Jaren's Blog

March 28, 2010

Survey of Realtor Sentiment Region 11

Filed under: Business — Jaren @ 3:20 pm

Realtor Region 11 Report- March 2010


March 26, 2010

Who will follow Me

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 6:07 pm

As we go through our daily lives, we witness many who have been given, assumed, or chosen a role of leadership.  This diversity of position can be as intimate as a parent child relationship or as broad as the individual leading the county in which you live.  Many leaders we observe active in their leadership role possess an ability to move us to tremendous achievements; they create in us a desire to serve.  Other leaders have styles which lack ability to stir us toward common good; often leaving followers in bewilderment.  These ineffective leaders are incapable of finding true followers or believers; yet may have tactics to force their agenda upon supposed followers.  So is it the position, power, or is it the person?  I want to make the argument power and position can be used but true leaders use neither.  Effective leaders need nothing but themselves to move us to common good.

We have seen examples of position or even power where the individual is suppressed by fear of a leader’s threat, exercise of control, or unrighteous dominion.  Saddam Hussein may have given us the best model for an oppressive leadership style.  Through his leadership he instilled the fear of death to anyone who did not support his way and held at bay any differing thoughts or views.  The question is; did he have the hearts or respect of followers?  No, in fact it was interesting for me to observe the fall of Hussein and how he instantaneously lost his following when they knew he was captured and held by the US.  This example is extreme but the tactic used is often replicated by ineffective leaders, on a smaller scale.

Position, as in politics; where a leader can hold something over an individuals head to gain support may be more prevalent in our society.  Examples might be a politician offering support to an individuals cause in trade for support on legislation; often the two subjects are not correlated.  This was recently done in the US congress where a Senator offered needed funding to gain votes on legislation.  Another simpler example may be where an individual is seeking a position or an office and the leader in power asks for support on a personal issue in trade.  In these examples the leader is in fact moving toward an objective and has led groups in the direction contemplated but lacks true support.  When the power of position is lost those who may have appeared to follow openly criticize.  Politicians who have used power, you would think, are astounded when they leave office and no longer have any influence.  Too, leaders in business or for an organization, who have used position for power, should have the same feelings of astonishment when after their years of service are gone; they no longer have the persuasive personality they thought they had.

So what is true leadership and how can one accomplish persuasion in moving people to accomplishment without exploitation of power?

Let me suggest leaders who have the hearts of their followers enjoy traits similar to these: humility, love of mankind, respect of individuals, knowledge of their own skills, a servant’s heart, gentleness, and meekness.  I will attempt to touch on each of these but first understand it is my belief, a true leader, who holds any position, does so without seeking or aspiring to that place for the honor of mankind; but does so to better an individual, a group, or the world.  Leaders with part, all, or any combination of these character qualities will have believers, followers and loyalty from everyone they touch.

Humility I put first as it is paramount to any success, not only as a leader but in life.  A leader who is humble understands it is the talents held, opportunities given, and the trust obtained which allow for the creation of self-esteem.   Self esteem is necessary to lead but can’t develop into pride.  All positive influence is lost when the individual begins to think it is they alone who are the instrument necessary for success and thus allowing pride to enter their personality.  This process leads down the road of compulsion or abuse of position.

When we feel the love of a leader, knowing within our soul, they are devoted to our well-being; admiration is reciprocated through our willingness to understand reasoning for objectives. Our loyalty often extends beyond the responsibilities of the leader and throughout life, as their experience proves beneficial to our continued growth.  Loving another comes directly from an appreciation of the value everyone holds in life.

Have you ever felt moved by someone you did not believe had your best interest at heart?  Are you open to ideas and thoughts from someone you think disapproves of who you are or what you represent?  How often have we misunderstood someone’s point of view due to our lack of understanding?  Every person in every condition deserves our respect and has the right to be treated fairly.  A leader can see through the mud of prejudice and see the person as an individual.  A leader can and will seek understanding through diversity.  It doesn’t require lowering standards or beliefs; it mandates that for decisions to be correct, input is needed from all perspectives.

There is no individual with the capability, personal knowledge, or skill to understand all that is necessary for our individual or collective betterment.  Leaders understand their weaknesses and appreciate the need to fill in the gaps with trusted advisors.  They are not threatened by surrounding themselves with smarter more talented people.  The only way to come to an understanding of what is best, what unintended consequences may be or how to aspire to new and greater heights; leaders must use all available talent.

If you were picking an athletic team to participate in a sport, wouldn’t you want to fill as many positions as possible with people who had experience?  At work to complete an assignment which requires multiple participants, wouldn’t you want to select those who understood?  In life when we have a problem or concern, don’t we naturally solicit understanding from one who is familiar with our need?  The best leader is someone who is an outrageous follower.  Leaders understand it is not they who achieve but the collection of all thoughts and desires.  A true leader is one who is the greatest servant and is willing to give their all to others.  One who is anxious to get in with others and muscle through objectives.  One who will openly give praise to others and never seek the admiration of those for whom they lead.

There will be times a leader must reprove and do so to correct unacceptable behavior.  The reproof must then be followed by exhibiting love and showing the gentleness of understanding.  Sternness when needed is not inappropriate if followed by an exhibition of caring.  These times of reprisal are times of learning when appropriately used.  For a leader to gain appreciation from their followers, they must understand the heart of their leader is gentle.  Meek addresses the fact a leader knows it is not them alone as an individual who is responsible for success; it is the collective whole of all involved.

We want our leaders to be confident and have high self-regard; they are our mentors.  True leaders are individuals we want to emulate.  They teach us about the greatness we have inside bringing out our abilities; allowing us to be better for having known them.  A true test of ones ability to lead comes from respect while leading, fruits of service, and continued admiration after the title is gone.


March 20, 2010

A life lesson learned at the movie.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 8:02 pm

Kim and I decided to go to an early show to see a new movie, thinking the crowds wouldn’t be as bad. We arrived a little early and were talking during the credits about our day. In came a young girl, followed by a man whom we thought was her father. They sat one row ahead and about two seats to the right. As they began to talk it was clear the man was her father, and their family had come on hard times.

The young girl seemed mature beyond her years. She consoled her father that all would be okay and that she loved him. As they spoke, Kim’s eyes filled with tears, thinking how fortunate this father was to have the love and support of this daughter. You see, the young girl had commented on how long it had been since her father had taken the time to relax. This young lady reminded her dad of the times past when they would go to movies together, sitting, talking, crying and laughing. These were times she missed, she knew her dad did as well, but had dedicated himself fully to correcting the ills the economy placed on their finances.

It became obvious to us they had chosen the matinée because the tickets were less expensive. They had bought a small value drink and popcorn and were sharing it happily. This young lady had saved her money from tending to have just enough to allow them to enjoy this daddy/daughter date as in times not too long ago. The father expressed gratitude for this expression of love, promising the girl they would get back to the good old times soon.

Next, entering while talking on a mobile phone, was a woman who appeared to be rushed and impatient. She took the seat right in front of us two rows down. She had a combo snack with popcorn and a drink as well. It became obvious to us she was waiting for someone, and they were to meet at the movie. This woman was “put out” that she had taken off work early to meet this person who was late. She had unkind words over the phone; then we realized she was talking to her daughter.

The mother stormed out of the theater. Kim and I remarked at how the two families were experiencing totally different lives. The mother seemed to have it all with no concern for time or money, yet she had no relationship of value with her child. On the other hand, the father, while perhaps having no surplus cash, had a deep and meaningful relationship with his daughter.

The movie started with the theater becoming dark. After about fifteen minutes this mother and her daughter came marching in through the doors. Their eyes had not adjusted yet, so they had difficulty getting to their seats. The mother missed her row and proceeded to sit next to this father and his daughter. Now they were right in front of us so we could hear the frustration in both the mother and her daughter. They had words; the daughter stated, “Mom I knew this wouldn’t work. Let’s just leave. Who cares about this stupid movie?” Shock registered on the little girl who sat next to them as she was having the time of her life and didn’t understand. The mother had taken the seat on the outside so the young girls were sitting together.

After a few minutes the mother remembered she had bought treats and looked over to see where they were. She was shocked to see the man and his daughter next to them were eating the popcorn and had the drink. She bent over and whispered to her daughter, “That’s our popcorn they are eating.” Her daughter said, “So what?” But the mother kept eyeing this family as they ate.

The young girl with the dad could see the mother next to her was talking about the popcorn and wondered if they wanted some. She leaned over to her dad and said, “Daddy, I am going to share our popcorn with these people. I don’t think they have the money to buy some for themselves.” The father responded, “Sure, ask them, but be quiet so we don’t disturb anyone.” This little girl reached over, handing her bucket to her neighbor in the next seat asking, “Do you and your mom want some popcorn?” The other girl said, “No, I am good, thanks though.” The mother angrily reached over, “Certainly we want our popcorn.” The little girl was taken back but thought to herself that they must be hungry.

The mother kept the popcorn on her seat and ate slowly. After a few minutes we could see the little girl was wondering if she would get the popcorn back, when the mother asked if she could have the drink. “Yes, certainly,” was the response of this girl as she handed it to the lady. She then bent over to her dad and said, “Daddy, we don’t really need those treats anyway; they are not having a good day.” She reached over and held her father’s hand. The lady kept the drink and the popcorn. This didn’t seem to affect the father or daughter at all.

The woman’s daughter leaned over to her mother and asked if she could go and buy some candy. The mother snapped back, “Yes, why don’t you ask the family next to us if they want something,” stating it sarcastically. “My purse is under the seat. Just hurry,” she exclaimed. The girl reached under the seat and was unable to find the purse. Boiling over, the mother leaned over her daughter and said to the young girl sitting next to them, “Did you steal my purse as well?” Shocked, the little girl clasped her father’s hand as he said, “I don’t not know what you are talking about. Could it be under the seat you had when you came in?” “What are you talking about,” this mother snapped back at the father! He kindly pointed to the row in front of them and said, “This is the seat you took originally.” The mother looked on the row in front of them and saw her popcorn and drink.

At that time Kim and I became aware of what had happened and were shocked to see her reaction as she handed back both the drink and the remaining popcorn. “I am so sorry,” she said. She was truly embarrassed, as well as humbled, by the young girl’s generosity. The lady reached for her purse and got some money out to give the girl for her misunderstanding. The young girl had no interest and suggested she was happy to share.

As Kim and I drove home, we talked about how this simple, yet profound, experience gave us perspective on how easy it is to misunderstand. This woman thought the family next to her had stolen, when, in fact, they had given the “widow’s might.” We realized how often others deserve the benefit of doubt before we place judgment.

This is just a story; one I wanted to use to illustrate the following: Have a generous heart; it will serve you well. Know as we go through life our impressions can be one hundred and eighty degrees from reality. Our greatest relationships come through selflessness and understanding. And, if we’re lucky as we do so, we will find that “What goes around, comes around.”


March 19, 2010

Built on a firm foundation

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 6:34 pm

In life we have those who we hold in high esteem, often hoping to acquire some of their character traits we feel would be beneficial in our lives.  These examples others provide are needed; they give us a target in life to shoot for.  We realize there are no limits to what we can accomplish observing others successes.  On a slightly larger scale, there are teams or groups of people who set examples as well.  They show that realization of goals or achieving what had been thought impossible is possible.  Perhaps on the largest scale, countries lead out giving hope to the world; evidencing the pursuit of happiness is in fact a reality.  I am a proud American; I feel blessed to be part of a diverse collection of citizens who want for a better world, who are setting an example.

Our country was founded with unique circumstances which have allowed us to flourish.  At the time our original citizens began settling; they came not for the riches which lay under our soil but for the opportunity for a better life.  They came knowing they could own their own land, lending to what today is our independence.  We built a civilization of entrepreneurs who knew it was okay to create autonomy from government.  The attitude of the early settlers gave life to our current optimism as we realized dreams will become our reality.

Those who settled America brought with them diversity of thought.  People of faith wanted to be independent of oppressive European religious structure and practice.  They sought protection from the Tyranny feared in organized religion; not to be separated from their God.   A society of individual liberty was their goal.  The significance of religious opportunities had nothing to do with the churches, faiths, or religions.  For them it was recognition of varied cultures and beliefs, validation through acceptance of diversity, which has led to our truly exceptional government.  Our cultural mixture, then and now, give us power as people, freeing us from oppressive leadership styles.

Early settlers had a deep inner moral compass, which has proven to assist us today in major decisions such as providing for the less fortunate both at home and throughout the world.  Our charitable attitude enables the private sector an opportunity to solve community issues.

Family units were important to early settlers as all members were needed in an agrarian society to sustain livelihood.  We live in a different lifestyle today, yet family fulfills exactly the same purpose as it did then, with less obvious physical needs.

Clearly our right to own private property has proven to be a fulfillment of the “pursuit of happiness” and protection from dominion by other countries or peoples.  Homeownership in America gives its residents wealth unequaled in other countries throughout the world.  A home builds community, lowers crime, promotes education and allows for consumer confidence.

Our ability to operate business in a free market encourages high production, creates better goods/services, and promotes private-sector solutions to societal wants, needs, and desires.

My hope is that we realize what made us who we are today and that it could be lost if we lose sight of some basic fundamentals.  Our diversity is strength; coming to consensus is not having everything our way but recognizing value in opinion.  Everyone is sincere in their feelings, as we talk through issues with an open mind we find common ground and respect for each other.  Together we are better, stronger, and smarter; apart we divide, fall, and are unable to grow.

Our strength is in our people; diverse, self-reliant, moral, charitable, hard-working, intelligent, family oriented individuals.  We don’t need government suggesting what is good for us.  In America, we have a self-reliant citizenry who act with personal responsibility.  This personal accountability in individuals maintains our limited government.  Government is needed to insure our freedom to pursue individual goals but not mandating our every move.  If we move toward government which believes it can guarantee our problems will be solved by its wisdom; we have lost why we came to the greatness we enjoy.  Power is in the people; our unique ability to solve problems without intervention from a small group of elected individuals is invaluable.  Our ability to elect new representatives guarantees supremacy for the people.

I thank the courageous pilgrims who gave us the foundation our great country is built on.  I appreciate those who founded our government with divine intervention, creating a system run “by the people for the people.”  I acknowledge our need to be active in sustaining the system given to us by our forefathers, allowing our voices to be heard.  I pray those we have elected will see that we can find solutions in our free market.  Let them be wise enough to allow us the right to find answers to needs without their mandating, oppressing, or overseeing us.  Never let them believe they can protect us from ourselves.  We must always keep before us the high standard established as the first thought of the constitution, “We the people.”  Our success as a nation will provide opportunity and compassion for all.

March 18, 2010

Let me fear for them, so I can strive to assist them in their growth; while rejoicing in their abilities!

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 3:00 pm

I am blessed to have an assignment instructing 15-16 year olds.  Teaching is something I really enjoy, particularly these kids I currently have.  Being involved with the youth gives me a real world experience that validates my impression; each generation improves on itself.

I hear and have participated in discussions where adults ask each other, “How will our children make it through these times,” or “How will our grandchildren survive what is happening to our world?”  These feelings come from those of us who are older; perhaps thinking we would not survive what our youth face today.  Drugs are easily obtained, pornography is rampant and technology has created a mindset of instant gratification.  As I witness my children maneuver through life I often think, “I am not sure I could have been that strong.”  Things were not as tough for my generation as what this current generation faces goes through my mind.

When I default to history, I realize this topic is not new to us in our current circles of conversation.  I distinctly remember my grandparents wondering, “How we as children would navigate through our modern age?”  I am sure their parents and even their grandparents all had similar concerns.  In fact, I read in history where these feelings of anxiety have plagued every generation for all known times gone by.

Observing those who I teach and the network of friends my children hang out with, I am convinced each generation is improving on itself.  Granted there is a legitimate argument, we live in times of rising moral degradation and larger scale threats but one need only realize; there is balance in nature.  This stability suggests, the greater good or capability, the more prone we are for opposition.

Today with twenty-four hour news on multiple channels, all striving to have the hottest depressing story; we have sublimely implanted in our minds, “This is our world.”  My joy is replacing this input with real world exposure to a majority who is engaged in good.  Our youth are bright, have limited fear, challenge thought, overcome difficulty and are full of compassion.

I can’t wait to see the inventions they develop, the frontiers they explore and the ills they extinguish permanently.  Let me fear for them, so I can strive to assist them in their growth; while rejoicing in their abilities!


March 17, 2010

“Am I contributing in the game of life?”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:16 pm

A dear friend of mine passed away recently, at any early age, leaving behind a young family and a beautiful wife. Our family went to his service together on Monday. We were celebrating his life and supporting his family while they deal with their loss. Our children grew up together sharing experiences on teams, playing in the neighborhood or learning in classrooms together. It was fun to reminisce our life experiences together as friends, families and couples.

As a father I was touched as I overheard my friends children talk about their dad with great pride, while knowing inside how difficult their loss will be as they grow up. I too have lost my father, thinking of him often and wishing he was still here with us.

Those who spoke at the service addressed my friend’s accomplishments and suggested he had lived a full life even though his years here on earth were cut short. These sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly; he was amazing, yet I knew this friend would have felt he had some music left in him.

I have written before about the intensity of feelings in times such as these but again was filled with emotion; as I sat witnessing the value we each hold in this world. I think it was Shakespeare who said, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”  My friend, in what was referred to as a shortened life, lived Shakespeare’s words casting his beams throughout his life; never perhaps realizing it himself. He lived a life with willingness, even an eagerness, to reach his hand out into the dark to pull someone into the light. His light was optimism, it was hope and it was believing in oneself. As he walked through life he was unaware how many lives he touched and how his mark on life will live on.

Perhaps sometimes we think to ourselves, “Am I contributing in the game of life?” The answer is: absolutely yes, we all are everyday. While doing so the next thought could be, “Are we giving our full potential in all that we do?” Often yes, maybe not and if not, realize that giving more or our all; is no more difficult than being average. You all have personal and distinct talents and abilities. Know in your heart you have, you are and you will make a difference to all you come in contact with as you are willing to give of yourself. As you give, you will receive; as you receive you will be able to give more. We all have music in us; share your tunes!


March 14, 2010

We need nothing more than our birthday suits.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:26 pm

We all came into this wonderful world wearing nothing but our birthday suits, naked. We were not only thrust into a new world but came longing for the comfort of our mother’s love. Love took us from a state of fear quickly to the reassurance and safety within the arms of our mother’s warmth, tenderness, and a sense security.

While going through life, love is exhibited and validated by endless sacrifices and understanding. It is this love we long for internally, and we find great peace within its confines. We are expected to go into the world on our own and display this love to others with whom we come in contact. Along the way we find soul mates and others that we bond with in many different types of relationships. We have spouses, significant others, children, relatives, lifelong friends, work mates, fellow citizens, and even mere acquaintances. Each of these validates an inner need for the love of companions, friends, and strangers.

Life then gets a little interesting; we sometimes get distracted by things that really don’t matter as much: possessions, position, and personalities. We are distracted from our inner desires to share with each other kindness, hope, and charity. Often we find ourselves more interested in success than assuring one in need. We may overlook what really brings content of soul by moving with the flow in a hurry for things of the world.

When we have lived the life we were brought here for, we are faced with leaving this earth the way we came into world wearing the same birthday suit, naked. Those who got distracted in life by the seemingly gratifying possessions, position, and personalities learn that these are all left behind. Those who remembered the sacred affection first exhibited by a loving mother and the true happiness one receives by possessing it never leave naked but with a love which extends into eternity. No gift is greater, no rank is higher, and no feelings are more significant.

Yes, today we are all feeling the frustration of a turning economy and are either dealing with it personally or know someone who is adversely affected. If we concentrate on what was lost we are not remembering the naked truth. This is an occasion when we need to revert to a time we all experienced coming into the world naked and the comfort of unfailing love. Not all or even a portion of what our lives have or will be, is lost with the love of our fellow beings. Now is a time to rebuild first the love we have for each other and comfort those who may be in despair. Then together we can rebuild what material things may be missing from our lives.

I need all of you whom I have called companion, child, parent, relative, friend, and stranger to know I love you and am interested in helping you get through these times. Publicly I thank my loving wife for being so incredible during these times. I thank my family and those on this site who I call friend. I thank a mother who introduced me to love and true happiness when I came to the world naked. May God bless you all.


There are friends, loved ones, and strangers praying for your involvement in their life. Act on it!

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:25 pm

We have heard the story of the taxi driver who never waited in the long cab lines to gain a new customer. This driver learned what exceptional service meant to those needing a ride. When he picked up a customer he greeted them with warmth, provided current reading materials, asked what music, if any, they were interested in, offered them a drink of water or soda, set the temperature at their comfort level, and on request suggested what would be of interest to the new guest while in the area. He put himself in their position, asking himself, “How would I want to be treated?”
When this taxi driver dropped off his passengers he would offer his card and suggest if they needed his service while visiting he would be available. This outrageous service he provided led to repeat business and referrals. When travelers would come to town they would call him. He, because of his level of service, was never in want for business.

In for profit service industries it is easy to see what motivates individuals to act: profit, recognition, and reward. Extraordinary service brings satisfaction and security to employment. Profit often inspires a higher level of service from the service provider.

In our society, many other service opportunities often go without willing participants. This is service in the “non profit” world or in the selfless service of others. The service could be working in a food bank, offering advice, painting a neighbor’s home, serving on a nonprofit board, reading a book to someone, offering a talent for free, providing assistance to someone in need, just sharing a smile with someone feeling down, etc.

So why do we sometimes have needs unmet with so many capable to lend a hand? My thought is that those who are not participating at all or on a limited basis either never learned or have forgotten the feelings they gained while serving. They may not see or understand the value of selfless service. Certainly a recipient has a keen awareness of service as a beneficiary and has personal gratification as they are being served (loved). These times of service may come to an individual at a time their life is being changed; without this service their life would have diverged on a different path.

I remember a story of an individual who was planning suicide and had gone to school to gather their belongings. This individual did not want to leave this world a burden to anyone. They went to school and cleaned out their locker so no one would have to do it after they were gone. While walking home to accomplish their goal and having a lot to carry, this person dropped part of the heavy load. An individual witnessed the burden of this person and rather than walking on, stopped to help. They picked up the articles dropped and began to walk with this person to their destination. While in route, their conversation gave the person who had contemplated suicide new hope as the stranger gave them trust and self-worth in the depth of their despair. This simple act of kindness altered the life path of one in need. The recipient of this kindness later offered much to the world as they knew the value of offering oneself to another in time of need.

Do we really understand the abundance of the world? It is taught, “It is better to give than receive.” What does this really mean? In the “for profit” world a monetary acknowledgement is given to service as discussed. What we don’t realize is the selfless service to others has far greater benefit than the “for profit” world. One gains a deep love of fellow beings, an intense understanding of life, and an ability to move through personal crisis. Talents are improved, education is gained, and an experience leading to greater capability is lived.

As a family, my wife and I have taken our children across the world to provide service to a country with people in great need. This trip, from a world’s perspective, cost a great deal of money and “was not worth it.” Many may think there are many things one would want to do before expending the time, effort, and money to do what we did. As it turns out, our lives were changed from the experience. Each of us from the adults to the youngest child. All the money in the world would not have given us the experience and education we received from our adventure. Our children know that there is a big world out there and that not all have been given the same opportunities. They have great sympathy for less privileged and a desire to help. Their understanding of how easy one can alter another in their life course has been enhanced. The knowledge that they can make a difference was born. Our children now are not afraid to offer help, ideas, or assistance. No college could give us the education we received. No talk could have inspired greater convictions. No reading could have solidified a deeper intense and sincere love for others.

Personally, I have committed hours to service in my industry through our association, in my church, and in public on a variety of commissions and boards. Many fellow workers often scoff at the hours spent and suggest if I would spend the same hours working I would be better off. Only understanding through experience can offer words of advice which differs from these comments. If I took away from my life the friendships gained, the knowledge acquired, the skills learned, or the exposure to new thoughts and ideas, I shudder with the idea of who I would be. As a result of committing myself to serving, I have received ten fold in what I have gained versus the time given. My hope is that I will find in my schedule time enough to continue to serve. My desire is to inspire others to find the same gift.

Ask yourself if you have given to someone in need and hoped the gift would make a difference. Know that whether it was time, money, advice, or just being there, your efforts redirected lives. Do we think at the time we give a gift we may someday be on the receiving end of this gift? Indeed, we are better recipients of gifts having participated in providing these gifts through service. By giving, we experience one of life’s richest blessings and are able to understand one of life’s secrets. Intense feelings of love and admiration come while serving our fellow beings. It is addictive. As we give we receive. Being the giver or the recipient of this love hits the core of our existence. We find ourselves by losing ourselves in the service of others. Our service does not have to be complete dedication as in the life of Mother Teresa. Service can be as simple as visiting a friend in need, smiling at a stranger, or acknowledging good deeds.

We are experiencing a time today that leaves many with a feeling of hopelessness. These extraordinary times are new to many, if not all, and we need the optimism of a brighter day. Our society needs those who have served to continue to serve and for those who have not yet served to offer their time and talent to improving the world around us. We need a collective energy to enlighten, teach, and give hope. There is a promise. As you give you will receive. Your life will be richly blessed and magnified ten fold. Test it, live it, and experience it. You will alter and change for good the life of someone in need and while doing so change your own life.

When we serve we experience, when we experience we teach, when we teach we learn, when we learn our live is permanently changed, and as our lives are changed we are enriched beyond our wildest dreams. May God bless us all to better understand the gift of giving, the gift of service; which is the gift of love. Volunteer where and when you can. Offer your time, your talents, and your resources. Find inner peace and gratitude for yourself and others in this critical time of need. There are friends, loved ones, and strangers praying for your involvement in their life. Act on it!


“If I could be anything in the world, what would it be?”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:23 pm

What is it in life that keeps us from achieving our dreams? Could it be fear? Perhaps. Nelson Mandela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” If it is fear keeping us from reaching our inner most desires, maybe we just need to understand the fear.

I was blessed to be the broker of an office of agents where together we achieved outrageous success. We operated with a volume of business which gave us the distinction of being number one in our state—while at the same time enjoying the status of ranking number four in the country. Being from a small state with fewer residents than our competitors, this ranking was miraculous. We often had individual agents competing as top agents in the nation. In one year, we produced the number one agent in the nation and in another year, the top agent internationally. Our office had the honor of having more “sales agents of the year” than any other office—and today I know of no office that has come close.

So what did we do different? Nelson Mandela also said, “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” We had among us individuals who overcame the perceived roadblocks by blasting through them with confidence. These people are average just as we are; yet, they learned it was okay to succeed. As I would visit with agents one-on-one, I would challenge them to find anything extraordinary in a skill set of our highest producers that they themselves did not possess. Not once in my career did I have anyone come to me with a reason they were inferior. I would say, “I do not want you doing exactly what they are doing because you have a different skill set. Rather let them be an example that you can do it and that it is okay.” Then the fun began. The higher producers were being pushed by the newly liberated up-and-comers to do even more. We had an attitude of knowing we were powerful beyond measure—each of us.

Take a minute and sit back and ask yourself, “If I could be anything in the world, what would it be?” Know deep in your soul, the only thing preventing you from reaching your dream is the fear of knowing “you can do it!” Release yourself from the fear and succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Know that there is probably someone out there somewhere who is living your dream. This person is no different from you; except they accepted the fact “it is okay to succeed’”. They are not afraid of their power.

Do this in anything you want in your life. What will amaze you is that you will find yourself surrounded by others who witness what you are doing and catch on. As they follow your lead you will find yourself liberated to do even more. Before long there will be a small army of individuals shining light on each other changing lives as you go. The person inside you is someone we all need exposed to greatness, don’t be afraid!


Make the decision, make it with confidence, and the world will be yours.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:23 pm

Does the simple act of making a decision prevent you from reaching your highest heights or living the life you desire? I was attending a conference yesterday; the keynote speaker said “as a new manager I almost didn’t hire an individual as they were more qualified and smarter”. His fear was that if he hired this person he would be replaced as manager. Thinking to himself he concluded “leaders surround themselves with people who are more talented knowing their own limitations”. After debating what to do internally, he hired this person, believing in himself and overcoming his fear. This proved to be a life changing event for this speaker as this new employee not only helped take the company to new heights but became a lifelong friend. What this speaker achieved in life is directly related to a simple decision that day. These two individuals went on to become leaders of a world-class operation, won international awards, and have entertained millions.

What if he had listened to his fear by not hiring this person (making the wrong decision)? One could argue his management position would be secure by not allowing anyone into the company who was better, brighter, or more talented. Wisdom however, suggests he would only be manager for a short time as the company would replace him. Maybe if the entire company thought as he did the company would close from lack of leadership?

We take a course in life directed by what seem at the time to be simple decisions. At the moment our path may only appear to be altered slightly but over a lifetime we find ourselves in a different place. Know deep within your soul you have a compass which will express itself to greatness if not overcome by unworthy fears of decisions. Obstacles will be conquered, abilities expressed, and your wildest dreams met with confidence as you rely on your heart. Make the decision, make it with confidence, and the world will be yours.


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