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When things aren’t going so well


Times are difficult. For every mortgage professional watching you are likely nodding your head ‘yes’. 

Generally, most of us are chasing happiness but for many, it’s not making them any happier. We try to get rid of negative feelings and thoughts and find good ones instead. But does this really work? Many actually become more unhappy using this approach.

I came across an interesting podcast featuring therapist and author Russ Harris. In his book The Happiness Trap, Harris explains how resisting difficult or negative feelings and thoughts only makes them stronger. Think of this as trying to push an inflated beach ball under the water and holding it there indefinitely. His solution? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT.

“Therapy” you may say?! Well, let’s call it an approach we all may want to consider. 

Psychologist Steven C. Hayes who pioneered this approach said, “We as a culture seem to be dedicated to the idea that ‘negative’ human emotions need to be fixed, managed, or changed—not experienced as part of a whole life. We are treating our own lives as problems to be solved as if we can sort through our experiences for the ones we like and throw out the rest.” The issue Hayes argues this doesn’t move us forward or more importantly, address the feelings we carry.

The ACT approach, according to Psychology Today, has six fundamental processes.

  1. Acceptance– acknowledging and embracing the full range of our thoughts and emotions.
  2. Distancing ourselves from negative thoughts and feelings and observing them without judgment and noting our default reaction.
  3. Mindfulness. Be honest and mindful of what emotions or thoughts you’re struggling with.
  4. Identity. Your feelings are not your identity, What you do is what matters.
  5. Values– making choices based on your core beliefs, not merely to avoid distress.
  6. Committed action. Make the changes necessary for positive change.

Outside of formulas or approaches, we’re best served to acknowledge what we’re feeling and even better find a trusted friend or confidant that can listen and perhaps give us perspective. Your thoughts? Drop us a comment below


Editor in Chief: HECMWorld.com
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at HECMWorld.com, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at: info@hecmworld.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Times in our small industry are not good but that does not mean the industry is going away soon despite how things look to the more pessimistic in the industry.

    However, what was claimed just a few months ago to be a relatively easy switch from a predominantly HECM Refi environment to a dominant first time HECM borrower one has proven to be anything but easy on an industry wide basis. In fact, there is no indication when that trend will end. There has been at least one writer who blamed the ultra optimistic view of industry leadership for the slow turn around in HECM endorsements during fiscal years 2010 through 2013.

    The trend for this fiscal in total monthly HECMs endorsed through January 2023 indicates that the bottom for HECM endorsements may be months into the future. Recently one industry leader said that we had reached bottom in monthly HECM endorsements and then for a short time monthly HECM endorsement totals did get measurably better but only to go much lower than that bottom in recent months.

    Multiplying the total number of HECMs endorsed in January 2023 by 12, the product is less than 30,000. If the total HECMs endorsed this calendar year are under 31,200, calendar year 2023 will be the worst such total in 20 years. Yet few of us expect that calendar year 2023 wil end so badly..

    Industry wide HECM endorsement volume shows that originators having down years are certainly not alone. Yet this is the perfect time to hone skill in growing HECM first time HECM borrower leads for future business.

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