Mark and Scott Kelly are identical twin brothers who have been astronauts in NASA’s space program for decades. Career highlights include commanding the space shuttle, and for Scott, spending 340 days in space — a U.S. record.
Their inspiring panel discussion at the recent MBA conference in Boston sparked life lessons that apply to real estate professionals, particularly those in the mortgage industry.
1. You have to risk failure to succeed
It’s important to push the boundaries of what you believe you can achieve.
Mark and Scott were Navy pilots before they became full-fledged astronauts, and part of their training included landing a plane on an aircraft carrier.
They both had trouble with this, and Scott once almost crashed his plane. A superior took him aside and asked, “Are you sure you’re cut out for this?”
But they both kept at it.
“I was able to take the risk of failure to see what I was actually capable of,” said Scott. “Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you won’t be great at it if you keep trying,”
Their initial inexpert piloting abilities made them big believers in risking failure to achieve success.
Scott noted that the banking and financial industries could benefit from learning this lesson, as well.
“We can fix fiscal problems … we can go to the moon. If we can dream it, we can do it,” he said.
2. Focus on things you can control — not on things you can’t
Scott recently returned from his nearly year-long stint in space, where he completed three spacewalks — one of which was over six hours long.
If you think that would be nerve-wracking, you’d be right. Scott said he managed the stress using the compartmentalization tactic.
“Ignore what you can’t control — focus on the important stuff,” he said, relating his experience to the mortgage industry’s heavy regulatory environment.
For people who aren’t exactly familiar with TRID, the Kelly brothers seem to understand quite well how mortgage lenders feel.
3. When you need immediate results, seek drastic change
One summer day during his long space voyage, Scott noticed that the sky over China had cleared up, when just a day before it had been extremely polluted.
Later, he found out that the country’s government had shut down power plants and cut down on auto traffic for a national holiday.
“It’s interesting to see just how much of a negative impact we have on the environment,” Scott said, “but also how quickly we can have a positive impact if we want to.”
Drastic regulatory changes have rocked the banking and real estate industries as of late, creating immediate results of their own. These results have had mixed reviews, but overall, consumers seem to be onboard, as indicated by boosted satisfaction ratings.
The Kelly brothers’ discussion gave something refreshing to this regulatory-heavy industry: hope.
When you’re struggling to overcome an obstacle, looking at it through someone else’s unique viewpoint can be inspiring. With a new perspective, you might achieve success that you once thought impossible.