prepare for an upcoming challenge.

More strong-willed and ready to speak up, this once-shy fighter identifies the secret ingredient to her success as—importantly—knowing you can achieve great things if you really put your mind to it. With this certainty in your pocket—and it is a certainty—determination and perseverance are the routes that will take you there.