Uncomfortable Success

As you scan this blog, you might have random thoughts like, “Why am I reading this guy’s stuff?” “I wonder what’s on Netflix tonight?” Or maybe “I hate my job.” If it’s the latter, you might want to have a frank conversation with yourself about the amount of productive energy you’re currently investing in your career. Are you asleep? Tired? Going through the motions?

Like a Facebook login prompt, you should honestly ask yourself, “What’s on your mind?” You might find you’re operating your business self in a “so-so” level of enthusiasm, “meh” motivation and “iffy” strategic thinking. Where are you going? Are you comfortable? Or are you uncomfortable in your comfortableness? Are you where you thought you’d be in your commercial appraisal career today?

“Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life,” so says Susan David’s TEDWoman 2017 speech The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage. She also said, “Only dead people never get stressed, never get broken hearts, never experience the disappointment that comes with failure.” Watch Video Here

“Tough emotions are part of our contract with life. You don’t get to have a meaningful career or raise a family or leave the world a better place without stress and discomfort.” She points out that we often grab easy to digest labels to describe our feelings like being “stressed out.” We hear this daily from friends, family and strangers. Stress seems pandemic on social media.

But she calls shenanigans on this description indicating that there’s a huge difference between stress and disappointment or stress knowing you’re in the wrong career. She ties together that emotions are data, they are not directives. And just like big data, she suggests that we mine our own emotions to help us take the right steps, at the right time and in the right direction. In your business, what data have you subconsciously been collecting that you haven’t analyzed?

Are your warning bells ringing asking you for a change?

  1. Are you tired of cranking out appraisals like you did 20+ years ago?
  2. Putting off productive change is like stealing money (lots of it) from your company.
  3. Hire trainees, their ROI is evident with technology.
  4. Refrain from any negative internal discussions of how the industry used to be.
  5. Reinvigorate your career by investing in your success, though it may feel uncomfortable.

Ms. David talks about the importance of emotional agility, the concept that we own our own emotions and they don’t own us. She concludes that the cornerstone of resilience in true authentic happiness is a radical acceptance of your emotions. Maybe you woke up recently and determined you don’t like being a commercial appraiser anymore. Conversely, something in your cranium whispered that you love the valuation profession, but are frustrated at its inefficiencies. The lack of appraisal productivity could be wearing down on your soul.

Regardless of where you are in your career, I think it’s always a good time to ask yourself, “Do I love what I’m doing?” “Do I want to keep doing what I’m doing?” “Do I keep doing what I’ve been doing with who I’ve been doing it with?” And probably the most productive question, “Do I want to keep doing what I’m doing in the same way that I have been doing it?” Obtaining success may be uncomfortable for the comfortable.