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Philosopher’s Corner

My friend Mike Goldman and I went on a fall hike. We found ourselves talking about human nature in general and anxiety in particular. The question we were batting around was “why do people tend to worry so much?”

Mike asked, “Ron, on a professional level, how do you see this play out in real estate?”

Moving is stressful. The natural by-product of stress is fear and worry. As you can imagine, I see my share of this. 

Here’s an example: A problem arises for someone in the course of a transaction. That person takes the problem, and in their mind, they magnify the problem to its worst possible outcome. Then they take this worst possible outcome and experience it as if it’s already happened. 

A simple example might be a small plumbing leak in the basement. Somehow this leak gets translated into the basement will flood, mold will grow everywhere, and my house is ruined. This could actually happen. However, the probability of this happening is pretty slim. The vast majority of plumbing leaks are easily fixed with no further consequences. 

Mike reminded me of a book written by Mitch Albom called Tuesdays with Morrie. Morrie is dying from ALS and every Tuesday Mitch and Morrie meet for life lessons. Mitch asks Morrie, “what is one of your greatest regrets?” Morrie’s answer, “All the time I spent worrying about things that never happened.”

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