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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"Pursue the good ardently. But if your efforts fall short, accept the result and move on."
- Epictetus


Who do you want to be? Which are the principles by which you want to live? Do honesty, perseverance, and wisdom define you? Are sincerity, generosity, and a caring attitude your trademark?

Having a vague idea of the benchmark traits you wish to exhibit is not enough. To be extraordinary, it is necessary to define yourself in specific terms. If you haven't adopted a precise set of principles, consider choosing from the list that follows: humility, diligence, moderation, silence, temperance, chastity, courage, resolution, justice, industry, faithfulness, order, tranquility, cleanliness, encouragement, frugality, generosity, sincerity, persistence, honesty, perseverance, or caring.

Choose five that most closely match the person you would choose to be. Next define what each means to you, and how you can adopt them as your trademark traits. Finally, begin acting like the person you would be. Ben Franklin kept a small diary and rated his actions each day by placing a checkmark each time he violated one of his personal principles. Over time, as the checkmarks dwindled for one principle, he would move on to the next.

There's no need to discuss your quest for a principle-centered life with anyone. This is personal, very personal. It's also important to accept the fact that once you've adopted a credo, you won't do a perfect job of living up to it. When you find you've fallen short, "accept the result and move on."

Unless you're living the perfect life right now, and most of us aren't, give some thought to redefining yourself. Decide to be extraordinary and do whatever you must do - NOW!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"The path you're on looks different when you turn around."
- Cynthia Copeland Lewis


Life has been described as a path, a direction in which we travel over time - rather than a single event. Each of us gets to choose the direction our path will take us. By making those choices, we also clear the way to achieving the objectives we've set for ourselves.

When we fail to choose the path we will travel, that is also a choice. In that case, the path we travel becomes less distinct with more twists and turns than we would have liked. Each side path we encounter tempts us to change direction. Lacking any roadmap of objectives we might have chosen, we often end up somewhere - else.

Regardless of the quality of our choices, we can get a clear understanding of where we are likely to end up - just by turning around. By simply looking back at the path we have been following, much can be learned. For example, is the path behind us straight, or filled with curves and detours taken? Is it paved with solid, masterfully laid stepping-stones, or filled with muddy ruts that zig-zag around every obstacle?

Chances are that, as teenagers, most of our paths seemed to have had many twists and turns. As we matured and learned from our mistakes, however, it is also likely that we began improving the direction and quality of the path we traveled. The more attention we paid to the path, the more enjoyable the journey became.

Want life to be a most pleasant journey? Build your own roadmap - then start paving!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"We stand at the crossroads each minute, each hour,
each day, making choices.
We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think,
 the passions we allow ourselves to feel,
and the actions we allow ourselves to perform.
Each choice is made in the context of whatever value
system we've selected to govern our lives.
In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way,
making the most important choice we will ever make."

- Benjamin Franklin


Remember the day you made the decision to go to college? What about the day you decided to buy that sporty red car? Surely you remember the day you decided you would get married. What about your present career path? Did you purposely decide it's what you want to do? Do you remember making a conscious decision to have three children?

Some decisions are relatively simple. You decide to buy a TV, go to the store, write a check - and it's yours. You own it! Other decisions are also easy to make, i.e. the red sports car, but carry a higher price. The decision comes quickly, but entails both a down payment and a commitment to make payments on time for several years. Again, you make the decision to buy and the car is yours - you own it!

At some point in life come decisions that shouldn't have been made, but were, as well as those you should have withheld. In high school, a day of classes skipped may have resulted in grades lower than acceptable to your choice of colleges. Later, a poor choice of friends may have resulted in a blemish on your "permanent" record. As an adult, poor decision-making not only may reduce the quality of your life, but of those you love.

Regardless, each decision made is yours to keep - you own it! You also own the responsibilities created by the decision, i.e. following a healthy lifestyle to stay trim, working two jobs to keep your commitment to the mortgage company, giving up poorly chosen friends and activities to provide your children with a happy, nurturing home life.

Every decision made can turn positive or negative, depending on the actions taken once the decision has been made. Either way - making the decision is followed by ownership of the results. Does "pride of ownership" appeal to you? Buy it, own it, love it!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be,
and you keep and hold that picture there long enough,
you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking."
- William James (1842-1910)


Walk into a totally dark room. What do you see? "Absolutely nothing," you say. Now, turn on the light. Where did the darkness go? Really - where is it now? Hopefully you will agree that darkness cannot exist in the face of light.

During a lifetime, we experience many types of "darkness." It may appear in the form of discouragement, fear, hopelessness, grief, ignorance, or poverty. Yet, in every case, there is a "light" in which such darkness cannot exist.

Fear, for example, cannot exist in the face of courage. Education denies ignorance any chance of survival. Grief disappears in the presence of peace-of-mind. Discouragement ceases when hope prevails. Wealth denies poverty its chance.

No matter what form darkness takes, it cannot exist when faced with its opposite. That also means we have the ability to send darkness on its way at any point in time. No matter how overwhelming the darkness appears, it is our thoughts and our minds that ultimately control the outcome. How powerful is that?

In the words of several favorite authors: "Think you can, think you can't, either way you're right." "Your life is what your thoughts make of it." "We are what we think about all day long." Finally, in the words of Tom Bodett, from one of his Motel 6 commercials: "We'll leave the light on for you!"

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"Fear knocked at the door, faith answered. No one was there."
~ Unattributed


Ever received one of those emails that contains a touching message, then suggests that if you forward it to ten more people you'll receive a "special blessing" or "ten million dollars in three days"? It usually also warns that the last person who didn't forward it met some terrible fate at the hands of unknown evil-doers. Remember how that last part - the veiled threat - made you feel? You didn't think something awful would really happen, but you resented being put in the position of wondering.

We've been told many times that our worst fears are of the "unknown." An unidentified fear sends our imagination into high gear, conjuring up vivid mental pictures of dastardly plots against us. We ruminate endlessly over the possibilities. Such fear is disruptive to our well-being, and leaves us tired and wrung-out.

So, how do you handle fear? One method is to identify the fear, so that once you do, it is no longer "unknown." That also means it is measurable, and can be logically quantified. Once you know what it is, your imagination can no longer dream up worse things that it is not. Once identified, it is possible to determine possible outcomes.

Most fears will never come to fruition. Those that do are divided into two categories: those we can control, and those we can't. If we have control, we also have the ability to survive our fears, and change their outcomes. Most fall into that category.

One mother's lifelong advice to her daughter who worried too much was to replace the worry thought with another more pleasant thought. The opposite of fear is hope, which also gives us courage. The next time you experience fear of the unknown, try replacement therapy. Think positive, hopeful thoughts when fear knocks at the door. Then, when you open the door - no one is there!

Morning Coffee for Inspiration

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"It's important to let people know what you stand for.
It's equally important to let them know what you won't stand for.
- B. Bader


How careful we must be today - to avoid the slightest slight to others. If we continue, we will become totally homogenized - each looking, acting, talking, and walking like each other. The unique identity into which we were born will mellow, fade, and eventually become transparent. The gifts and talents we have to offer will be so diluted as to go unnoticed.

What ever happened to our right to speak out against wrong? Why do we allow ourselves to be hushed and shushed when we verbalize our expectation of respect from the very young? Why are we so sensitive to what "they" think of our actions when we attempt to do good?

Each of us is uniquely individual. We are one of a kind, not just an ingredient in the soup of humanity. Each of us is born with the ability to make a difference, to contribute our talent, to expect the best. We have the ability to set standards for ourselves, to choose the principles upon which we live and serve.

We also have the responsibility to teach our children "what we stand for" as well as "what we won't stand for." By unashamedly living those principles, and expecting the same from our children, we help set the course for others who have not the strength to do so. We are the example.

Political correctness, as it applies to granting full respect for others is perfectly acceptable. Political correctness, as it is often applied as a choke-chain to restrain the desire to uphold what is right, is a gross misuse of the desire for simple courtesy and politeness.

Let's just drop "political" and be correct!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"Things themselves don't hurt or hinder us.
Things simply are what they are.
How we view these things is another matter.
People think what they will think; it is of no concern to us."
~ Epictetus


Someone once said, "When I was in my twenties, I worried about what others thought of me. When I was in my forties, I didn't care what they thought of me, and when I was in my sixties, I realized they weren't thinking about me at all." Who hasn't had a parent or friend tell us "What will people think?"

How easy it is to let the influence of others govern our actions. By listening to others, then carrying out our lives to the tune they wish us to play, we are but puppets. One of "Aesop's Fables" addressed the same issue.

It told of an old man, a boy, and a donkey making their way down a hill. As the boy rode, while the old man led the donkey, they overheard a neighbor comment about the shame of making the old man walk. The next turn in the road saw both man and boy astride the donkey, and the next passer-by shook his head at the shame of putting such a load on the poor donkey. By the time the two reached the final turn in the road, they were seen carrying the donkey on a pole.

The message, of course, was that we should not live our lives to satisfy the expectations of others. It is up to us to set a clear direction for our own lives, and then follow that path to the exclusion of others.

It's really about choices, isn't it? We get to make our own choices in life. When we fail to do so, we have still made a choice - that being to let others make our choices for us. As the final days of the year approach, it's an excellent time to let your vision take hold, to set a bold new direction for your life in the coming year. Make some choices - no matter what "they" think!

Monday Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame."
~ Erica Jong


"The dog ate my homework." Teachers hear that one every week. "Jimmy made me do it!" Parents hear that one often, too. Fast-forward a few years to the college student with bad grades, and you hear, "The professor doesn't like me." Then, before we know it, we're all grown up. Now we hear, "My manager didn't give me enough time to complete the project," and, "She doesn't understand me," or, "The customer wasn't honest with me, so I couldn't close the sale."

Where do these fabrications of blame originate? They probably begin in our childhood imagination - and that's also where they should stop. Blaming comes easy since we tend to do it when the person blamed isn't around. Who's going to dispute our blame claim?

Take a moment to re-read the first part of today's quote: "Take your life in your own hands . . ." What a breath of fresh air emerges from that phrase. By accepting responsibility for our life and all its actions, we no longer need to alienate those around us by blaming. We can live a no-excuses life.

We either accept the low classroom grade without complaint - after all, we earned it - or we change our approach to homework the next time. We simply allot enough time to complete our manager's special project on deadline, or be willing to be employed at a lower level on the food chain. We invest ourselves more deeply in our personal relationships, or accept a less-than-fulfilling bond with those we love.

As quoted before, "All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts." If you're tired of perpetually being on the defensive, ban blame from your life - forever. It's a wonderful way to live stress-free!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
- William Shakespeare


Remember when you were a teenager leaving the house on a date? Your parents' last words as you went out the door were, "We'll leave the light on for you". Think about that. So what if they did or didn't leave the light on? Their words were really more of a verbal hug. They cared about you - wanted you to know it - and applied the hug with kind words.

With Thanksgiving in just a few days, why not take the time to "leave the light on" for someone who may not get many hugs? There's still time, and it's easy.

First, learn who needs hugs. Check with your local fire, police, or sheriff's department. Ask whether they know of three or four families or individuals who could use a hug. Ask also whether they would consider delivering your hugs at the appropriate time. Two groups stand out as needy - the elderly and families with small children. Of course, we're talking about individuals who are experiencing difficult circumstances in their lives, be they physical or financial.

Next, consider what type of hugs you have to offer. Perhaps you might prepare three or four Thanksgiving turkeys with all the trimmings. Live in the country where people heat their homes with a wood stove? Deliver firewood. Live in a cold climate? Add some warm socks or a sweater to your dinner box. It's really not that difficult to come up with ideas that would make a difference to your chosen recipients. If you aren't able to provide "things," consider visiting with some nursing home residents. Brighten their day by listening for a while.

It goes without saying that our country is truly blessed. Although practically invisible to most of us, however, there are some individuals who are being challenged. They need a hug, and we can brighten their lives by way of simple gestures. Make a family project out of it - involve your kids. Do it anonymously. Afterwards, when you get home, we'll leave the light on for you!

Morning Coffee

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"He is not fit for riches, who is afraid to use them."
~ Thomas Fuller


Several business books suggest three ways to become financially independent. It is said that these three methods of building wealth create "multiple streams of income" - a never-ending financial source that continues to grow. So - what are the three "magic beans" that, when planted, yield wealth?

They are: 1) investing in real estate, 2) investing in the stock market, and 3) running your own business. To achieve excellence in any of the three, you must have extensive knowledge, be willing to take risks, and have a passion for achievement.

First comes knowledge. Who do you think might have the best grasp on the ins and outs of real estate - a doctor or someone in the real estate business? An understanding of contracts, real estate law, pricing and values, marketing, financing and math would all be vital, wouldn't they?

Risk-taking does not come easily for most of us. Unless we put our money at risk, however, we cannot expect a favorable return. If you don't believe that, just take a look at what your checking or savings account is paying right now!

Finally, we must have a passion for achievement. That means a burning desire, not a lukewarm, milquetoast attitude. Anything less will leave us in the dust of others who display that desire.

Wealth, a.k.a. financial independence, does not arrive on our doorstep in the form of a visit from Publishers Clearinghouse. Nor does the lottery or an inheritance often pay us a visit. We are able to achieve wealth only by choice. It comes slowly at first, and then builds to a crescendo beyond our wildest imaginings.

It's the "at first" that will govern the final result. So, then, it's your choice - real estate, stocks, your own business, or all three!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25




Contact Information

Photo of Liz Warren Real Estate
Liz Warren
Merit Properties Group - Keller Williams Realty PDX Central
Box 131
Welches OR 97067
Direct: 503-705-3090