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I know, I know… most people will tell you to think outside the box. Don’t box yourself in! Make sure you have options! Don’t limit yourself. I get it. I do. And in some respects, I’m all about getting out of boxes that keep you cemented in a status quo or old thinking.

There’s an instance when I’m going to tell you that the exact opposite is your best option. And that’s when you have a goal so big that you’re tempted to not do what you need to do to make it happen. (Like make it big in this business of real estate!) In that case, I say box away, or “Throw your hat over the wall.” That saying comes from Irish writer, Frank O’Connor. He told the story of two boys standing beside a tall orchard wall when one launched their felt hat over the wall. Someone said, “Why did you do that? Now you are going to have to climb over and get it!” To which the boys replied, “That’s the whole idea.”

Exactly. That’s the whole idea. To deliberately do something that gives you no option but to go forward. The burn the bridges, no turning back approach! For me, that included training for a marathon. I mean, when you look at what you have to do to get ready for a marathon, almost every cell in your body says nope. Not doing it. I literally had to give myself no choice. For me, that meant getting dropped off at four in the morning ten miles away from my home. I kind of had to start running at that point, right? Similarly, when I chose to improve my health by losing weight, one of the first things I did was to make the commitment “live” in front of one of my training classes, complete with the number of pounds I was going to lose and the deadline to achieve my goal. With so many people now aware of my commitment, I couldn’t let them all down without suffering a great deal of embarrassment.

Big goals require big change, and big commitment. It’s easy to get a little uneasy about that process and want to set that goal aside and say, “Eh… maybe later.” Don’t delay them. Lock in. Throw your hat over the wall. Look for opportunities where you can commit to reaching your next level at work in such a way that you “have no choice” but to succeed.

When you do, you’ll surprise yourself. And the next “wall” won’t seem nearly as intimidating. Keep smiling friends, and when it comes to crunch time, go ahead and box yourself in!

Darryl Davis, bestselling author of “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” and owner of Darryl Davis Seminars, has trained and coached over 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe for more than 27 years. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system, The Power Program®, which has helped agents double their production over their previous year. For more information, and the new agent tools that can help take you to your Next Level®, please contact or visit