White Belt

“I don’t think I’m old. I just know I’m not young. There’s a difference.” Ray Romano’s line got me thinking about my attitude about age. Specifically, my business age. Do I view working with a positive attitude? Do I take the current environment as an opportunity to improve? Do I want to learn new things or do I feel that I know everything? Am I tired?

I love martial arts. There’s a lifetime of content. Keeps you young physically and mentally. My sensei always advises, “think like a white belt”, have an attitude of a beginner even if you’ve been practicing for years. He recently mentioned Jesse Enkamp, self-proclaimed “The Karate Nerd.” This nerd guy does a passionate deep dive into the history of Okinawan karate. When he visits dojos overseas, he doesn’t wear his black belt. He humbly chooses to wear a white belt, to show humility and exemplify the attitude of always willing to learn and do new things.

Consider these five ideas that may re-energize yourself with purpose.

Attitude: Interviewer, “What keeps you going?” Clint Eastwood, “I get up every day and don’t let the old man in.”

Planning: “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.” Buddha

Movement: “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.” Ellen DeGeneres

Ambition: “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” Salvador Dali

Framing: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain

It’s important not to “pretend” you’re engaged with your appraisal business. Kicking the can down the road attitude is like, “lorem ipsum”, or bogus placeholder text for publishers. Biding time lacks excitement about your profession. That attitude can make you “old.” Focusing on an entrepreneurial attitude can lead to productivity that may result in achieving the five above ideas.

Some say purgatory is hearing Rick Astley’s song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, played for eternity. For me, purgatory would be creating appraisals the same way as when I started my career. Mr. Enkamp’s has a video series of his long journey to learn about Karate’s roots in China. In the last video of his travels he says, “To you this might seem like the end, but to me it’s just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what’s next. How about you?”

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