365 Days of Gratitude
What I’m Grateful For: Digging Firelines
It was a hectic weekend – the fire that has been just over in another drainage is now creeping into ours. The good news is, it’s September now, not July – so the fall rains WILL come at some point, although truthfully it could still be a month. But even without them, the nights are cooler. Oh, but then the wind is more likely to blow too. Heck, it’s just what it is. I live in the WUI – the “Wildland/Urban Interface.” Actually most everyone in their right mind would say I just live in the “Wildland” part of that sentence. Surrounded by national forest, my little cabin in the woods is remote, quiet, hard to get to, and harder to leave. It’s paradise to me. Except when the wildlfires are threatening, then it’s more like hard work.
Which brings us to this long, three day weekend – which we spent digging fire lines around our property. Even up the steep 1,600 feet along the back of our property. It’s not that far – a third of a mile – but wow it’s a lot when you are digging a line to stop a fire, and did I say it’s steep? A 30% grade most of the way, and more as you get close to the top.
We dug and raked and panted and got blisters. But at the end, when we got to the top of the ridge, the views spread out and so did the trees. The top of the ridge is warm and sunny, southern facing and relaxed. The breeze blows differently up there, more steady and decisive. We could see the smoke of the fire, but also the long, clear line of mineral soil we had dug to protect our little home.
We took a selfie up there, my 11-year-old daughter and me. Life never felt sweeter than it did today, digging fire line.
What I’m Reading:Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg. I’ve been reading the chapter on decision making – FASCINATING! It’s a really interesting take on how to make the best decisions, framed by how to imagine different possible futures. The core premise revolves around the idea that the future isn’t one thing: it’s a multitude of possibilities that often contradict one another until one of them comes through. And you can use this to make powerful decisions. We can take various outcomes, assign probabilities to them, and then compare the various risks and perks to determine which choice to make.
Here’s a very simple example (and since I came up with it, probably not nearly as good as the ones in the book, which you SHOULD read!) Imagine you have a long shot at winning a coveted award at your job tomorrow. It’s a really long shot – very unlikely you’ll get it, so let’s assign a 5% probability that you might get the award, and a 95% probability that you won’t. You also want to ride your bike to work tomorrow, because you have a 100% perfect streak of riding your bike to work! But you live in Seattle, it’s November, and there’s no place to shower at your (imaginary) job. So you have a 95% chance of getting wet and looking terrible if you ride your bike. What do you decide to do?
Now you make the decision by looking at each possible situation – the chance that you ride your bike, it doesn’t rain, AND you get the promotion is so small that clearly you can’t gamble on it. BUT it would just be Murphy’s Law that you WOULD win if you ride anyways! Now people can make up their own minds here, based on your personal desires and what matters most for you in these intersections of factors. I would probably take the car, put my bike in the back and try to ride around the park after (almost certainly) losing. But regardless of how you choose, you have laid out the probabilities and risks in a nice little bundle to observe. Now tell me – what kind of decisions might you apply this way of thinking to?
Nick’s Real Estate Tip: What are the top five characteristics that top producers have? Learn more.
Quick Web Tip: When was the last time you updated your content? Reference up-to-date articles in your content. If you have a market report from 2014 or older its time to update for todays buyers/sellers. “Nothing will turn a visitor away from a website faster than outdated content.” —Inc.com
What I am Pondering:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” ― Socrates