Personal Effectiveness [Part 2]

Personal Effectiveness [Part 2]

My customary property comment before continuing with the blog…

I woke up this morning thinking about the Western Cape drought. The Cape property prices have bucked the trend, in my summary opinion, because “people want to live here”. However, if that is true, will people want to live here if we have no water? Cape Town City has been lax in the way they have handled this impending crisis. They have ignored pleas for water restrictions from the time they seemed irrational [“because we’re a Winter rainfall area and things will be okay”] to a few months ago when they were only beginning to fight abusers who were using up to 300000 litres a month. Now the City is on Stage 4 [100 litres a day per person and only for washing, cooking and drinking] but finally acknowledging that even if the “as yet unlikely” rains come in time, they will be too little to fill the reservoirs. There is, apart from a miracle rainfall, little doubt that taps will run dry in the next year [and longer, even with average Winter rainfall]. So, what does this do to tourism and residential investment and semigration? Will the current overdue water-sourcing initiatives actually keep the taps flowing or will it be impossible to stay and farm here for the next few years and therefore property prices will perforce, subdue? Remember, as I have reminded many people in the dark, old days before Brain Molefe [ah, but now he’s back!!], electricity is not a Constitutional right but Water is. What a pressure our government is under to supply it to the Western Cape population at this stage!

In my last blog, I expressed Personal Effectiveness “as an equation: input vs output; that we challenge our efforts to ensure they are exactly what we need to achieve what we desire.” In doing so, I raised the fact that our bodies are the earthly vessels in which we carry out this effectiveness in our personal lives. EDES – Eating, Drinking, Exercising, Sleep – are core to that body doing its job well for short sprints of exertion and in the long-run. Some would say, “Your health is your Wealth’, and the sick would say, “Absolutely!”. But now, with this matter dealt, albeit simply, I wish to move on to issues of the mind and/or soul, whichever is your bent………

Altitude and Attitude

I know you have heard of this before. Sometimes the topic would be Altitude vs Attitude, or Attitude vs Altitude. I trust you will find the expression I have used really informative after this read……

Altitude speaks to height and height speaks to view. Both, speak to Perspective. I remember when the saying, “How can I fly like an eagle, when I work with turkeys like these?” was on posters everywhere. Apart from its possible humor, I remember thinking how arrogant the saying was. Are you telling me I’m a turkey – groveling, short-sighted and being prepared for the feast? Or, are you saying you’re the only eagle around here – soaring, aware, informed and capable? Either way, I struggled with the notion but did find one thing obvious in it – PERSPECTIVE. Many years ago I ran a series of lectures on the concept of Worldview. In the beginning, I asked what people thought of Yassar Arafat [make that Donald Trump, Putin or Nelson Mandela these days], and then, without mentioning your view, think about how people in Palestine think about him. Radically different views for most people but the one thing in common is your worldview. Like or dislike him [them] – it’s all up to you. The way you see the world sums up your opinion of many, many things.

As a consequence, your opinion may be your truth. So you end up being right while in fact, you may prove wrong. On the other hand, you may be wrong when you end up being right. I know I’m being painful but think about it. “The country is going to the dogs” – heard that one, or any derivative of it, recently? Have you heard that before – 1987 after the Rubicon speech by PW Botha? 1992 after Chris Hani was assassinated? During the TRC when Tutu was in tears and the truth, we hope, was being told? In 1994 when we went to the polls and half the country had baked beans stored? December 2015 when Nene was fired and the Rand shot through R18/$? 2 months ago when Pravin was fired and the Rand went to….well it has surprised everybody!!….and at R13.10 we would have taken it if we were told that’s where it would be after two Agencies downgraded us to Junk status. We [especially those of us who were at the HLJ/ooba conference early in may] know there is a special set of circumstances in the Investment world at the moment that is helping us and Trump’s allegations are not helping the Dollar, but let’s see what Moody’s does by end-May. The point though is that the worst case scenario of our catastrophization often is ill-timed or simply wrong and this applies to everything in life, not just to South African politics. The further point is that our Perspective rules our worldview in many cases. This thought always leaves me humble in my views. I am not wishy-washy and can be dogged when I believe I am right, but I do always try to leave a fringe of tolerance and acceptance just so that my perspective can be challenged. That way I find I am flexible enough not to be dogmatic.

This whole saga has been beautifully portrayed in a book called The Book of Joy, written by Douglas Abrams. It is the record of a week’s discussion and displays of friendship involving two famous men of religion – Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama. Two men who could have a very negative and cynical worldview but who both seem to have replaced that possibility with Joy. My narrow Christian view of Joy and how you cultivate and keep it was stretched as I read and learned of a template of elements of not just how to have Joy but how to sustain it and live it out under any circumstances. That’s always the trick, isn’t it – “any circumstances”? Here’s the template of 8 elements:

From the mind:






From the heart:





Isn’t it amazing! Two men who have endured, and seen the people they are supposed to serve and lead to practical truth in the most dire, unfair circumstances, both start their Joy journey by agreeing PERSPECTIVE as the genesis of their Joy. To quote: “A healthy perspective really is the foundation of Joy and happiness, because the way we see the world is the way we experience the world”. In a sense they’re saying you can’t ever have Joy if your perspective is warped by negative emotions.

Altitude or Perspective, call it what you like. It is a prerequisite for success in anything, material or immaterial. A positive self-expectancy may not always work but, I can tell you, a negative self-expectancy, driven by limiting self-beliefs, works every time. Or, you’re one of those people who simply “got lucky” and there my patience ends as I just don’t believe in the stuff.

Attitude needs less explanation, I think. Deep inside of us we have an approach to the world, her creatures, and her circumstances. Norman Vincent Peale, famous for his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, says it this way, “Change your thoughts and you change your world”. So we speak from our mother’s mouth when we say we have a positive attitude. I often say a positive attitude is 50% of the task done. It drives your activity and raises your spirit. It puts a smile on your face when your head or heart is hurting. It lifts others who have no need to see the “sweat” on your brow. It gives us the expectancy of finding good in others and often confirms itself accordingly.

Your attitude can take you forward or your attitude can take you down. The choice is always yours!

Catherine Pulsifer

 A positive attitude enables us to learn. A negative attitude teaches us nothing. And with the following thoughts, I end this blog……..

Think about it this way, we role model much of our behaviour. It is the substance of “nurture” that we learn from others, not everything but much; teachers, parents, sportsmen, and women, friends etc. Positivity opens the mind and allows thoughts to nest and form understanding. Positivity is the bedrock of learning – just think how you became an homeloan originator or estate agent over years of positive attitude and learning.

However, negative attitude cripples learning and let me demonstrate how this happens. I see a senior person always comes late for a meeting; every time. Resentment rises as they “are disrespectful”. Others in the meeting mumble under their breath “he is wasting my time”, openly discussing the person and their “attitude”, even finding other faults to criticize. The person effectively becomes “an idiot” or even worse. In fact, I posit that the “worse” your negative attitude of any person or circumstance, the less you learn. A negative attitude smashes the ability to learn, creativity and problem-solving ability.

This is therefore my closing message, that a real Positive Attitude is one that can learn from the positive AND the negative. In the case of the senior person above [who I happened to role model diligently in many of his other characteristics], I learned not to be late for meetings – rather early than late – and especially now we have phones in our hands to apologize if we’re going to be over time. What is the negative thing that you “hate”, “dislike” or find intolerable? – that is the thing to which you need to reverse your negative attitude into self-development. In short, you must learn to learn from the positive and the negative in order to mature over the years. The retirement villages are full of miserable people who have enjoyed the positive and seldom been able to see anything good in the negative. Let us guard ourselves.

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

The above is not easy. Homeloan Junction faces harsh situations many times. To remain creative and solution-orientated is our commitment to you. We will strive to always be positive in every negative circumstance and the question that will pursue our heads and lips as much as possible will be, “What can we do about it?” Our perspective will be dynamic, hopeful, and upward thinking.

Yours in Property


Jack Trevena
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