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5 Life Lessons Learned In 2023

Portrait Andrew Schulhof

#303-1338 West Broadway
Vancouver
British Columbia
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It is hard to plan for the future if you never take the time to look back and reflect on all that you've learned.

Taking a breather in Mexico wasn’t just about soaking up the sun—it was a moment to pause, reflect, and soak in life’s lessons.

Every year, this time away gives me a chance to see beyond the hustle and bustle of my real estate world and dive into the deeper currents of life.

Practicing Mindfulness 

Let’s talk mindfulness. In a year of real estate slowdowns, I found more time to assess my work life. But even with that clarity, my mind’s default mode was to wander into past worries or future anxieties.

It took conscious effort to shift my perspective—to see setbacks as stepping stones and challenges as opportunities for growth.

Mindfulness isn’t a walk in the park, especially for a mind that jumps around like a curious puppy. It’s about training my brain to ‘sit’ in the present moment, allowing me to take the reins of my thoughts and actions. Being awake while living life is what mindfulness is all about—it’s made me more intentional and aware.

Being Present

Then there’s the art of being present which I shared in 2021. I’ve always been guilty of time-traveling in my mind, darting from past reminiscences to future aspirations, often skipping the present entirely.

But here’s the kicker: the past is done, and the future is uncertain—today is the only guarantee we have. It took practice, but I’ve learned to tune into the present, noticing the tiniest details like the sound of my keyboard as I type or the rhythm of my breath. For me it all starts with becoming aware of what I am doing, feeling, sensing, thinking in the present moment.

Meditation became my daily anchor, nudging me to be present, especially in stressful times. An app called Insight Timer became my guide, transforming my stress levels, sleep patterns, and overall happiness. It’s all about acknowledging the past, embracing the present, and having faith in the future.

Lowering Excessive Importance

Let’s continue the chat from 2020 about excessive importance. It’s that feeling of placing too much weight on something—creating unnecessary stress and often blinding us to the true essence of what matters.

Learning to let go of outcomes and focus on actions brought a sense of flow and creativity. I let go of the need to control everything and embraced life on its own terms.

Acceptance As Is

And then came acceptance. For the longest time, I believed success was about never settling, always striving for more. But the pandemic forced me to hit pause and reassess. It was a revelation—I found gratitude in the small things, recognizing life as the beautiful, flawed gift it is. This acceptance allowed me to pivot in my career, write my real estate investing book Look Before You Leap, But LEAP!, and appreciate the journey, not just the destination.

Life’s curveballs, like the devastating fire in Maui, taught me the power of acceptance. While our property took a financial hit, it was a reminder to see beyond our own struggles and support those who lost everything. It’s about finding opportunity even in the toughest situations.

Maintaining An Open Mind

Finally, opening my mind to new perspectives has been a game-changer. As someone prone to focusing on risks and solutions, I sometimes overlooked positivity. Meditation allowed me to break free from my mental constraints, opening my heart and mind to ideas I would’ve dismissed before.

Speaking of maintaining an open mind and learning from others. I ran across this FB post from Charan Sethi a developer I have met many times here in the lower mainland and I found his perspective profoundly appropriate to the theme of this blog.

I hope at least one of Charan’s points resonate with you.

“At the prime age of 72, I needed this when I was in my 30s but never too late to learn:”

“I asked a friend who has crossed 70 & is heading towards 80 what sort of changes he is feeling in himself? He sent me the following:

  1. After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.
  2. I have realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
  3. I have stopped bargaining with vegetable & fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
  4. I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.
  5. I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already told that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane & relive their past.
  6. I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.
  7. I give compliments freely & generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say “Thank You.”
  8. I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.
  9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.
  10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat & neither am I in any race.
  11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.
  12. I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.
  13. I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.
  14. I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!

 

“Why do we have to wait to be 60 or 70 or 80, why can’t we practice this at any stage and age?”

Final Thoughts

Life’s lessons aren’t just personal—they’re meant to be shared, hoping they resonate and inspire positivity in others. These reflections aren’t just about real estate; they’re about living a fuller, richer life—one where thriving replaces surviving, and where awareness drives every action. Cheers to growth, learning, and living fully!

To your success and happiness and may 2024 be your best year!

Get in Touch

If your are interested in investing in real estate, or looking to list your current home, I can help you form the appropriate strategy and answer any questions you may have. 

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5 Life Lessons Learned In 2023

It is hard to plan for the future if you never take the time to look back and reflect on all that you’ve learned.