The Good Life in Austin Texas

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Dear Diary, My Passion is for Living...and Returning the Favor!

The world keeps turning round and round...Many years ago when I worked in the construction industry, I had a laborer on my crew who used to tell me, "Everyday, when I wake up the first thought in my mind is "thank you for another day" followed by "Damn, now I gotta go to work"! I always thought that was a funny mix of gratitude and resentment but the first part stuck with me and over the years I eventually adopted the same attitude. Each morning when I wake my first thoughts are "thank you for this day" followed by a list of the people and things for which I am grateful. No matter what is going on personally or with the universe at large, I start my day with the attitude that everything is as cool as can be in a peaceful world. I did not come to this way of thinking over night but as part of a natural process of growth. I am a person who still thinks that people are basically good and believe that hatred, greed, prejudice and a host of other human defects are learned from those around us as we grow up. Yes, yes...I am not naive and I know that mental illness and just plain bad genes may play a role but again, it's not the majority. Everyone is affected by their own circumstances but again, the good qualities are there and they are either nurtured or crushed by our own life experiences.

I believe that compassion is something that is to some degree, inherent in just about everyone and it's there from childhood. When our son was younger, he would get very upset when we would pass a homeless panhandler on the street. He always wanted to know why they were out there and what we could do to help. In February, 2003 when the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed entering the atmosphere over Texas, we watched in shock as it played out over the news. Our daughter came downstairs and when told of the disaster, her first words were, "We need to pray for the Astronauts and their families. This was from a little girl, ten years old and we were just blown away. I mean, we try to follow the golden rule and do our best to be a decent example but the intensity of these feelings from our children was more than something they picked up from us. I see and hear about this kind of compassion from people every day but that never makes the "NEWS" does it?

Compassion is something that is taught and revered in every culture and religious tradition and like gravity is a universal truth. Christianity has the story of The Good Samaritan and The Golden Rule. Buddha's teachings reveal that compassion is at the heart of all of the religious principles and that it enlightenment comes from relieving the suffering of all living beings everywhere. Hindu's teach that all life is considered sacred, human life is deemed the highest form of earthly existence and compassion is one of the three main virtues. In both the Jewish and Muslim traditions the act of compassion for our fellow man is expressed as a empathy caring and "Do to others as you would have done to you". Compassion is revealed as a profound human emotion and expresses itself in altruism and all of us are on the road to Shambala.

I know this is beginning to sound way too optimistic and let me assure you that I am no Pollyanna (though some of my friends might disagree) brimming with a mindlessly optimistic attitude about anything that comes along. The "up with people" types grind on my nerves too and before we go any further, you might want to watch this video: Okay, all kidding aside now, I have been the recipient of some harsh treatment over the years. Lies, deception and betrayal from others in business, friendships and even my own family. At times I have let these setbacks dominate my attitude until I finally learned that my "attitude" is the only thing over which I have any control. One thing I FINALLY learned is that when I am helping others, I am outside myself and not consumed with my own "so-called problems". People tell me all the time that they want to help out in some way but never have the time, do not know where to start or that there is so much need, it seems overwhelming. I agree and with over thirty million people in our own country living at or below the poverty line, it seems hopeless. I cannot save the world so I do one small thing when I have the time and the funny thing is, giving back is addictive in a way because you begin to make time to help and you get something back and it before you know it, it is a habit! Find something you care about and make a small effort and you will eventually discover what works for you.

I am just one of those people who was fortunate enough to realize how privileged I have been and I am grateful. I express my gratitude by helping out now and then and jump on board when I am offered the chance to Come on up for the rising, Come on up, lay your hands in mine. When my wife and I were first talking about marriage she kept telling me "We are going to have a great life together" and though we have had some ups and downs, it's been true and these days we sometimes have to remind each other "We are having a great life together". It's wonderfully accurate and I can see clearly and remember that I need to return the favor.

Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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118 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • February 24 2009 11:13PM

Comments

Wonderful...compassion is the very essense of understanding and acceptance. Gratitude comes to mind and of course your giving back. You do a wonderful job of giving back to the world Russell. :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago

Russell, such a good post----and fits so well with my thinking as well:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle, WA, Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections.com) about 1 year ago

Russell,  I'm cracking up at that video.  :)  Just had to share it on Facebook.  LOL

Life is amazing - Compassion is great, Betrayal is saddening.  But sounds like you make the best of it.  :)  Thanks for being awesome.

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, Realtor ® Spring/Woodlands, TX Real Estate (Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors ®) about 1 year ago

Hi Sally Thank you so much, this was a real challenge because i do feel gratitude and passionately care about others. I just did not want to come off as pious or "goody two shoes" which of course, I am neither!

Charles Thank you, I know that there are many of us who share the same sense of compassion and I appreciate thts in you and many others whom I have met here!

Stephanie it's so good to hear from you! I intentionally included that video because I need to off set the sometimes overly serious nature of trying to write about the subject of compassion! Sometimes I even get on my own nerves?!?! And yes, most days, my sense of thankfulness far outweighs and thoughts of loss or ill treatment!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Hi Russell, I don't normally read blogs, but yours is wonderful, and the video is going to be forwarded to my extremely annoyingly happy spouse! Your cuz, Laura
Posted by Laura Lewis Morgan about 1 year ago

Hello Russell-This is such a marvelous post and truly beautiful. I wrote a post this morning on something similiar but YOURS is so good. I don't know you other than reading your posts but I can tell you are very genuine person and I like genuine people. I hate phonies and those that put on airs.I absolutely love that video. Too funny! My sincere best wishes to you with the contest and YOU are a winner regardless of the outcome results. Have a blessed and happy week. Love to pic of you and the world. Pretty cool!!! :-)

Posted by Sharon Lee (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 1 year ago

Emmett Fox readings have been along those same lines today and this past week..I share your belief system and try to put my best foot forward and be happy, joyeous, and free, even when it is "My turn in the barrel."

Posted by Buster Spillar about 1 year ago

Russell - I love the pic and the video:)  You are a wonderful man, Charlie Brown.  By the way, I dove into the BBQ sauce and it was outstanding!

Posted by Jason Sardi, Pretty Fly for an Allentown Guy (None needed;)) about 1 year ago

Russell as a person who knows you, I find it interesting that you realize the difference between optimism and mindless blather. The video is priceless and hilarious and you don't have to worry about being overly cheerful because you are first and foremost a realist. Thanks for an inspiring post!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell - what a great post you have written about your passion, and compassion. You are so right, that sometimes when someone is compassionate, that is not what makes the news. It is a gift that you give back, and I am sure it is greatly appreciated. The positive aspect you definitely come through. Excellent post!

Posted by Sharon Paxson Newport Beach Real Estate (Prudential California Realty, DRE License 01501912) about 1 year ago

ROFL at your Cousin.  :0) 

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, Realtor ® Spring/Woodlands, TX Real Estate (Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors ®) about 1 year ago

Laura Hello cousin, thanks for dropping by and I am laughing so hard at your remark about your husband! he is a great guy and we all need to get together soon!

Sharon Thank you so much, I think there are so many people who believe this and it's why we do have so many who care about what happens. As I previously said, I included the video because I am certainly no saint and it's provides a nice counter point to an otherwise serious subject!

Buster well said my friend, as you may know I am also a person who reads Emmett Fox on a daily basis and he is an excellent inspiration for doing the next right thing!

Jason  my friend, it is so good to see you here, thanks for the compliment, both images reflect the dichotomy of where I am at any given time. AND...I am so glad you enjoyed the BBQ sauce, it's a small repayment for teaching me how to link all these songs in my posts! Hope you enjoyed some of my current playlist!!

Scott it's true, you have seen me in all states of mind and know that I am sometimes  an "optimistic cynic" which is too funny but it certainly applies. Thanks for dropping in today!

Sharon I agree that compassion is a gift that gives back and that is a wonderful observation. It is one of the thing I was trying to express when talking about this subject and our passions. Thanks again for commenting and adding to the discussion!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Stephanie Both she and her sister are incredibly bright and very funny. This one has a very dry sense of humor that is hilarious and her husband is a really great guy too! We enjoy their company because the conversation is always lively and there is plenty of laughter too! You would fit in well with us!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell,

AvenueOne Properties is so lucky to have you. You keep things moving along in a positive light and are always so ready to help others. What a blessing and how fortunate for your clients!

Carla Umlauf-Cheesar, REALTOR®, ABR

AvenueOne Properties Inc. aveone.com

901 W 9th -  Suite 110 - Austin, TX 78703

m 512-567-1478   f 512-472-4722

 

Posted by Carla Umlauf-Cheesar about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  I'm with you on every aspect of this post--like you said, it mirrors mine and that's why we connected here--we ARE like-minded and giving back to the community and the world is SO very important to us both.  BTW--I LOVE your photo and love your passion for life--from the moment you get out of bed...

GREAT entry and best of luck in this contest, my friend!

Debe in Charlotte NC

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago
Russell, Your posts are always interesting and often compelling. This is so true and basic. Great combination of uplifting and humor! Terri
Posted by Terri Moore (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, you write with humor and a beautiful sentiment. We should all be grateful to live another day and although life has it's ups and downs, just like real estate, it goes up more than down. Being grateful and maintaining a positive attitude puts an upwardly mobile spin on life. Everyday is a new opportunity. Enjoy it.

Posted by Robin Scott - Broker CRS ABR SRS Austin Texas REALTOR® (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) about 1 year ago

Carla Thank you for saying that because I feel privileged to be a partner at AvenueOne properties! I do try to keep moving forward no matter what the situation is in our market and you are right that I am enthusiastic about giving our clients the best service possible!

Debe I thoroughly enjoyed your recent post too and we are surely cut from the same cloth in respect to our families, our business and our community!

Terri I always try and throw in some humor especially to offset anything that gets serious or overly "preachy"! Of course you already knew that!

Hi Robin I love your attitude too, it takes something extra to weather the ups and downs in our business and in the world in general. I hope the coming months bring you everything you have worked for and thanks again for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
My dear Russell: A sense of humor and a dedication to making the world better one little bit at a time are a rare combination. Keep up the good work. My grandmother Brown used to say a little prayer and quote the Bible every morning in bed before her feet touched the floor, "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Words to live by! You do it well. Merry
Posted by merriet lewis about 1 year ago
SHAZZAM!! and I do mean that in the best way
Posted by Liz King about 1 year ago

Russell:  This is truly a great reflection of you.  The kind of person that will get up from whatever has happened, and give to others.  Wish there were more people like you in the world!

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!
Clever photo!  This post is so you...I want to thank you for the message.  I think all too often we don't recognize the oppportunity to help someone.  We are always thinking it has to be big. It doesn't.  Letting a car in ahead of you, complimenting someone on how they look or something they did, picking up a piece of trash or a branch off of a walkway.  Just think if we all did one of these types of things once a day!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Merriet great seeing you here (your sister left a funny comment earlier). Like your grandmother Brown, I start each day with a little meditation and it's just helps focus and make my day better, no matter what comes my way! Thank you so much for dropping by!

Liz Knowing you, I do indeed and thanks for that "KUDO"

Chris Ann Reading your comment and being familiar with your blog, I have to say you are the same way and we are all fortunate to know each other

Hi Paula Thanks, I had fun with the picture (and the crazy video!?!?!) I appreciate your comment and expanding on the idea of doing little things to help. You have such a great sense of compassion and it shows up in your writing and your every day life! have a good week!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Woo Hoo! This is so you and I love that picture! I think we can all do a little something every day to help make the world a better place! BTW, that video is so funny and you might want to consider getting a prescription! Just kidding, keep your great attitude (and your gratitude)!
Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago
Hi Russell, just got to the office and heard you had a new post. What a nice way to start the day. It's not always easy to be positive but you manage, most of the time, to start each day with a good attitude and a goal of making things happen, no matter the cuircumstances. And the best part is that your sense of humor and realistic outlook are always available! Fun post and that video...very funny!
Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

I'm with you Russell, giving back is as good as it gets. Thanks for the great post!

Later in the rain~Deb

Posted by Brooks Prime Properties, LLC about 1 year ago

Hi Russell  It will come as no surprise to you ..again and again another great one !!  You just have th knack for pulling these beautiful post together. This one was a beauty.  It is no surprise to me that you hold the world on the tip of your finger....you are the king!!

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago
I'm an "up with people" type of person, so I guess I "grind on your nerves." LOL
Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) about 1 year ago
Russell, I left an earlier comment and wanted to add that giving back to the community is one of the best forms of gratitude. You give back all the time and congratulations on your recent award from the Blood Center here in Austin, 25 Gallons is an awesome achievement!
Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago
What a funny and clever post. That video is just hilarious and though there are certainly some people in the world who need that medication, it does not include you! Keep up the good work!
Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Allysoun The picture was fun and that video and thank goodness I am not that bubbly or effervescent!

Jeannette I have to agree that it is not always easy to stay positive but for me the key is to get over it, take care of business and move on. Like I said when helping out, I am not thinking about myself!

Deb Thanks so much for dropping by, I sometimes say that my volunteer work is payment on my karmic debt but someone I really respect said I did that long ago. Now days it's all gravy!?!?!

June I really want to thank you, I always enjoy reading your posts too and we are certainly on the same page when it comes to gratitude. That picture was funny because I sometimes feel like the world is spinning around on my finger and it's a good feeling. I am too easy going to be "KING" anyway! Have a good week my friend!

Russel You are so funny and truth be told I am kind of like that enough of the time that it does friend on others around me too!

Jeannette I appreciate that. I first started donating platelets to get over my fear of needles and now, 25 gallons later...I almost have it licked!

Anne I could not stop laughing at that video either and as most people who really know me are aware , I am positive but not "Russell of Sunnybrook Farms". Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell - So now you're a photoshopping expect too....LOL  Very cool pic...Russ-ell...did you make this!?!  The video...how pathetic, I'm so glad Ms Chippy-Whippy finally got down and boring.  Hummph, good for her husband!!!

OK - humor aside, compassion is the one thing if we lose as a society, will be our demise.  Thank God for people like you and so many others I've met in the Rain who help foster selfless acts of paying it forward.  Who would have thought a social networking group could promote such positive attitudes.   WOW, it's all good.  Best of luck in this competition, it's going to be a tough one!!!!

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

CONGRATULATIONS on your win Russell!  Of all of the writings that, as you said, mirror myself, I'm so proud that you won!  WELL DONE my friend! 

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Hey there, did you know that you won this contest? Way to go and congratulations!!!!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Congrats Russell !  Fabulous post and a very deserving winner !!!

... love the video clip !! LOL

Great job !

Posted by Sheldon Neal ~ That British Agent ~ Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 1 year ago
Geez! You sure did get sappy this week! Of course you put life all into perspective-especially during these times when seems like all we can think about sometimes is ourselves and you are so right that we need to remember and do for others-one little bit at a time. If all I can do is be nice to someone new each day, especially when I don't feel like it, then I have accomplished something that day. Thanks Russell for setting such a good example for us all!
Posted by Liz Newell, AvenueOne Properties about 1 year ago
Hey Russell, Congrats! I'm with you on all of it. All of the religions teach compassion. If we just remembered that we'd be alright!
Posted by Marian Gregor ~ Ann Arbor area Real Estate ~ (Keller Williams) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell -- what a moving story of your life.  Thank you for taking the time to share.  This topic just goes to show, there there are truly great people in this profession!

Posted by Chris Olsen Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 1 year ago

                 Hi Russell

Just  saw this..win....congratulations,,,I knew it ...it is such a great post and well deserved first.  See What happens when you hold the world on the tip of your finger......love it.....now  can I have your autograph?

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-Just wanted to stop in to say CONGRATS ON THE WELL DESERVED WIN WAY TO GO RUSSELL!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS TRULY MAGNIFICENT

Posted by Sharon Lee (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 1 year ago

Ooopps - just a little late as usual, congrats on a very nice win....sweet :-)

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

Congratulations on this wonderful acknowledgment of your writing about your passion and compassion.  I think one of the points I thought was most important was to get outside ourselves.  I have been so amazed by the seemingly small things I have volunteered to do and how it has made a much bigger impact on the lives of others than I ever imagined! 

Posted by Joan Whitebook Southern New Hampshire about 1 year ago

Congratulations Russell.....I am so glad you won as you really do have a great attitude, and I have always loved how you give to your community.  Your video is pretty frunny for sure.  Wouldn't that be sad if that was the norm....oh my :)  Anyway Congratulations.......

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) about 1 year ago

Very nice Russell! Congratulations are in order, but a BIG THANK YOU is sent your way, for sharing this so beautifully today!

Posted by Mara Hawks, REALTOR®, Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) about 1 year ago
Russell, Congratulations on your wonderful post. Well deserved!
Posted by Judy Greenberg- Coldwell Banker- Buffalo Grove- Long Grove Homes for Sale (Coldwell Banker Buffalo Grove- 350 Half Day Road ) about 1 year ago
Hi Russell, Congratulations! This post is wonderfully written. Such a great message about compassion, and giving back. I love the way kids get it, and then sometimes lose it along the way. Thank you so much for your post! The world is a better place because of people like you.
Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR ®, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty) about 1 year ago

Howdy there Russell, my friend

Congrats Russell

You sure did do a real fine post, just like you always do.

Home Inspector

Posted by Discover and Explore New Hampshire with Dale Baker (Baker Home Energy Audit & Commercial Properties Inspections ) about 1 year ago
Russell, your "attitude of gratitude" is another reason we love you at AvenueOne! Great post and loved the photo! Susie
Posted by Susanne Lee (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell - CONGRATS ON WINNING!!!! This was an amazing post!

Posted by Emily Lowe - Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty) about 1 year ago

Congratulations Russell on a fine post and the WINNER of the passion contest!!

Posted by Gary Woltal - Assoc. Broker REALTOR® SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Passion is as passion does!

HA HA HA

You've got the IT factor -- that's for sure!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs Principal Broker/Owner EBA Portland LLC | www.EBAPortland.com | (Exclusive Buyers' Agent for the Portland Metro Area) about 1 year ago

Congratulations on your win.  Loved the post and loved the topic and love your optimism.  There's always loads to be thankful for on a daily basis.  I too start and end my day with a gratitude list.  Keep up the good work!

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern, Realtor Suffern, Rockland County NY (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 1 year ago

I was not expecting an "Up With People" mention... by the way... be on the lookout for a documentary... a friend tells me we're all going to have the inside scoop (that is, if they find funding.)

That aside- it's quite true... we may think that others around us control our mood or temperament... it's nice to know we are the ones behind the wheel on that.

Posted by Chuck Willman, Arizona Realtor® 480.292.0600 (Gentry Realty) about 1 year ago

Congrats on the poat!  I love the positive attitude and that you can see you have truly been blessed.  I enjoyed the read.

Posted by Cindy Crutcher Real Estate Broker Exit Realty Crutcher Lawrenceburg Ky (Lawrenceburg KY Foreclosures & Government Owned Properties) about 1 year ago

Marti did a great job wit your banner Russel! Congrats on the feature! You are a passionate man indeed! :)

Posted by Castellum Realty - Lancaster real estate - homes for sale in lancaster county PA (---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors---) about 1 year ago

Awesome, Russell!  We need to thank God every day for the breath in our lungs! 

Posted by JB Brookman- Photographer & Writer JB Brookman Photography/Hollywood Icon M (JB Brookman Photography/Hollywood Icon Magazine) about 1 year ago

Russell,

What a wonderful post! A great combination of a serious thought provoking topic with the right amount of humor. Loved the video but loved your message. I'm grateful to be able to read your posts. Congratulations on winning...well deserved!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) about 1 year ago

Compassion is a part of our passion for Short Sales...sooo may sad stories that we try to have as happy an ending as possible...thank you.

Posted by Sally & David Hanson WI Realtors Res.\Comm\Short Sale\CDPE\ABR\e-Pro (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) about 1 year ago

Russell, Congratulations . I have read many of your posts and learned a lot.

Posted by GITA BANTWAL, REALTOR BUCKS COUNTY, PA HOMES (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 1 year ago

Russell, first of all that video was hysterical!  Secondly, I think you are an amazing man and I only wish I could live up to your optimism and good cheer.  I need at least 2 cups of tea before I am grateful to be alive in the morning.  Seriously.  I have never been grateful to wake up and face a new day.  Once I'm up and moving, my spirit improves drastically and by the time I leave the gym, it's time to take that new downer medication!  This is a great post, by a great man. xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 1 year ago

Good Morning All!

Wow!

I logged in this morning and saw this and it's like waking up to Christmas in February!!! All of the entries were so well crafted and passionately written so I am flattered to have been chosen. I will start replying to these comments now and want to thank everyone for the kudos. I may need to take some of that "despondex" because I am almost irritatingly happy! This is such a great community Thanks!!!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Gail I knew you would like that! I have been experimenting and the truth is that we have an in-house graphics and marketing person Rick Landwehr who is an incredible talent (and also extremely tolerant) and he can create anything I happen to dream up! Thanks for the Kudos, the contest has so many good entries!

Debe Thanks so much, I logged on this morning and just found out! What an incredible honor! As a fan of your blog, it's very flattering to have your compliment and we are both certainly of the same mind on so many issues about gratitude AND compassion!

Mattie This is funny, because I just found out when I logged on early this morning! What a nice surprise, like Christmas in February!

Hi Sheldon Thank you! I have just recently started seeing your posts and need to stop by and read more! We have a lot in common and like you, the sound of children's laughter get's me laughing too!

Liz You are making me laugh because you know me so well and realize that as for some people this would appear "sappy". I figured that too and it's the reason I was compelled to use the video about solving the dilemma of "overly cheerful" nitwits...There, is that better? LOL Thanks so much for dropping by!

Marian I agree and it's probably the most important thing for me too. I need to remember each day before I start!

Chris Thank you, I think it's one of the best things about Active Rain and reading over all of the outstanding entries in this contest it's obvious there are many wonderful people here!

June Thank you so much my friend, you are making me blush and you know you are one of the great folks I first met when I arrived! Thanks for your compliment and your friendship!

Sharon Thanks, there is an incredible amount of inspiration in all of the entries. I have managed to get through about half and plan to read the rest this weekend!

Hi Gail WOW! That's a woo-hoo worthy of our friend Sally Cheesman!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

 Joan Thank you and I completely agree that when we are doing something for someone else we manage to get outside of ourselves and I have to tell you that my volunteer work started with just a little and then grew. Like the comment from Paula Swayne a little something every day makes a difference!

Kathy Thanks so much, that means a lot coming from you! I do enjoy giving back but sometimes need to throw in some irreverent humor so that people don't get the wrong idea. I am no saint but I just try to balance my life by giving back!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Mara You are welcome and Thank You too! I need to check out your blog because u see you commenting at some of my favorites!

Judy I appreciate that and thank you for stopping by!

Mary Thanks, by coincidence, I read your post on passion yesterday and thoroughly enjoy every bit! I even left a song clip in my comment! have a good week!

Dale Hello my friend, Thank you! I have to tell you that I enjoyed your post about passion and was completely impressed with your expertise at your sport! I will be by your blog later today to see what's new!

Susie Thank you and that's a great way of putting it, "attitude of gratitude"!

Emily Thank you to my favorite Nashville Blogger (and Realtor) Have a great week my friend!

Gary Thank you so much, as a fan of your incredibly insightful and often compassionate blog, I am flattered by your compliment. To tell the truth, I am very honored to have won!

Carla Ha HA!!! And thank you because that is so true! I think you must have the IT factor too!

Leah Thanks so much and I have to tell you that I am sometimes an "optimistic cynic" so when I think of the things for which I am grateful, it helps chase away the cynicism!

 Chuck your comment about the "Up with People" thing is making me laugh out loud! I guess that's the epitome of the mindless cheerfulness that needs to be medicated...very funny! Thanks for dropping by...I need to check out your blog!

CyndiyThank you, the funny thing is that I am sometimes a lot more cynical so these are some of the things that help me stay on the light side of the street...most of the time!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, First of all a huge congratulations!  What I loved most about this post is your honestly.  Being grateful should be a part of our daily thoughts.  It is so easy to get caught up in the drama.  I can tell you have two feet solidly on the ground and a sense of humor too!

Posted by Lake Norman Real Estate ~ Diane Aurit (LKN Realty, LLC) about 1 year ago
Ha Ha Ha! I saw this yesterday evening but thought you would enjoy the surprise so I kept quiet! Congratulations, there were so many awesome posts and you should be thrilled!
Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

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Regards
The Editor

Posted by The Editor about 1 year ago

Russell, I think you really found your heart in this one... great piece.

Posted by Rell about 1 year ago

Nathan & Everard Thank you guys. I really appreciate that coming from y'all! BTW, marti garaughty - The Blog Artist is a genius and an accomplished painter to boot! He really did a great job on my blog and I have to say he also one of the most passionate people I know!

JB Thank you, we do indeed!

Dorie Thank you, I tried to be careful here because I am passionate about giving back but have to balance it with the reality that only so much can be achieved. I try not to be too serious because that can be a irritating as the over perky people in the video LOL! Funny thing is that helping out is its own reward

Sally & Davis That has to be something that is foremost in your mind. The folks you are assisting truly need all the help they can get!

Gita I appreciate that and I have also subscribed to your blog and enjoy your posts!

Susan, Susan! I am laughing because my wife is NOT a morning person either! We had been married about 2 months and at the time only had one car. Most mornings I would take her to school or her Hospital rotation on my way to work and driving in I would be jabbering like a fool! After a few days of this, she reached over and took my hand and said, "Baby, I love you more than anything in the world but when it's this early, I NEED you to be QUIET". I got the message and when our daughter was born (she is like me) I finally had someone to act silly with in the mornings!

I like the fact that it only takes awhile before you are going full throttle and we are certainly cut from the same cloth!  Have a good day my friend!

Diane Thank you so much for your comment! I enjoyed your passionate post so much and frankly it was one of the most heartfelt. I have already subscribed to your blog and look forward to more in the future!

Mattie That is so funny, thanks for keeping it a surprise!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Dear Russell,

This is your best blog yet IMHO. You really out did your self. You are right an "attitude of gratitude" is what we should all have. I think Zig Ziglar said that. Each day we live is a gift and not to be wasted.  Kudos to you for a great and inspirational blog and more importantly thanks for a life well lived. You are setting a great example for your kids and those around you. Your wife is a lucky woman. Keep smiling "Featured Man"!!

Betina

Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago
Russell, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I see we agree on a lot of things. Love how you put it all together here in this post. You have a great attitude about life.
Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick - Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes - Horse Farms (Lizette Realty - Lexington KY - Richmond KY) about 1 year ago
Russell, Congratulations - I enjoyed your post - it coincides with the things I know to be true. There is one difference - my attitude on rising doesn't take on a distinct form until I've had my coffee. There are times when Arthur doesn't bring it to me in bed as fast as I'd like :) Karen
Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell,  Excellent post and congratulations on your win!  A very insightful message and I loved the video clip - where do you find this stuff?

Posted by Ross Plummer (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Congratulations on your placement in the Passion contest Russell! Very well written and of course ... your passion shined through :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago
Russell, I'm much more the optimist than the pessimist and agree that a positive attitude and outlook on life is an essential part of getting you through some tough spots. You wrote very eloquently, thank you and congratulations!
Posted by Silvia Dukes, CIPS, TRC, SFR, AHWD, Ich spreche Deutsch! (Tropic Shores Realty, Spring Hill/Hernando Beach, Florida) about 1 year ago

You know how we love you, Russell..Thansk for making us all thik and remember to count our blessings and then get out and kick ass.

 

xxxx

Dana

Posted by Anonymous about 1 year ago

The Editor Oh no...you didn't, Oh YES YOU DID, you actually spammed this post?!?!? I will have to inform Amanda and Carolyn and you will regret the day you did this!?!?! Because this is your first offense, and I am feeling "compassionate today" I will let you off with a warning! LOL!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Rell Thank you, as a person who knows me way better than most I truly appreciate that! I am positive a lot of the time but the video balances out the fact that some people will think I am over cheerful!

Betina Thank you so much, you are right and I love your statement that "Each day we live is a gift and not to be wasted." I better tell my wife that too because I am the one who got the better deal! Hey we need to visit Dirty's for a cheeseburger soon!

Lizette I enjoyed your post and agree we seem to have a lot of the same ideas and opinions. I need to check back in and subscribe to your blog today!

Karen Thanks very much and I have to say that you and my wife are similar in that regard! And I am laughing because my wife also says the same thing often! Since3 I am up anyway, it's one of my duties that I always enjoy! Tell Art I said hello!

Ross I appreciate your comment and have to tell you that some of the assistants and agents at the office pass around this stuff on a regular basis! It's just another funny and positive reason AvenueOne properties, is an awesome place to work!

Sally Thanks again, you have been the source of a lot of inspiration for me and many others here at Active rain!

Sylvia Honestly, I am a person that remains balanced most of the time but certainly have tendency to sometimes get very cynical. Helping others is a way for me to get outside myself and stop thinking about any of my oen "so called" problems!

Dana You my friend know me all too well and your comment is completely apropos for BOTH of us! Thanks for stopping by and your comment!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Russell, what a great post..and Congratulations on your win! Thanks for setting the tone and reminding us all that really "life is what you make it"..I know that is cliche, but in these days, we really need to apply that attitude. I really love your attitude. I am mostly upbeat about life, but I do need a reminder every now and then. Kudos to you my friend!!
Posted by marie valadez - H Town about 1 year ago

Cracking up about that video.  Wonderful post thanks!

Posted by Sarah Johnson, CRS (Johnson Home and Land) about 1 year ago

Russell,

I'm exhausted from scrolling down the page!  80 comments!  Congratulations on your win with a great post that describes why we all love you.  Especially when you remember to take your meds.  Just kidding.  You embody everything good and compassionate, and you go out of your way to give back more than anyone I know.

Suzy 

 

 

Posted by Suzy Juncker, AvenueOne Properties about 1 year ago

Russell,
Your attitude and passion for life shines through your writing--one of the reasons I enjoy your posts so very much.  Congratulations on the winning entry!

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 1 year ago

Congratulations, Russell, this was a wonderful entry! Thanks for the video - hysterical  lol

Debi

Posted by Debi Boucher - "Realtor Showcase" Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) about 1 year ago

Congratulations on the contest!  You and your family are an inspiration to others.

Posted by Georgina M. Hunter R(S) e-Pro Maui Real Estate Sales (Jim Sanders Realty Inc. - Maui) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell --  very nice post!  I'd much rather be around you - with an unflagging positive approach to life, than a confirmed cynic!  I totally agree that it is our attitude that makes our world. My response to what ever comes along is my choice - and that is what gives me power.  I choose my feelings - as do we all.  Aleays nice to run into someone who knows that! 

Posted by Alexsandra Stewart, Broker -Portland Oregon Real Estate- (Remax equity group) about 1 year ago

What an inspiration!!  Congratulations to you!!

Posted by Cathy Lee ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Marie Thanks so much, I think I have to remind myself too and even though it might be a cliché, it works! Please give my best to your family!

Sarah I laughed at the video too and it provided a good counter balance to anyone who mught think I was "overly optimistic"!

Suzy Thanks, this post seemd to have attracted more attention than some of my others but I thoroughly enjoyed putting this one together!! Thanks for stopping by!

Cynthia Thanks, I appreciate that and I like your attitude (and your great postings) which is why I am a fan of your blog too!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

DebiI appreciate your compliment and with the number of folks who actually know me it was important to include the video, I am a positiveperson but overly cheery people drive me nuts too!!I am glad that our friend gail introduced us!

Georgina  Thanks, my family is the best anchor I have and I am amazed at how fortunate I am...every day!

Alexsandra I agree because our response and attitude is really the only thing over which we have any control. BTW, I read your My passion Blog post and it was remarkable!

Cathy Lee Thank you for dropping by, I checked out your blog and really enjoyed your posts, i will try and remember to subscribe this weekend!

Everyone, Pleasecheck out the Diary of a Realtor Groupand read all of the entries, the mix is full of widely varied and excellent posts and they are all winners!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, another great idea.  I've read several of the posts and will work my work through them over time....longer reads take a little more time and I don't want to rush through them.

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

Congratulations Russell, you deserve it!  Simply spreading a positive message does those who hear it and those who tell it some good.  With you thats just the tip of the ice berg!  How lucky I am that I get to hear it in person as well as in print.  Keep up the great work!

Posted by Elsa Decker (Heritage Title Company of Austin) about 1 year ago
Russell, congratulations on an excellent post. The video is especially funny in light of the fact that you often mention how overly peppy people are just as irritating to you! Very funny and poignant at the same time!
Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, love the video!  What a chuckle that gave me this morning. Thanks for the laugh!!

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) about 1 year ago

HELLO FROM THE BLOOD CENTER VERY FUNNY!! NOW WRITE A POST ABOUT US AND DONATING PLATELETS

Posted by CANDACE about 1 year ago

 Gail I have slowly been working my way through them all and they are incredibly well written. So many good post, it makes me even more grateful to have won! I plan to have read and commented on all of them by the end of the weekend!

Elsa So good to hear from you too and I second that, it's a pleasure knowing you too! Thanks for your comment!

Scott I appreciate you dropping back by to offer congratulations and thank you very much!

Gena Thank you, knowing me you realize that I am not one of those overly cheerful people and it was an excellent way to counter that message! Good to hear from you!

Candace Thank you for reading my blog and I plan to write a post about the Blood Platelets donations soon!

 

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

All right Russell, you overdid it again, You see, people like you are bad for bloggers around here... how the %$^& are we supposed to top that post! Darn... don't you learn som'hing? :-) in jeest! Congratulations

Antonio

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 1 year ago

Ahhh...the good life and it is!  No its not simple..or problem free but its amazing and exciting and ours for the taking. Your post is quite inspiring..and oh so true..  Congrats..you definitely inspired me this morning. 

Posted by Florida Real Estate Trainer | Daytona Beach After School Training | Midori (Coastal Results Referral Company) about 1 year ago

Antonio That is very funny! I actually think this community has so many great bloggers and feel exactly like you sometimes. The competition was excellent and I just feel LUCKY to have been recognized. Thanks for stopping by and making me chuckle!

Midori Thanks for your comment, I just read your excellent post about your mom and family and we both have the same feelings about "appreciation" of all the good things in our lives!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Congrats, Russell.  Excellent post from an annoyingly happy soul!  Have you filled your prescription yet?  Being grateful and giving back are the cornerstones of life.  It makes it all worthwhile and you, my friend, are the master!

Posted by Shari Chambers (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Shari You are so funny because we both have that somewhat cynical snese of humor about being overly positive! Thanks for the chuckle and have a good weekend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Russell! WOO HOO! I get to be your 100th comment! This really is one of your best and I look forward to more in the future!
Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  Just circling by your blog to see what you've written this week!  You've been too busy replying to comments, I see!  Hopefully you've been busy SELLING, SELLING, SELLING too!

Have a wonderful weekend...

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell, excellent and upbeat post. I, too, am convinced that we are the masters of our attitudes and behaviors. Have a wonderful day. ;-)I borrowed Debe's smiley face. ;-) 

Pepper

Posted by Teri Ellis at Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC about 1 year ago

Allysoun, Thanks and congrats to you too! I wish I had a door prize!

Debe I have been busy and I only wish I had your talent to prolifically turn out excellent quality posts! Thanks, I will be checking in at your blog tomorrow!

Teri Thank you and we are certainly in agreement on attitude. Debe is a great example of that and always has enough smiles to go around! Have a great weekend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Each morning when I wake my first thoughts are "thank you for this day" followed by a list of the people and things for which I am grateful.

Hey Russell,

Thanks for stopping my blog.  I'm still kickin'!  :)

That's a great way for you start your day.  Hopefully you have inspired millions of ActiveRainers to follow your lead.

 

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier - Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) about 1 year ago

Oops!  You didn't STOP my blog.  I meant to say: Thanks for stopping BY my blog.  Big difference!  :)

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier - Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) about 1 year ago

Bruce I am glad to seeyou around. I was beginning to wonder, after all you were one of the first people I met here and really got to know here at Active Rain!!! I do like starting my day with some thanks rather than any trepidation and BTW, I will always stop at your blog! Have a great week my friend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Congrats on the excellent post! And a winner TOO!
Posted by Rick Landwehr (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago
Russell I came back to see that funny video. Where do you find this stuff and how do you manage to find the time! I really enjoy your blog!
Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Rick Thank you, I was flattered to have been chosen. The competition was incredible. I would recommend reading all of the entries as they are all very good!

Hi Jeannette The video is very funny and I thought it was a good balance to the post. The funny thing is that a week after i posted this someone at AR posted just the video and it got featured so there should be enough medication to go around! HA HA HA! Thanks for continuing to read my posts!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

You absolutely ROCK buster!! I know I'm late (I've been soooo busy - which is a good thing!), but I had to come by and congratulate you on your well-deserved win! (or would you prefer to be spanked?? ;-))

Posted by Allentown PA Real Estate Broker * Jennifer Monroe * about 1 year ago

Jennifer, you totally made my day! Remember you (and your amor) were some of the of the very first people who encouraged me to start this whole blogging thing! I've missed seeing you around but enjoy when I see your comments and anytime you post! Everything you write is excellent! I need to stop over and see what you have been up to lately!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi there, me again, I left a comment on your Kite Festival post and almost missed this excellet article. It looks like you won some sort of competition and after reading I have to agree that it is a well deserved award. As a person who knows you, I understand your commitment to our community and helping others. You have three sides one-very serious business, two-compassion for others and three-the crazy and mischevious guy that is always lurking!

Posted by Lynne about 1 year ago

Lynne I appreciate your kind remarks. I have been very fortunate in my life and feel like I have a responsibility to give back when I can. It's not out of a sense of guilt or duty. It's really a joyful feeling and I am just glad it's something that is available for me to do! Thanks again!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Thanks Russell for some great perspective on things!

Posted by Pippa MAC, The Woodlands TX Real Estate Remax Real Estate Spring Texas Realtor (Remax Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) about 1 year ago

Pippa Sooooooo good to see you again! I just left a comment on your recent post. I know you are a person who cares deeply for your family and community too! Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell--I am one of those positive persons that smiles at people whenever she makes eye contact, but I don't resort to "cool beans"!  Hopefully never will!  They say the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging the problem...  I'll take my "problem" over Despondex any day!  Laughed out loud at the video!

Posted by Tamara Perlman, Lake Tahoe Truckee CA Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 1 year ago

Hi Tamara, it looks like we think alike because I am usually in a good mood and yes would take my "problem" over despondex any day! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell - as you pointed out, one of the best emotions we can have is Gratitute. Giving thanks for what we have. Each morning I have a 15 minute drive from home to the gym, and I often spend it thinking/talking about all the things I'm thankful for.

Posted by Sharon Simms St Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (ALVA International, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Sharon That's a good thing to do everyday and it's nice to have a time to yourself. I appreciate you dropping by and tell everyone I said hello!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

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