Five Motivational Secrets of Successful People

There are 118 days left in 2012. For some, the end of the year can’t come quickly enough.

2012 was a tough year for lots of people who faced the adversity of unemployment, low income, poor health coverage, untimely deaths in their families and much, much more.

The good news is that with the year coming to a close, we have an opportunity to put a great plan together to finish this year strong and make 2013 the best year ever. If you’re currently unmotivated and feeling that the life has been “squeezed” out of your by your current situation, I’ve included some motivational secrets of successful people for you to help you light your fire again.

These secrets are in no way earth shattering, but they can be life changing…if you let them.

Don’t let your current situation dictate your future results. Get motivated, take action now and make 2013 the greatest year of your life (no matter what this year looks like).

5 Motivational Secrets of Successful People

Some make success look easy but the truth is that when a person who has reached the brass ring is noticed it’s only after the most difficult steps have been traversed, and not when they are struggling, which all people who have worked hard have done.

Luckily for those who want to follow in their footsteps, the secrets to success are not secrets at all. In fact, there are five things that all successful people do in order to achieve their dreams.

1. Successful people take responsibility for their actions and inaction

Have you ever wished for success but never put forth the hard work? If you can admit it, then you are on your way to becoming successful, because a person looking to become something bigger than he or she is will be honest enough to say ‘I made a mistake,’ or even ‘I was not totally committed to my dream.’

Most people would rather lie to themselves. They’ll buy new gadgets while on the brink of bankruptcy, eat out when they should be on an at-home budget, and sit around playing video games and eating snack foods while they tell themselves that they are going to be in a body building contest.

2. Successful people are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve their dreams

Sacrifice is a must for success. Sometimes it is spelled out like the amount of time it takes to finish college. Other times it’s not, like the amount of rejections one must go through in order to publish a book.

The length of time that it may take is of little consequence when you want something badly enough.

3. Focus and Determination

When one is chasing a dream the pursuit must be a single-minded focus at times, which requires immense determination.

Aspiring pro athletes will be in the gym when they are not in class, and some will let their grades slide in order to ensure that their bodies will be able to operate at a higher level. Like these athletes, musicians will spend countless hours perfecting their technique and compositions, and this does not come but with the focus that brings about time allotted for practice.

Abraham Lincoln was noted as having practiced his speeches repeatedly. From this, he was able to overcome being unsure of what to do with his hands and keep his voice from breaking into a high pitch.

4. Focus leads to field expertise

From this focus people become experts in their fields. A musician knows all of his scales. Business people know all of the proper terminology, such as gross and net income, ROI, ROE, and billable hours.

Without focus, people who want to be successful may find themselves in embarrassing situations.

5. Successful people have a written plan as well as a personal mission statement

Without a written plan, it is unlikely that success will be achieved because goals are not reached in a day, but daily. Every day must involve something that helps a person achieve their goals.

Over time priorities change and so do people, but a good plan should not. If it is not readily available along with a personal mission statement then it will more likely than not be forgotten like so many other dreams that were really just wishes.


Do You Have An Attitude of Gratitude?

Some say that any day above ground is a good day.

It’s a matter of opinion, but honestly, any day above ground where you have the opportunity to enjoy life at its fullest and spend it with loved ones is a good day.

And no matter how bad that day might be, it’s important that we’re grateful for it.

There are many people out there who have things way worse than we do. In fact, they may be a lot closer to us than we think.

Enjoy this wonderful essay, entitled “Live With and Attitude of Gratitude” by Glen Hopkins and be grateful for the day you have.



Imagine for a moment one of those nights when you just can’t fall asleep and you have to get up early the next morning for a very important meeting of which you are the keynote speaker. Your alarm clock goes off early in the morning waking you from what little sleep you had. You stumble out of bed, have a quick shower, grab a coffee and some toast, and off you go to fight the traffic on the way to work.

Does that sound like the start of a terrible day? Most would answer ‘yes’. Few people however, would answer, ‘no’. These are the people, who are in my opinion blessed with a gift. A gift that determines how they view their life. These people live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’. For them, the situation described could be worse. Much worse. For example, think of the man who doesn’t have a bed, let alone a roof to over his head. When he is awoken from what little sleep he is able to get, it is by the rain falling on his cold body. He too stumbles to his feet and begins his journey to work in his bare feet. His work is in the field of survival. He searches though garbage cans for scraps of half-rotten food to eat and odd bits of clothes to keep him warm.

The purpose of this example is to illustrate that we all have so much to be grateful for. Even in times when it seems that nothing could be worse, there is always a reason to be grateful. And when you feel a sense of gratitude, you feel a sense of happiness and content. My challenge to you today is to learn to look for the good in every situation and live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’.

I assure you, if you were the fellow searching for food in garbage cans you too could find things to be grateful for. You just have to look hard enough and ‘open your eyes’ to what is around you. You have to focus on what’s good in your life, not what’s bad.

“I once was distraught because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” – Unknown

Life works in mysterious ways. Time and time again there have been stories of people who are in a dire strait yet they are found helping others who are experiencing greater turmoil. This is because once you have helped someone in greater need than yourself, you always feel better. You feel better because you have helped another human being, and this forces you to change your mindset from focusing on your problems to focusing on their solutions.

Always focus on the solution, not the problem and live with an attitude of gratitude! Mother Teresa was a primary example of this phenomenon. Her entire life revolved around helping others in need. As a result she experienced a great deal of love and self-satisfaction in her life.

I challenge you now to take a moment to think of five things in your life that you are grateful for today. For example, your friends, your family, your job, your sense of smell, touch, sight, and sound. The list can go on and on. Imagine what your life would be like without these things. Write them down on a piece of paper and really think about the things you are grateful for. You will be amazed at how great you will feel!

Glen Hopkins

The Value of A Teacher

As school starts this year, remind your children to learn everything they can each day they are at school. Most importantly, remind them how fortunate they are to be able to go to school and have exposure to people who care about them now so they’ll have a great future.

Having a great teacher in school can mean all the difference in the growth of any person from childhood to adulthood. The lessons, stories and accountability we get from teachers stays with us our entire lives. And, the better the teacher, the more profound the effect of what we learned from him/her.

Enjoy this touching clip from a movie that honors a teacher who had a profound effect on the people he spent each day with over a 30-plus year career as a teacher. It’s a very moving piece and one that really speaks volumes of how a good teacher can impact the lives of so many people.

The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us

What drives you?
Motivation is a strange thing. Each and everyone one of us responds to different stimuli when it comes to taking action to make changes and get results in our lives. For many of us, we take heed to the carrot and the stick principle: a reward when we do something good and a punishment when we do something bad.
Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has a different perspective and one that may interest you…especially if you’re looking to achieve something that’s been eluding you over the last weeks, months or years. I found this neat summary video that’s narrated by Pink himself. I really liked and it I think you will to.

Sell your home in August…ABSOLUTELY!


The month of August signals that the end of summer will soon be here. For many, it’s the last chance to get out of “dodge” and spend time as a family before the hustle and bustle of the school year, clubs, sports and regular events hits the radar.

It’s a common misconception that selling in August and the beginning of September is not wise and that you’d be better served to wait until mid-September, or later, until the beginning of the following year.

Admittedly, as real estate agents, we’d always like you to move sooner rather than later if it meets your needs. That said there are some legitimate reasons to take into consideration when thinking about making a move in August.

Here, we outline a few of the more important ones. You’ll find that they make a lot more sense than might initially think.

5 Major Reasons to Consider Selling in August

1)      Like you, many buyers who are relocating would like to have their families settled prior to the school year. Whether it’s a company relocation or a personal one, time is of the essence in August for those finalizing their relocation plans.

2)      Inventory is shrinking in many parts of the country and is historically low in August. Consequently, the lack of inventory drives up the demand on your home, giving you a legitimate shot at getting more money when you sell. It’s a smaller window of time, but a very real opportunity nonetheless.

3)      After Labor Day, many people will hop in the market to try to sell their home during the stretch run before the holiday season. Once that happens, you’re now facing more competition and could lose out on the chance to haul in more equity from the sale of your home.

4)      Yes, many folks are on vacation or trying to relax for the rest of the summer. But, just like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll find that the buyers out looking for homes in the month of August are likely more serious than those folks “kicking tires” when the market first heats up during the spring.

5)      You may be planning a vacation yourself and what better time to show your home than when you won’t be dislodged on a regular basis to have your home shown, especially in the hot summer weather we tend to experience in August. Plus, with nobody to mess up your home, you won’t need to clean it each time there’s a showing because it will be clean each and every time your home is shown.

Rising Home Prices Are No Surprise


The Northern Virginia real estate market has seen an incredibly busy spring and summer selling season. For several months now, sales professionals have been abuzz with stories of multiple offers over asking price and homes going under agreement within a matter of days. So it comes as no surprise that the Wall Street Journal recently reported in the article Home Prices Reflect Strengthening that home prices in the second quarter rose from the previous year for the first time since 2007.

Home sale prices rise when there are lower levels of housing inventory. When inventory levels drop, it signifies less competition for the home seller and limited choice for the buyer. Additionally, incredibly low interest rates and renewed confidence in the economy are compelling buyers to act now. With these elements in play, the competition between buyers who have their sights set on the same dream home can become fierce.

We at The Joy Deevy Home Team recognized this low inventory level trend in early spring, and it is still occurring in many markets. According to the Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey of housing market conditions in 28 U.S. metropolitan areas, inventories of unsold homes have fallen in every market and are down by more than 20 percent in two-thirds of those markets. To see if this movement is occurring in your community of interest, please contact for specific information.

For those who are thinking of selling their home, this could still be an opportune time to act, especially for those who have built equity in their home. Stories of home sellers making a profit on their home’s sales have also been on the rise, and buyers continue to be attracted by historical low interest rates.

I can help you determine if now is the right time for you to sell your home and conduct a competitive market analysis, identify the inventory levels that will impact you, and advise you on appropriate marketing and pricing strategies.

Make the necessary improvements to your home before placing it on the market. Properties that are in good condition and are move-in ready are moving more quickly. I can also advise you on which improvements will have the most impact.

The late summer and early fall have historically been known as slower selling seasons compared to spring, but this year we at The Joy Deevy Home Team would have to disagree. If you want to move now, call today!

Interest Rates Hit Historic New Lows at 3.5%!

For those on the fence about buying or refinancing wanting to wait it out to “the bottom”, we’re just about there. Interest rates are at a (new) all time low. Could they go lower? Perhaps. But at this level there is little room left to go but back up. Do we ever really know when we hit “the bottom”? Sure, but only once rates have started to climb. Wait too long and you’ve missed the opportunity of a lifetime!
If you’re thinking about buying or refinancing, call me and I’ll help you get started! 
Overnight Avg Rate Latest   Last Week
30 yr fixed 3.57%   3.64%
15 yr fixed 2.99%   3.02%
5/1 ARM 2.76%   2.71%
30 yr refi 3.53%   3.61%
15 yr refi 2.96%   3.01%

Search All Active Homes For Sale In Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland Here


If you want to see all active homes for sale in VA, DC, and MD, check out this awesome new site! Unlike other websites, this is up-to-date and gives you full access to the MLS!

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Click Here To Start Searching All Homes For Sale In Northern Virginia, DC & Maryland!

A Few “Cool” Tips As You Show Your Home During The Summer

Whether you have your home on the market now or you’re thinking about putting it on during the upcoming summer months, there are a few tips you’ll want to heed to ensure that you get the best results that can easily net you some significant additional dough on the sale of your home.

As we enter the increasingly hotter days of late spring and early summer, your prospective home buyers will be looking closely at patios, decks, landscaping, air conditioning, and in some cases, pools. So if your home is on the market, you’ll want to make sure your house is in top order and summer-friendly.

While a large number of homes sell during March, April and May, June and the summer months run a close second. In fact, June is traditionally a busy month because many families want to get moved during their children’s summer vacations and get them situated before the new school year begins.

The good news right now is that the combination of interest rates and the lower price of sales prices makes this a super time to sell.

Here are some tips for you to take into consideration while selling your home at this time of the year:

  • Curb appeal. With sunny days, everything will be on display. Your shrubs and perennials will be in full bloom and your trees will be fully green. Be sure your lawn is mowed and is lush and green. Plant a few annuals to provide an instant burst of color. Make sure your door area is clear from bicycles and toys.
  • Air conditioning. Try to have your system inspected and working before you put your house on the market. Also, be sure you turn it on during those days that you’re away at work and potential buyers will be looking at your house. A hot, stuffy house on a 90-degree day could be a deal killer.
  • Back yard. Buyers will be paying extra attention to the back yard while house hunting during the summer months. They’ll be envisioning an area for barbecues and space for children to play. If you’re selling your house in a neighborhood with a lot of young children, set up a swing set or place a sandbox in back. Make the back yard look as child-friendly as possible so potential buyers can envision what the space will look like for their own children.
  • Patio. Ensure your patio area is inviting and attractive. Clean your patio furniture and arrange it keeping the views from indoors in mind. Spruce up the area with a few container plantings.
  • Back yard landscaping. If you have lawn area in your back yard, make sure it is mowed and healthy. Keep shrubs and plants pruned and tidy. Put out some fresh mulch or stone where necessary accentuate your landscaping.
  • Windows. Make sure your windows are sparkling clean, especially if you live in a sunny region that doesn’t get much summer rain.
  • Walls. If you’re thinking about touching up the paint on your walls before you put your home on the market, keep the colors neutral and light.
  • Let there be light. Open blinds and curtains so plenty of light illuminates the home’s interior.
  • Pool. If you have a pool or spa, make sure they are clean. If you have a fence, make sure locks and latches are working properly.

As always with any other time of year, get rid of the clutter throughout your house.

If possible, it might not hurt to leave a large pitcher of lemonade with a stack of glasses on the kitchen counter during an open house or when you expect multiple showings on a weekend. Nice treat for buyers when you’re not there.

Remember, you can’t change the location of your home, so you need to make sure that you put your best foot forward when showing your home.

What’s Your Summer Bucket List?

School’s almost out and it’s time to have some fun. Planning for the summer doesn’t need to be expensive or overwhelming. Sometimes, you just need a little creativity and inspiration. Sure, a trip to the beach, cookout with friends, visit to an air conditioned movie theater or day trip to the local park might be in order…but why limit yourself to those things? It’s time to think outside the box – both big and small – to get our summer fun going.

Remember when you were a kid and you would start planning all of the things you were going to do during the summer even before the bell signaling the end of the school year had rung? Now, as an adult, you have even more options! Here are 50 ideas for your summer bucket list, or your list of things to do this summer:

1. Put on your bathing suit and run through the sprinklers. Also, have a water balloon fight; cheat and pull out a water gun.

2. Load up on beach and sand toys:

  • Boats
  • Dump trucks
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Buckets
  • Sand molds in animal shapes
  • An inflatable 6-color beach ball
  • A beach tennis set

3. Build a sand castle. Get yourself some cheap castle making pieces, pick a spot where the sand is moist but not too wet, and get to work on your master piece. When it’s done, take a photo from a worm’s eye view.

4. Play beach volleyball.

5. Plant pint-sized cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets.

6. Make lemonade. Here’s an interesting, healthy recipe:

4 apples
1/4 lemon

First. Run the apples and lemon through your electric vegetable juicer.
Second. Add nothing, no water, no sugar!
Third. Sit back and enjoy your lemonade.

You can also try watermelon lemonade, which is a Gooseberry Patch recipe:

4 c. watermelon, chopped
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. lemon juice
6 c. cold water

Place watermelon in a blender; process until smooth and set aside. In a large pitcher, combine sugar and lemon juice; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in water. Add watermelon; mix well. Serve very cold; stir well before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

7. Make Hawaiian Punch: that includes orange juice, guava juice, pineapple juice, grenadines, and Ginger Ale (you can add rum, I won’t tell).

8. Make iced coffee.

9. Make root beer floats. Just scoop some vanilla ice cream into a tall glass and pour your root beer over the vanilla ice cream, filling the glass as much as you can. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

10. Make homemade ice cream.

11. Go on a road trip.

12. Drink coconut water and eat coconut popsicles.

13. Decorate for the 4th of July with red, white, and blue decor: you can use pinwheels, balloons sprinkled with glitter, twinkle lights, star shaped confetti, sparklers, little flags, and so on.

14. Have a 4th of July barbecue.

15. Watch the fireworks on the 4th of July.

16. Pick an official “2011 Summer Song”; play it until you’re sick of it (or until your neighbors threaten to call the police).

17. Do something fun and whimsical in your backyard, such as: adding a bird bath or bird feeder, including a garden statute or a sundial, or creating a fairy village.

18. Stop by the Farmer’s Market and your local U-Pick berry farm.

19. Start a wish tree. Here are the instructions:

  • Choose a tree.
  • Make a wish.
  • Write it down on a piece of paper.
  • Fold the piece of paper and tie it to the branch of the wish tree.
  • Ask your friends to do the same.
  • Continue writing down wishes until the branches are filled with wishes.

Wish Trees have been a part of many of Yoko Ono’s exhibitions. Here’s what she says about Wish Trees:

“As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”

20. Catch fireflies late at night.

21. Go on a scavenger hunt. Better yet, go Geocaching.

22. Make a complete meal over a fire: include hot dogs, potatoes, and S’Mores.

23. Go to the beach and collect seashells. Use the seashells to decorate glass bottles.

24. Draw with sidewalk chalk.

25. Go fishing; eat what you catch.

26. Ride on a carousel or a Ferris wheel.

27. Go to a baseball game. Or, better yet, organize a baseball game with your friends.

28. Play flashlight tag.

29. Get a butterfly kit and catch butterflies, or watch caterpillars turn into butterflies. Go ahead and do both!

30. Go on a boat ride. This includes canoes, rowboats and paddle boats.

31. Create a terrarium.

32. Give your brain a break: sit in the shade under a tree and read something by Philippa Gregory, the Harry Potter series, the Twilight Saga, or the Lord of the Rings.

33. Make wind chimes.

34. Play miniature golf.

35. Go to at least one outdoor concert or theater performance.

36. Spend one whole day barefoot.

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James

37. Choose a summer cocktail to help you escape the summer heat.

38. Make tie-dye shirts.

39. Take a nap on a hammock.

40. Lie on the grass watching the clouds float across the sky, without a care in the world.

41. Go on a picnic. If you can find a music festival and have your picnic there, that’s even better. Pack your fried chicken, pasta salad, fruit, bottled water, and whatever else you’re going to have for your picnic and get going. Don’t forget your frisbee and something to play music with.

42. Fly a kite.

43. Visit a lighthouse.

44. Run a 10K for a good cause.

45. Set up a tent in the backyard and spend the night. Tell ghost stories.

46. Come up with a list of delicious summer recipes you’re going to put together this summer. Here are two options:

47. Get a puzzle with 1000 pieces and put it together throughout the summer. It can depict the image of a summer table, birds, summer in the country, or a lake dotted with sailboats.

48. Surround yourself with the smells of summer: you can get the Yankee Candle Midsummer’s Night, or make a potpourri of summer herbs and flowers

49. Go on a nature hike.

50. Spend the day exploring an arboretum, Japanese Garden, botanical garden, or a nearby park.

Bonus: Have a pool party or a Luau!