I live in Byron Bay – the place has got a reputation.
You ask anyone who doesn't live here about Byron and they'll tell you it's all new-age and full of hippies.
What I'm about to discuss is going to make me sound like a Byron, Bay hippy…
I call coincidence!
I want to discuss the notion of people only seeing what they want to see.
That we see reality based on our beliefs and only our beliefs.
And I want to present some evidence to that effect.
If it makes me sound like a new-age hippy try not to judge me… I promise I'm just as level-headed as you've always known me to be.
Here's the thing.
I run a commercial property investment training program.
People come into the course – learn all the information in the course, and then a certain number of people will tell me that they can't find any commercial properties.
“I looked James – there are none out there with the kind of returns you're talking about.”
When I look – I find more than I know what to do with.
Of course, there are others in the group who learn the information and, like me, they find plenty of great investments.
So what's the difference between the two groups?
They learn the same information… But get a different result.
Well, I reckon there are a couple of things at play here…
One is their foggy glasses.
Second is what I call the law of reverse effort.
If you let someone just talk and you listen carefully you start to pick out the things that they believe about the world. Not just from what they are saying but also from reading between the lines.
Over time, people form beliefs about the world and it tints their view of the world. Certain details become foggy. The fuzzy movies they play in their heads tell the same stories over and over again.
Someone who doesn't like confrontation will tend to interpret many conversations as confrontation… Or at least they will expect it.
Someone who feels that they are in a persecuted minority will interpret the behaviour of others in a way that supports that belief.
We ALL have these stories playing in our heads… Everyone from Trump to the homeless guy who tries to get everyone to dance, out the front of the pub down the road.
So I reckon that the difference between those that can't find good deals and those that can, may have something to do with the stories that they are telling themselves.
I'm not going to dive in any deeper into that rabbit warren… But you get the idea.
I just wanted to lay the ground work for the next bit…
Change… We are not set in stone… (in fact we are 70% water), and it's possible to change those stories.
Start to change those stories and you start to see the world through different eyes. People seem different. You feel different. And Things that you could not see before, suddenly start to appear.
Which brings me to the second thing… The law of reverse effort.
Think about it like this… There's a martial art called Aikido.
Watch a newby and he spends most of his time throwing himself around in all directions trying to budge his opponent… he puts in 100% effort to get a 1% effect.
It'll take everything he's got to create any effect at all.
Watch a 5th or 6th degree blackbelt and you'll see a very different story.
He'll stand like a rock in a storm and with the smallest of movements (1% effort) He'll send people flying in all directions (100% effect)
And all without breaking a sweat.
It's kind-of a metaphor for investing as well…
When you start (depending on the stories you're telling yourself), you put in a lot of effort searching, working, negotiating etc. all to get a small win.
But the more you practise, the less effort it takes and the bigger the result.
The more money you make, the easier it is to make money.
The more you practise, learn, try and get small wins the more you start telling yourself different stories and seeing the world through the eyes of an investor.
You can't fake it. I don't believe “faking it till you make it” is really “a thing”… But practise, learning and expanding your stories to see different possibilities…
…and I reckon things organically start to change in that direction.