Sew up a Button Hole

Years ago I read a book called I Dare You, written by William H. Danforth, former Chairman of the Board of the Ralston Purina Company. In it he tells the story of a professor that hit upon a life changing discovery while buttoning up his vest.  His fingers were working from the top button down, running on automatic, going from one button to the next, one hand finding the button hole the other positioning the button, and on each completion of this rather intricate task, moving down to restart the procedure. The Professor went through this procedure every morning as a vest was part of his daily dress.

On this particular morning as he was mentally reviewing his morning lecture as he buttoned his vest, then his hands got stuck on the third or fourth button. His fingers sent out a call for help.  They couldn’t master that task.  The professor looked down and realized that his tailor had accidentally sewn up one of the button holes. His fingers were going on automatic. They could remember. But they had not encountered a sewn up button hole before.

Two “ahah” moments here for the professor:  One: The body can remember tasks and Two: The brain is an emergency organ. It is only called to action when it is needed. The brain relegates everything possible to other parts of the body as long as it is able, and only when the normal order of things is upset does the brain get actively involved.

Active involvement; creative thinking; looking from a new perspectives and probing the mind for new ways for the brain to get involved. I get excited just writing this about the ways that the brain can work. I get joy getting Ryker and Torren and Mackenzie, my three youngest grandkids, to think out side the box, to teach them ways to use their brains that make them smile and think in new ways. As I get older and my body starts to protest its button down routine, fortunately my mind is still very active and I am always looking for ways to shake it up. Not just with the grandkids either,

All of you have had the uncanny moment driving home from work all of a sudden realizing that you have to look around and see how close you are to home. What happened to that last 45 seconds? Your “fingers were filling the button holes”.

If you ever tour a house with me you realize that I like to shake up even the task of getting to know a home.  I will sit down in a room for five minutes; or enter though the back door; or I will park a few houses away and walk to the  house.  I like to do things that will give me a new  perspective, break the norm and get my brain thinking .

The shake up in the real estate market that seemed to begin when Hurricane Katrina ravaged <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">New Orleans and hasn’t ended yet made me and many of my associates reinvent ourselves. This is a button hole I wish was not sewn up.

But the market is anything but automatic even now: Downsizing,  functional obsolescence, super low interest rates, hot and slow markets ten miles away from each other, a hot rental market, condos selling at below replacement value, investors seeking CAP rates, first time home buyers, retirees, vacant homes, high unemployment, uncertainty politically, security concerns, internet dominating the market – these are all sewn up button holes, making us think, act in new ways, and work smarter.

Be smart, sew up a button hole today. It just may change the way you think.

Here are some ways to "Sew up a button hole" for you in real estate:

- Thinking of selling your house ? Go shopping to buy one like it first.
-  Leave your house and  come back in the front door and  act like a buyer. Ask you spouse to give you a tour. 
-  List all the things wrong with your house and how you would an objection about that item,
-  Ask to see houses at night
-  Walk neighborhoods you are thinking of moving to.
-  Visit homes outside your price range and opposite  what you think you want
-  Bring a chair and sit in the back yard.

Can you think of an outside the box real estate button hole?  Share it with me please!

Have a great time preparing for Thanksgiving!

(If you have a chance, visit www.retirementnext.com )