I want you to take a minute to reflect on who you are, and specifically what shaped you into who you are.

You're probably imagining some of the biggest moments in your life, right? Maybe you're thinking about your first day of school as a kid, and a specific teacher comes to mind. Maybe you're thinking of your first love, or your first heartbreak. Maybe you're thinking about your wedding day, or the birth of your first child. Maybe you’re thinking about your first big promotion, or maybe you're even thinking of a time you got fired from a job.

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All of these things shaped you. All of us are programmed by our past, by our experiences, by our parents, by our culture, by our peers. This programming leads us to have certain beliefs about the world. Those beliefs influence our emotions, which influence our motivations. Those motivations influence our behaviors, and those behaviors are what lead to our results.

It’s all connected, which is why it’s so important to do your part in being a source of positive programming for others. The root of who you are as a human is based on how you’ve been programmed. And the root of how successful your company is, is based on how your people have been programmed.

Just a few decades after Japan’s warrior class was abolished, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt raved about a newly released book entitled Bushido: The Soul of Japan. Author Nitobe Inazo interprets the samurai code of behavior: how chivalrous people should act in their personal and professional lives.

Within this code, there are seven virtues that people followed in order to level-up their lives. And I know that these virtues will change your life. They will allow you to unleash a better version of yourself, both professionally and personally.

Every great empire has a code, and every great leader believes in these virtues that helped them grow their empire. The virtue I want to talk to you about today is benevolence. Because I know that benevolence is the key to evolving your homebuilding company into a time-honored empire.

Living your life with benevolence means always showing kindness and compassion with everything you do. Sometimes tough conversations and situations come up and acting with kindness isn’t the easiest way. But if you master the art of benevolence, your problems will find lasting solutions that will help you continue to grow yourself and your relationships.

You are constantly programming the people in your company. You're either programming them in a place where they feel supported, inspired, and loved. Or, you're programming them to feel denied, condemned, and despised. The actions you take as a leader or salesperson are constantly programming the people around you feel one of these things.

Programming around support, inspiration, and love means that you're acting with benevolence in your company. This means you're listening to your peoples’ concerns. This means you are offering coaching in areas that need improvement. This means you are doing your best every day to tell your people that they are enough.

When someone believes they’re enough, they feel loved, inspired and supported. When they don’t believe they’re enough due to negative programming, they feel denied, condemned and despised. That programming will either uplift or corrupt, and that’s the cornerstone of behavior change. If you don’t address programming, you won’t get results. And positive programming starts with cultures of love, inspiration and support.

I want you to reflect for a moment on which package you and your team may fall under.

1. Love. Working to constantly improve and be better than the day before. This will cause your people to take ownership over the company and put in maximum effort to succeed.

2. Inspiration. Working to challenge and grow a little bit more every day. This will cause your people to feel motivated to achieve goals and will cause growth in every area of your company.

3. Support. Working to mentor and help others and yourself improve. This will cause your people to receive the coaching that they need most, and they will be able to fix flaws and maximize their potential.

4. Denied. Not offering or receiving any kind of coaching. This will cause your people to believe that they are not enough, and that they don’t need coaching or improvement.

5. Condemned. Not working to challenge and grow. This will cause your people and remain at the same level which means your company will remain at the same level.

6. Despised.This means you have given up on working altogether. You lack passion and drive at your job every day and you have no desire to level up.

The most profitable companies revolve around improving themselves and their people for the better. They are constantly pouring support, inspiration, and love into their work. The companies that fail have created a culture of denying, condemning, and despising.

Adopting a samurai mindset of benevolence means challenging your programming to believe you’re enough to overcome any challenge. You’ll see your results radically change, you’ll be more productive, you’ll have more energy and you’ll crave feedback to be better than you were yesterday.