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Falcon Lair

Things I Have Learned: Ignore Compliments from Car Dealers and Real Estate Agents

In The Art of Happiness, Howard Cutler had the opportunity to ask the Dalai Lama questions on life, many of which we seek to have answered. One of the most memorable statements in this book, was the Dalai Lama’s suggestion that most people assume they know how life works.

Things I Have LearnedLiving life is like a skill, the longer you’ve lived the better you become. Hopefully. Here is what I’ve learned (thank you Esquire magazine for inventing the concept of this list).

Never erase a cell-phone entry – Doug Horton, a clergyman obsessed with worldwide religious unity, once wrote, “when seeking revenge, dig two graves. One for yourself.” If you think that you are getting back at your now ex-bff by deleting their number from your phone, think again. You’re actually more afraid you’re gonna call it or forbid, text drunk. So much worse is changing your number. Do yourself a great, big favor, save the money, keep your number. Simply assign a silent ring to it. Three months from now, pat yourself on the back for having the willpower to not giving in to your ego.

Ignore compliments from car dealers and real estate agents – when people want something they are nice, and smooth talking salespeople can be awfully nice, especially when they work on commission. There are no favors, discounts, “just for yous,” or other special treatments when it comes to buying a house or a car. You either have the money or you don’t. It helps when you know exactly what you want. The ball is in your court here. If you’re not getting what you want, walk away. They’ll follow. It is perfectly acceptable however, for you to compliment car dealers and realtors on how right they were about you.

Get estimates in writing – critical, only if you hate throwing money away. Everyone makes mistakes and during these especially difficult economic times, it is quite easy for a vendor/contractor to accidentally quote lower than (s)he should simply to get the business. Get it in writing before beginning work. And if you are the vendor/contractor, never, ever begin work until you have gotten something in writing and any necessary deposit payments have cleared the bank–and the funds are in your account. This is business 101.

Smile when entering a crowded room – tap into the insatiable mindset of human curiosity by giving them something to think about. A smile conveys a wide range of emotions and satisfaction is infinitely more desirous than irritation. Be that person people wonder about. The one who’s always smiling. The reward is always a new contact be it business or pleasure. And everyone loves doing business with someone who smiles.

E-mails can be kept forever – never send someone an email in a fit of rage. Ever. As tempting as it may seem to tell them off, do so in a Word document instead. Date it, save it and put it in a folder called “WhatIHaveLearned.” The following day, expect tremendous relief for not having sent a wrath-induced message. Guaranteed. And FYI: delete simply means from your computer. It does not mean expunge from the mail server. Lawsuits have been won based on emails.

A sure-fire way to be disappointed is to have expectations. E.g.: asking, how do I look? – be careful what you ask for. Seeking a pat on the back can easily become a swift kick in the ass and a surreptitious attempt at seeking outside approval is an attempt fraught with immanent displeasure. Compliments are earned and unless you are buying a house or a car, expect none. If you deserve it, you will get it — sincerely.

Share a hotel room only with someone you, “are having” or “intend to have” sex with – forget about saving money, you’re not. It simply is not worth it. The potential lost sleep alone is incentive enough. Besides, no one should subject themselves intentionally to anyone’s bad habits in a confined space for the sake of saving money. Do yourself a favor, cut something else out of your budget. Get your own room.

In 20 years, you will forget why you said “no” and regret that you didn’t say “yes.” – too bad the saying “you only live once” has become so cliche. Here’s something else that has become cliche, “if money were no object what would you be doing?” Grant yourself the opportunity to have adventures, make stories, live your own life. Don’t fall prey to “safe harbor syndrome.” Complacency can be a killer and no one truly wants to die of boredom. Want to write a novel? Pick up a pen and start. Write your own “Things I Have Learned” list instead of reading mine.

Listen to your intuition. It has [insert age here – as long as it is 30 and above] years of experience – your initial reaction is usually right. Once you start second guessing yourself, you fall into the scenario of self doubt. If you’ve been paying attention for the past 30 or more years, rest assured that your emotions are sufficiently trained. Use it as a guide to serve your decision making process. A gut reaction is your intuition talking. Listen to it.

K.M.S (Keep Mouth Shut) – when it comes to negotiation, saying less could actually be more efficient. Imagine changing a convinced buyer’s mind after you volunteered some additional information? Unless someone asks you specifically, just keep your mouth shut. If you did it, fess up. If you didn’t, shut up. Showing your ignorance by blurting out that you’re an imbecile will only make you have to apologize later. If you really feel that way, then don’t apologize. And there is too, such a thing as a dumb question, especially when uttered out of an unprepared mouth.

  • I don’t know about you, Chaeya but I agree with Stefan. The whole hotel room thing is just weird.

    Amy Segel

    3:55 pm

  • “Share a hotel room only with someone you, “are having” or “intend to have” sex with” — WTHeckness is thisness? But then, I was never much for rules.


    3:26 am

  • Things that I have learned.

    *Always be kind and respectful. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’, and mean it. People will respect you more if you do.

    *If you’re sending out business letters. check your spelling and that you have used the right words. If their are problems with you’re use of language, it make you looks like you dont care.


    8:33 am

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