Success. Is There a Better Way?

Charlene Norman
4 min readJan 22, 2024

Lately, I’ve been trying to work through the different scenarios that would play out if we arbitrarily chopped the value of all homes globally by 50% to make the market more accessible. Notice I said globally. Because, in theory, there would be no impact if EVERYONE were impacted. Okay, not quite, and THAT part of the conversation is for another day.

Last week, I read that the concept of home ownership arose in the late forties/early fifties and was part of the many measures to kick-start the economy after the last world war. Hmmmm.

So, getting humans to buy into the concept of ‘entitled to home ownership’ was a marketing scheme to build more houses!

Consider that eating a good breakfast with bacon and eggs was designed to help the pig farmers, and eating more desserts was about helping the sugar industry. If you are of a certain age, you likely remember the excellent adverts and commercials about the benefits of smoking, for, yes, the tobacco industry. So why should we be surprised? Homeownership was a way to kickstart the economy and help the home construction industry.

For every generation since the beginning of time, success was always about doing better than the previous generation. Whatever that meant. The kids ended up a bit better than their parents. Then, something whacky happened in the ’70s. That was the decade when a university education was superior in every way, and higher education became a badge of honour. That a house was a sign of upward mobility. And at least two cars in the driveway meant massive success.

Then warp speed was introduced in the eighties, and everything accelerated.

Right now, only a tiny percentage of people can afford the debt associated with all that higher education. And the debt directly associated with those fabulous, overpriced homes. And the lease payments of the fine autos in the driveway. And rarely all three simultaneously.

Pursuing success has moved from accumulating assets to speculating in the real estate market to amassing debt levels never before seen.

So what if the global housing stock was devalued by half? Naturally, those in highly leveraged situations would feel the most pain and could face the real possibility of losing their home. As for the rest of us? We’d get by, allow the market to cool off, enable more younger people to jump into the market, AND there would be fewer assets in our estate to be spread around when we die.

Gutting the real estate market in half seems cruel at first glance. But is it? We all know there’s a problem. We all expect the government to solve it. That’s not going to happen. It’s up to all of us to agree to the actions necessary. And yes, sometimes people will get hurt. But think about the side effects.

Think about the world we could know today if we had known and been raised with these truths instead of the lies we were fed.

1. “Success is not about having much money.”

There’s no problem with wanting money. We all gotta live. But true success? That comes from within. Personal growth, meaningful relationships, and a sense of purpose. Money can’t buy that kind of fulfillment.

2. “You’re allowed to fail.”

We’re taught as kids that failing is wrong and should be avoided at all costs. The problem is that the more risks you take, the more likely you are to achieve your dreams! The only absolute “failure” is not taking any chances at all.

3. “Your worth is not equal to your achievements.”

You are so much more than your number of followers, your job title, your salary or even the value of your house. So get a pen and paper, and decide what “success” means to you — not what society has told you it is.

4. “You will never find that one perfect person for you out there.

Listen, you don’t find a perfect person. You both work to become the right person for each other. Do you want to be super successful? Find someone willing to work together on the relationship with you.

5. “You don’t have to be perfect.”

The best advice we can get is “Be interesting — not perfect.” Perfection is an unattainable standard; truthfully, it’s dull and destructive. It leads to feelings of inadequacy (and a crippling fear of making any mistakes). Embrace your quirks. If you present a smooth surface to others, there are no ‘cracks’ for someone to grip onto and get close to you.

6. “Don’t wait. There is no right time.”

There’s never going to be a “perfect time.” If you keep waiting for it, you’ll never start. So do it scared. Feel the fear and do it anyway. There’s someone else out there right now living the life you want… simply because they took action.

The only thing we take with us when we die is our soul. Nothing about our possessions is worth remembering us over. It’s the memories we created when we were alive.

Considering our lives in these terms, I’m betting most of us can get behind a global movement to reduce the real estate market values by half.

--

--

Charlene Norman

Inspiring good humans to make a difference for all on Planet Earth. Podcast host, author, and community leader. Fanatical about change for the highest good.