Five Life Lessons Love it or List It Teaches Us

Love it or List It

The HGTV series “Love It or List It” pits a real estate seller against a home renovator, offering couples the option to either stay put in their home and work with what they have, or to list it and move to a home that meets their long term needs. A key conflict between the couples is whether to be willing to move into a ready-made situation or be patient and see the long term potential in their current property. Recently, the show has come under considerable fire, with some people calling the show “fake” while others have been a bit harsher, calling it “fraudulent.” Whatever the outcome of the legal situation may be there are life lessons to be gleaned from the show, so here are five of them for you to consider.

1. Sometimes you have to compromise your space.

The video is talking about living space, but this also applies to personal space. When entering a relationship, both people are free to manage their time and decide when to go out together, what to do, etc. But as the relationship grows and develops into a more serious tone, those boundaries are often closed in because either one or both of the people want to spend more time together. The invisible factor is that by doing so they are unconsciously choosing to give up some of the personal space to accommodate the other person. A decision to get married requires even more compromise because the people will be sharing the same living space 24 hours a day. Add children to the mix with their infinite demands, and you arrive at the life lesson of needing to be willing to compromise your space if you intend to have a permanent relationship or partner.

2. Leaving memories behind may be the best way to move forward.

There are many people who live in the same city or town for their entire lives. Whether the reason is keeping the memories of a great-grandfather alive or being able to reminisce about the good-old-days, staying put is a choice made with a sense of history in mind. Yet there are times when life requires us to move forward voluntarily. That may sound like a contradiction, but life never stands still. It is either moving forward or going in circles. Perhaps the saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” applies here. The memories will always remain with us, and being able to start anew and create our own traditions and memories for our children and great-grandchildren gives us the opportunity to make our own mark on the family and life histories that preceded us.

3. Investing in a relationship makes it less likely to look at the possible alternatives.

In this video clip, the end decision to love it was based on the time and investment the couple had already placed into the home. The new place was physically appealing, and was ready-made to simply just move into. Moving issues aside, the couple was able to see the future potential of the home even though it would require additional time and effort on their part. Oftentimes people look too far ahead and presume either success in the future or failure in the present. In order to make the best decision, a people need to look around at where they’re at and see the potential. It may not always be obvious, so sometimes some input from a family member or friend can bring some much needed perspective to the situation. The worst thing one can do is to ignore the house they have built in favor of tearing everything down and starting all over. And the older one gets, the more this idea becomes a reality.

4. At times, you will have to sacrifice convenience for practicality.

Though it seems incongruous in today’s technological culture, there are times when the practical thing to do is more needed than what is convenient. Though the storyline in the video clip is about physical location, this applies to virtually everyone’s life at one time or another. A common example is grown adults continuing to live with their parent’s years after they should be leaving the nest. There is little question that it is very convenient from a financial perspective to hang around mom and dad, even if the person is paying rent. But since most children outlive their parents, the practical reality is that most people will have to take responsibility for basic living issues such as paying rent, managing debt, and making life decisions. It is difficult to argue this issue from a convenience angle, but in the long term practicality wins out. Going to a convenience store may make your life considerably easier, but your choices on what to buy are limited. It is more practical, though hardly convenient, to go out shopping and fight the mob for the last bunch of ripe bananas.

5. Appearances can be deceiving.

While this old adage is well-known, in this video clip it can be applied in a much more positive context. Connecting this to the more recent “perception is reality” adage shows that there are always more than two ways to look at life. Often it is not what we see but what we don’t see that provides additional options for final decision making. There are times when situations and decisions are simply black and white, but for all the others we need to look past the obvious. One underlying problems with appearances is that our experiences often form those preconceptions. Consider the works of Jackson Pollock, Henry Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, all famous abstract artists. In fact, there are people who do not consider their artistic works to be art at all, emphasizing the point.

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