As I look back on 2018, I realize I learned a number of great lessons as they apply to my life and I'll be sharing each one over the next few weeks.
One of the biggest places where I saw personal growth was as it relates to the topic of "Certainty."
When I took a Tony Robbins workshop a year ago in December, he asked us to take a look at our lives and the decisions we make daily and we learned that for each of us, there were two primary motivators. For me, it was the constant pursuit of "Certainty" and "Significance."
As far as Certainty, I realized that much of the time, I made decisions and lived my life because I wanted to be certain of the outcomes. I wasn't comfortable with not knowing or being out of control. So I led my life not risking or allowing things to be seemingly uncertain.
CAN YOU REALLY BE CERTAIN ABOUT EVERYTHING?
As you can imagine, if you are someone like this — someone who likes to CONTROL their outcomes — it's a pretty exhausting way to live. You want to be sure at all times that you can handle what's going on and the funny thing is that life happens, shit happens, and things you could just never imagine happen, and the reality is you actually can't be certain of anything.
So when the owner of the house we had been renting told us that he planned to it at the end of our lease (which was four months away), our certainty of having a great place to live for quite some time was now gone.
Now we were faced with the problem of where to live and the timing couldn't have been worse. We were notified about 14 days before heading off on our one annual vacation, and just about two months before the holidays — a really horrible time when it comes to the real estate market.
I hit the ground running and started checking out Realtor.com with a vengeance, asking around if anyone knew of house rentals, and basically freaking out. We loved the Pacific Ocean view of our current house, liked the neighborhood, and while the house itself was somewhat dated and falling apart, we didn't really have designs on living anywhere else.
LIVING OUR LIFE BASED ON SEEKING CERTAINTY
So we started our new home search and there wasn't much available that fit our specific needs. We were running around daily with realtors and looking at houses and the entire experience was draining. This was particularly so because when you are renting a house, a realtor gets one month's rent as their commission, and here in Southern California, the housing market is so hot, they would rather spend their time selling houses versus renting them. So if you don't take the first house they show you, they don't want to be bothered anymore.
And so we happened upon a house in our same community that was smaller, had no air conditioning, a view of a cinder block wall, and was also dated. It was about three days before we were to depart on vacation and we put an offer in to rent the house and were awaiting the confirmation and lease to sign the next day.
That night I couldn't sleep at all. I tossed and turned and felt something was just not right. We honestly weren't excite about the house. We were stressing out about all of the things we would have to give away to fit in the house and the ways we would need to change our lifestyle because of this particular house.
During the wee hours of the morning I asked myself if we were signing the lease because it was a house that we really wanted to live in for the next few years OR we were doing it to check the "home search" off the list so we could go on vacation and have the certainty of a place to live when we got home?
The next morning as I brought the subject up to my husband, he couldn't disagree that we just wanted to have this task checked off our list. And then I remembered what was perhaps one of the most profound quotes of that Tony Robbins workshop: