The Violent Life

Today, I made a follow-up call to one of my mortgage companies, who confirmed some bad news to me.  I guess relatively, it’s not bad news at all, it’s just information.  Time is quickly running out for HARP refinancing, and my primary mortgage company extended me a really nice offer that could save me a couple hundred a month in payments.  However, when I called to redeem that offer, I was deemed ineligible because my secondary mortgage holder wasn’t on the “approved list”.  So I called the secondary company today and they confirmed that they were not participating in that program.

So what did I do then? Nothing.  I politely thanked the woman and ended the call.  I didn’t rant at her.  I didn’t punch a wall or cry and yell.  I didn’t curse the politicians or banks.  And I didn’t start scheming.  I just kept driving home.  Nothing had changed.  I wasn’t any worse off than I was before I started this re-fi process.  As I drove, I thought of a moment a couple days ago where I forgot to provide my rewards card at a costly restaurant and missed a decent amount of reward points.  Again, I didn’t get angry.  I didn’t insist on having the staff accommodate my mistake.  I shrugged and moved on.

Some people may hear these stories and say “Look at what you’re missing out on!” or “You’re ripping yourself off!”  And that’s what I’m trying to explain.  There’s a certain segment of the population that believes life is difficult and unfair – a battle that must be fought in order to succeed.  They’ve come up with motivational sayings like “Seize the day!” and “Grab life by the throat!”  They implore you to “take what’s yours” and “settle for nothing less”.  Such violent, aggressive images – why would life freely offer anything to them when they are constantly attacking it and taking whatever they can?

However, I feel I am a model case of success caused by working in harmony with life instead of fighting it every step of the way.  When opportunities are presented to me, I take them if I can, and if I miss them, there will always be another in the future.  If you would scoff and say I’m too passive to be successful, what’s your measure of success?  I’m very sure it’s not the same as mine.  If I had to get up each day and mentally plan an attack on everyone that’s out to take something that I might feel is rightfully mine, I would be miserable.  And I’m guessing those that do this are miserable, they just don’t know any differently.

I’m not making an excuse for laziness and total passivity.  You have to be engaged enough to act on your good fortune, and that can mean working and sometimes working hard.  Further, you have to be engaged enough to recognize your good fortune and give thanks for it.  Finally, you have to have the attitude that you are losing nothing.

So I wasn’t able to get a couple hundred off my mortgage payment.  I didn’t lose that offer; it was never mine to begin with.  For me to be upset about something that wasn’t mine is selfish and dwelling on it would make me lose focus on the real facts that I am getting by without that change.  I should be very grateful that is the case, with so many others that are not as fortunate. 

In summary, as cliché as it is, you need to focus on what you have been given and not what you feel you have been denied.

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