That’s One Small Leap!

How to leap ahead and dispel the illusion of disappointment


Every four years we recalibrate our calendar to better match the solar year with an extra day tagged onto the shortest month- February. Yes, that’s one small step. Julius Caesar began the practice in 46 BC with the Julian calendar. Pope Gregory used the same practice in the calendar we use today- the Gregorian calendar.

If you thought gaining an hour in the fall was great how about the extra day we had yesterday? Seriously, beyond the silly leap year tradition each of us can make micro-changes. One of those changes is to remove the illusion of disappointment. Many feel that gnawing sense of disappointment when they review their New Year’s resolutions made just two months ago.

Whether it’s our personal goals, loan production, or life in general here are 6 ways you can remove the illusion of disappointment and take a small leap forward.


1. Understand that negative moods have a silver lining. They push us to be more attentive and examine facts that we otherwise ignore when we’re feeling cheerful.  Ask yourself “What should have happened here?” or “Why am I feeling disappointed about this?”. 


2. Seeing where you have fallen short harness disappointment harness that energy to decide what choices you’ll make differently in the future.  


3. Question your expectations. Were they realistic? Were they dependent on circumstances outside of your control? Were my expectations flexible to adapt to changing conditions?


4. Find the teachable moments. What can you learn from the disappointing experience? What would you do differently next time? How should I set expectations in the future?

5. Take inventory. What skills do you need to develop? What tools do you need that would be helpful? What support should I seek to improve?

6. Step away. When you’re feeling especially disappointed take a step back. Or even better, take a few thousand steps and take a walk. Give yourself the time and space to clear your head.

Disappointment is that reliable passenger that accompanies us in our sales endeavors. Knowing how to better leverage it can help us rebound, regroup, and find the small wins despite setbacks. Before you go be sure to thank our sponsor


How to Flip the Script of Your Internal Dialog

How to Flip the Script of Negative Self Talk

It’s time to lose the script. That self-defeating, highly critical voice in your head that sabotages us. The internal dialog that says “You can’t do that. You’re not cut out for it”, or “Everything is going wrong so why try?”.

The truth is at times we all screw up, lose our temper, or act selfishly- despite our best intentions. I certainly have

Here are four tips to lose that inner critic and get control of your inner dialog.

!. Watch your mental diet. Does what you watch upset you? I may very well if you’re a news junkie. Mindfully limit how much negative media you consume and you’ll likely find yourself more relaxed, positive, and fulfilled. Social media is a cesspool of negativity. Droves of people are just waiting to make a snide or rude comment or want to provoke you. Don’t engage.Take control.

2. Use silence to your advantage to monitor your thoughts. We drown out our thoughts with stimulation. We listen to music, a talk show, or an audible book in the car. That’s fine- but also try driving on your next errand or home in silence. Listen to your thoughts or inner dialog. It’s difficult to process our emotions or thoughts if we constantly expose ourselves to stimulation. Silence is indeed golden.


3. Rewire your mindset. Neuroplasticity. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Embracing and practicing new behaviors can actually rewire how our brain responds to stress, disappointment, or frustration. It’s all about recording over the ineffective and damaging tape that’s been playing in our heads for years, even decades.

4. Be your own best friend. This one is the hardest for me. If you’re friend messes something up do you berate them? Do we tell them what a fool they are? Of course not. Many times we are our own harshest critics. Does that help? Instead, try saying to yourself what you’d say to your best friend. “It’s okay, you’ll get it next time”, or “We all make mistakes”, are just a few of the phrases we can begin practicing saying to ourselves.

As we close consider the words of Pythagoras. “No man is free who cannot control himself.” Freedom begins and ends between our own two ears. We can improve. We can flip the script.

How the HECM will be impacted by inflation, the national debt, and monetary policy


The economic forces that will shape HECM lending in 2024

Recent economic news has been a mixed bag.

First, the good news. The U.S. gross domestic product or GDP increased at a 3.3% annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2023 fueled in most part by consumer holiday spending. Regardless, the GDP has exceeded economist’s expectations.

The bad news is that January’s inflation report shows consumer prices rose 3.1% from one year ago pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average down over 700 points last Tuesday closing down 525 points by the end of the day’s trading. The inflation report undermined investor expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates several times this year as early as spring. Higher than anticipated inflation also led the 10-year Treasury yield bo jump 15 basis points last Monday. But when investor confidence is low, bond prices increase and yields fall, as there is more demand for this safe investment.

Consequently, HECM professionals have seen a modest erosion of gross loan proceeds in the first weeks in February as higher expected rates reduced HECM principal limit factors. This comes after 10-year Constant Maturity Treasury rate fell from its high of 4.98% in mid October to a low of 3.79% by the end of December.

Yet larger economic forces are likely to present headwinds to any significant drop in treasury rates. The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s report entitled The Long-Run Fiscal Outlook in the United States sounds the alarm on the national debt and it’s long-term impact on interest rates.

“The U.S. federal debt is now roughly as large as the country’s annual GDP. A high and rising ratio of debt to GDP not only raises government borrowing costs but also risks pushing up long-run interest rates”, says the report.

In addition, investors buying treasuries are likely to demand higher returns as federal spending continues to surge. The greater the perceived risk the higher the rate. Also 10-year treasuries expose the investor to long-term risks, chief among them inflation as the return on the investment could be lessened or even erased by inflation.

The last time our national debt was nearly as large as our nation’s GDP was at the end of World War II as a result of defense spending. The debt-to-GDP ratio fell steadily from over 100% in 1945 to a low of 25% by 1975 thanks to economic growth that exceeded our interest paid on the national debt. Without a significant reduction in interest rates it’s likely that the U.S. debt will continue to grow pushing the debt ratio even higher, that and both parties in Congress who continue to push federal spending to record highs.

This doesn’t mean that treasury rates won’t retreat this year, however, there are considerable hurdles to any sizable reduction in the 10-year Treasury rates due to current market conditions. That said, we continue to see modest fluctuations in rates with future releases economic data.



Surrender but never give up

Finding the Balance of Flow

It’s said that Americans are a stubborn lot. I would venture to add that reverse mortgage professionals are even more so. Steadfast in the face of ever-changing market conditions. Resilient in the face of adversity. Hopeful for a better future. So give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

But there’s also a time to surrender- to submit to those forces over which we have no control. Forces such as interest rates, home values, and economy.

One person who embodies the balance of surrendering and yet without giving away his core values is Vice Admiral James Stockdale. As a POW captured by the Viet Cong Stockdale quickly learned what he had to accept and that part of him which would remain untouchable.

From his experience in captivity we have the Stockdale Paradox which states “You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Two questions arise from this paradox. What is your faith anchored to? And, are you in the practice of accepting the most brutal facts you face today?

Neither question is for the faint of heart, but if there’s one thing reverse mortgage professionals like yourself have proven over the years is their resilience.

Consider what situations or circumstances you need to submit to and above all project your inner self from the temptation to give ourselves away give in completely.

5 Lessons from the Special Forces

5 lessons from the Special Forces on how to overcome adversity and hardship

Special forces units are known for their exceptional training, teamwork, and ability to handle adversity in high-pressure situations. Here are five lessons that can be gleaned from their experiences when facing hardship:

  1. Adaptability and Flexibility: Special forces are trained to adapt quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. They understand the importance of being flexible in their approach, as situations on the ground can evolve rapidly. This means being able to pivot strategies, tactics, and plans in real-time based on the information available.
  2. Resilience and Mental Toughness: Special forces undergo rigorous training to build mental fortitude. They learn how to persevere through extreme physical and mental challenges. This resilience enables them to stay focused and make sound decisions even when facing intense stress, exhaustion, or adversity.
  3. Effective Communication: Communication is paramount in special forces operations. Clear and concise communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, understands the mission objectives, and can respond effectively to changing circumstances. Special forces members are skilled in both verbal and non-verbal communication, including the use of codes and signals.
  4. Teamwork and Trust: Special forces thrive on teamwork and trust among their members. They understand that every team member plays a crucial role, and they rely on one another to accomplish the mission. Trust is built through training, shared experiences, and a deep understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Adoption of a Growth Mindset: Special forces personnel are trained to approach challenges with a growth mindset. They view failures or setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement rather than insurmountable obstacles. This mindset fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, allowing them to adapt and overcome even the most difficult situations.

These lessons can be applied in various aspects of life and reverse mortgage lending, not just in military operations. Whether in business, sports, or personal challenges, the principles of adaptability, resilience, effective communication, teamwork, and a growth mindset can be invaluable in navigating and overcoming hardships.



Master the Art of Progress

Master the Art of Progress:
Harnessing the Power of the 1% Rule

What if you improved just one percent every day? Of what if you improved one percent each week? It could be improving your knowledge of the housing market, mortgage lending, reverse mortgage regulations, or a better understanding of the basic tenets that most financial advisors adhere to.

If you dedicated yourself to daily improvement you would be 37 times better in one year. Or so says the math. It’s an intriguing concept and one that certainly warrants our attention. However, we’re not money-earning compound interest- we’re people who sometimes have big leaps in our professional and personal development, and other days it seems like for every step we move forward we take two back.

But what if we committed ourselves to the mission of incremental and continuous improvement? If we did we would see remarkable growth which at a minimum would help soften the blow of the periodic big mistake or failure. At least when that happens we’re further ahead than we would have had we accepted the status quo.

So where do we begin? A piece of paper is a good place to start. Write down what you want to improve, what areas you want to see even more growth in, and lastly those areas where you just plain stink. It’s okay. I have plenty in the last category too.

Next, break it down. How would you pursue improvement? Is it reading, enrolling in online classes, or working with a mentor or trainer? Write it down.

Now it’s time to set some checkpoints. Write down which dates you’ll check on your progress. Add this to your calendar as well as the time blocks of the activities that come before. Note- that we’re not establishing goals, but activities in the areas we want to enhance.

Tiny gains become bigger gains. Small daily decisions lead to big outcomes. Remember what seems insignificant today may have big repercussions or outcomes in the future.

Sure, at some point you’ll realize this is the best I can do in this area. But that certainly beats a lack of growth or stagnation or even worse digression.

So what if you improved just one percent each week? Who knows- but you’ll find out if you try.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.