Andy Stanley wrote an incredibly practical yet thought-provoking book a few years back called The Principle of the Path. In the book, Andy unpacks the basic analogy that the path you are on will determine your ultimate destination. While at initial glance, this may seem trivial and somewhat self-evident, the reality is that most people are heading down a certain “path” or in a certain direction without the understanding or realization as to why they will end up somewhere they don’t intend.
I thought this was a good topic to discuss in the context of real estate investing because there are so many readers, listeners, subscribers, members, students, etc. who intend to become real estate investors but never do. Our industry is wrought with educational material and a good portion of the population digests this information with the intention of changing their fortunes by “getting into real estate.” However, as the book discusses, intention does not lead to your ultimate destination — the direction you are heading in determines your ultimate destination.
Where is Your Path Leading You?
So many people wind up in a certain situation and wonder how they ended up there. While the answer may be clear to others, the simple reality is that the decisions we make day in and day out continue to dictate the direction we are heading in and our ultimate destination.
You can read real estate blogs, listen to real estate podcasts, buy the latest and greatest info products, etc., but if you do not begin making changes in your daily decision-making, nothing about your situation will change. You may find yourself five years from now no better off and scratching your head trying to figure out why you haven’t made larger strides towards your financial goals.
Andy uses a great analogy in the book about the doctor who can’t quick smoking. The doctor has all of the education in the world about the consequences of smoking and possibly even the intention to quit at some point in time. Regardless, even a doctor must submit to the reality that smoking will have a detrimental effect on his health and without making a real decision to quit, the ultimate destination for that doctor will likely be something he never intended.
The reality is that the majority of people who educate themselves and digest loads of information on real estate investing will not act. Five years from now, ten years from now, they will look back over the last several years of their life and wonder why they are still stuck in an unfulfilling 9 to 5 job with a retirement account that is far less than they had hoped. How did they end up there? The reality is that they continue making the same choices that keep them on that path — which will eventually lead to that destination.
Unfortunately, it costs many of us years of our lives before we come to the realization that we MUST make different decisions to alter our futures. If you are a smoker, is it going to take a medical diagnosis before you choose to quit? In your personal life, is it going to take a broken relationship before you decide to change your behavior? In your financial and professional life, what will it take before you decide to make positive choices that alter your path and lead you in the direction of financial freedom and wealth creation?
Where Are You Getting Your Information?
There is also a relevant chapter about seeking counsel from people in a similar season of life. The essence is, does it really make sense to take advice from someone who has never been where you want to go? I believe this is absolutely applicable to our industry as well. If you are getting your real estate education from somebody who doesn’t have real estate experience or hasn’t achieved the type of success that you are aiming for, are you really getting proper counsel?
For the person who is ready to begin implementing rather than simply educating, I would encourage you to seek out counsel that is appropriate and authentic. This industry is full of mentors and educators who claim to know real estate and have a magic formula to make you successful — and yet they themselves haven’t achieved their success through active real estate investing.
In the end, it’s those who make conscious choices and take action towards investing in real estate that will achieve their goals and end up where they set out. Intention alone will only get you so far.
What decisions do you make in your daily life that encourage action in real estate investing?
Leave your comments below, and let’s talk!