These are challenging times in this business, I don’t need to tell you that. One of the very few things I dislike about this business is that so much of what most people associate with “success” or “failure” is outside of our control. We have no influence over the forces that drive rates up or down, yet interest rates drive the easily measurable outcomes. What troubles me most is that good people in this business often associate metrics like closed loan volume and personal income with their personal self-worth. If we make lots of money one year, we feel confident, smart, and desirable; if we make less the next year, we feel like failures.
In the poem he wrote for his son before his son died in WWI, Rudyard Kipling described “triumph and disaster” as “those two impostors” precisely because neither outcome has much to do with our true self-worth. So, how should we measure success when chance has an unequal vote? The longer I live, the more strongly I believe that the best measure of our value is the impact we have on other lives; I believe in the “who will show-up at your funeral?” measure of success. And we are afforded a unique opportunity to touch the lives of so many people during one of their most vulnerable life experiences.
Memorial Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be alive and free in what is still the greatest country in the world. And to remember those whose service and ultimate sacrifice made that possible. Unlike the men and women we remember this weekend, no matter how bad today might’ve been, we can get up tomorrow, drive on, and improve the lives of those who come into our orbit.
Enjoy time with loved ones this weekend, and please make time for thanks and remembrance.