Understanding the Important Distinction Between Community Association Managers and Property Managers

By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director

A common mistake in state legislatures considering community association manager licensing – and among the general public – is to lump community association managers and property managers into the same bucket. While both are very important roles, they are distinctly different professions with functions, skill sets and responsibilities specific to each.

A community association manager can manage every type of community: condominium associations, homeowner associations, resort communities and commercial tenant associations.  A community association manager works directly with prcommunity-property-managementoperty owners and homeowners.

Property managers oversee individual rental units or a group of rental units, such as an apartment complex. They’re responsible for managing the entire property while community association managers are responsible for common areas – not individually owned properties.

“From a legislative standpoint, this incorrect categorization occurs because state legislators misunderstand the nature of community association management,” said Matthew Green, Director, State Affairs for the Community Associations Institute (CAI).  “They believe that community association management skills are identical to those of a property manager without recognizing the vastly different responsibilities of these two positions.”

This misunderstanding of the two professions often bleeds into more general conversations occurring in this space. Compounding this is the reality that there’s a slight overlap in a couple of the duties performed. For example, both property managers and community association managers supervise certain maintenance activities, such as swimming pool upkeep and trash removal. But it’s important to understand that community association managers oversee and direct all aspects of running the business operation. This means, they authorize payment for association services; develop budgets and present association financial reports to Board members; direct the enforcement of restrictive covenants; perform site inspections; solicit, evaluate and assist in insurance purchases; and, even supervise the design and delivery of association recreational programs.

Property managers are responsible for managing the actual property and therefore handle the physical assets of the unit at the owner’s request. Property managers generally oversee rental units and leases. Their responsibilities might include finding or evicting tenants, collecting rent and responding to tenant complaints or specific requests. If a property manager is responsible for a vacation or second home, he or she may arrange for services such as house sitting or local sub-contracting necessary to maintain that property.  Alternatively, an owner may opt to delegate specific tasks to a property manager and choose to handle other duties directly.

Stephanie Durner, CMCA, AMS, who is the Director of Community Management at River Landing, a private gated golf course community in Wallace, NC, views the distinction this way,

“While property managers are generally charged with overseeing physical structures that are used by people who are not the owners of the property, association managers represent the property owners themselves and are involved in just about every aspect of the overall community. For instance, if a garage door is broken at a rental house, the tenant would call a property manager or owner/landlord. But if there’s a pothole that needs repair or if a neighbor’s dog is running loose through the neighborhood, that’s a task for the community association manager who both maintains the common areas and upholds the governing rules. To me, community association management is a more holistic approach that contributes to the overall quality of life for all the owners in a community.”

Green emphasized, “While some job responsibilities are similar, community association managers have additional functions. It’s critical that community association management be recognized as distinct from property management, because association management requires a wider variety of knowledge and skills.”

“Because of this, the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) offers and maintains the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential, the only international certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives,” added Sara Duginske, MS, CAMICB’s Director of Credentialing Services. “Earning the CMCA credential means an individual has taken and passed the rigorous CMCA examination, proving they have a solid understanding of the business operations involved in being a community association manager.”

For community association managers, the bottom line is they understand and are experienced and knowledgeable in the many facets of running a business operation, assuring they provide the best possible service to the associations for which they are responsible.

CAMICB was established in 1995 to develop and administer the CMCA program. CAMICB insists on high ethical standards for community association managers because it not only strengthens the CMCA program, but protects consumers and associations that hire community association managers.

Decoding the ABC’s of Credentials, Certificates & Designations

What do those letters behind your name mean?

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director, CAMICB

Even for those deeply entrenched in the credentialing world, there’s a certain degree of confusion around some of the terminology used to describe specific paths professionals take to further their careers and skill sets. The field of community association management is no different so it’s important to educate managers, homeowners, and other community association professionals about the different options the profession has to offer and the value they hold.

According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), “credentialing” is an umbrella term used to refer to concepts such as professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation.

ICE defines certification, licensure, assessment-based certificate, and accreditation in the following ways:

  • certification program is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a particular job, and, upon successfully passing a certification exam, to represent a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence, such as a community manager who has achieved the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®).  In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
  • Similarly, licensure tests an individual’s competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession, such as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker.
  • In contrast to certification and licensure, an assessment-based certificate program is an educational or training program that is used to teach learning objectives and assess whether those objectives were achieved by the student.
  • Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards and is awarded recognition if it is in compliance with those standards. The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) is such a program. ICE currently offers accreditation to professional certification programs through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) confirming it complies with NCCA’s stringent standards for a professional certification program. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA program and is a mark of quality.

Specialty Designations

Community association professionals may also choose to bolster their careers and expand their level of expertise in certain areas. This is where specialty designations come into play. A “designation” is recognition of professional knowledge and expertise in a given subject matter or job skill.  To earn designations, membership is required in a professional organization and usually requires work experience.  Certain specialty designations are offered through the Community Associations Institute (CAI) including, the Association Management Specialist (AMS), Large Scale Manager (LSM), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS) and Reserve Specialist (RS). This allows a community association professional to drill down into a specialized aspect of the business.  In some cases, for example the PCAM and AMS designations, passing the CMCA examination is a prerequisite to applying for these designations.

I’ve experienced a wide disparity in the background and quality of the managers with whom I’ve worked,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group.  “A manager who holds the CMCA assures me they have an important foundation in place – the ongoing education and knowledge necessary to successfully manage millions of dollars worth of other people’s property and a serious commitment to high ethical standards.”

Stephen Castle, CMCA, AMS, PCAM agrees all committed community association managers should hold the CMCA certification. “The CMCA certification demonstrates to employees and new managers a commitment to professionalism,” said Castle. “Further, CMCAs show their support for established national and international standards of knowledge and professional conduct for community association managers.”

The Certified Manager of Community Associations – The only accredited certification program in the world for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.

The CMCA Goes Global

As CAMICB grew to be the premiere certification body in the United States for community association managers, it also gained international recognition for its established body of knowledge and strict ethical standards. Over the past two decades, the CMCA certification program crossed borders and oceans in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. This global expansion secured a high level of professionalism for association management and common interest communities worldwide. In 2017, CAMICB launched the international CMCA examination.

About ICE

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.

If it looks like a Community Manager and talks like a Community Manager, then it’s a Community Manager

(Not a Property Manager or Real Estate Broker)

When debating the issue of how to regulate community association managers, many state legislators seem to share a mindset that goes something like this …

If licensure requirements are already in place for property managers and real estate brokers, let’s toss community association managers into the same bucket. They all deal with homes and property, right?

What seems like a simple enough solution is a dangerous mischaracterization of the business of community association management. Without recognizing the vastly different responsibilities required of community managers, property managers and real estate brokers may be left unchecked and ill-equipped to carry out the roles and responsibilities required to manage a community association.

Are property managers or real estate brokers versed in the governance, elections of, and oversight of a board of directors? Are they skilled at developing guidelines by which homeowner committees must follow to carry out their roles and responsibilities? And, what about developing budgets, RFPs for contracting services on behalf of an association, or enforcing covenant restrictions?

The short answer is probably not. And, here’s why:

Community Association Managers vs. Property Managers

Community association managers are responsible for managing a corporation, not merely the property. As such, the scope of their responsibilities is much greater than required for property managers. Community association managers are responsible for maintaining common, not individually-owned, property. While some job responsibilities are similar, community association managers have additional functions. Community association management should be recognized as distinct from property management because association management requires a wider variety of knowledge and skills.

Community Association Managers vs. Real Estate Brokers

Managing a community association dramatically differs from selling real estate. The role of community managers is not to represent a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction. Community managers are not responsible for selling or leasing any property, including individually-owned property.

For these reasons, state legislators should refrain from adding to the confusion by clumping these professions into the same licensure classification.  If community association managers must obtain a broker’s license without intending to enter the profession, they will not be obligated to gain skills in that profession. Any regulatory program that ignores these differences denies community association residents security in the skills and knowledge of a professional community manager.

Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®)

What makes sense is for community managers to educate legislators, homeowners, property managers, and real estate brokers about certification programs, like the CMCA. The CMCA is a well-established, professionally regarded mechanism for evaluating and providing an on-going process of ensuring the competency of community managers.  To recognize programs like the CMCA relieves managers of the burden of having to keep up licensures they do not use, and frees up resources needed to hone and perfect the skills needed to professionally manage a community association.

What are your thoughts? As a community manager, how do you feel about this issue? Please comment and share your ideas.

Keeping Homeowners & Employers Confident in Your Ability to Provide High Quality Service

If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the April 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.

Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.

CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential

The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.

Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.

There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.

Continuing Education

It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Not sure of your recertification date? Go to: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca

Visit www.camicb.org for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.

8 small things people use to judge your personality

The human brain is hardwired to judge. This survival mechanism makes it very hard to meet someone without evaluating and interpreting their behavior.

While we tend to think that our judgments are based on the content of conversations and other obvious behaviors, the research says otherwise. In fact, the majority of our judgments are focused on smaller, subtler things, such as handshakes and body language. We often form complete opinions about people based solely on these behaviors.

We are so good at judging other people’s personalities based on small things that, in a University of Kansas study, subjects accurately predicted people’s personality traits, such as extroversion/introversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness, simply by looking at pictures of the shoes they wore.

Our unconscious behaviors have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. These behaviors have likely become an integral part of who you are, and if you don’t spend much time thinking about them, now is a good time to start, because they could be sabotaging your career.

How you treat waiters and receptionists

How you treat support staff is so indicative of your makeup that it has become a common interview tactic. By gauging how you interact with support staff on your way in and out of the building, interviewers get a sense for how you treat people in general. Most people act the part when they’re speaking to the hiring manager or other “important” people, but some will pull a Jekyll and Hyde act the moment they walk out the door, treating others with disdain or indifference. Business lunches are another place this comes to light. No matter how nice you are to the people you have lunch with, it’s all for naught if those people witness you behaving badly toward others.

How often you check your phone

There’s nothing more frustrating than someone pulling out their phone mid-conversation. Doing so conveys a lack of respect, attention, listening skills, and willpower. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s wise to keep your phone holstered. A study from Elon University confirms that pulling out your phone during a conversation lowers both the quality and quantity of face-to-face interactions.

Repetitive, nervous habits

Touching your nails or face or picking at your skin typically indicates that you’re nervous, overwhelmed, and not in control. Research from the University of Michigan suggests that these nervous habits are indicative of a perfectionistic personality, and that perfectionists are more likely to engage in these habits when they’re frustrated or bored.

How long you take to ask questions

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they talked about themselves the entire time? The amount of time someone allows to pass before they take an interest in you is a strong personality indicator. People who only talk about themselves tend to be loud, self-absorbed “takers.” People who only ask questions and share little about themselves are usually quiet, humble “givers.” Those who strike a nice balance of give-and-take are reciprocators and good conversationalists.

Your handshake

It’s common for people to associate a weak handshake with a lack of confidence and an overall lackadaisical attitude. A study at the University of Alabama showed that, although it isn’t safe to draw assumptions about someone’s competence based on their handshake, you can accurately identify personality traits. Specifically, the study found that a firm handshake equates with being less shy, less neurotic, and more extroverted.

Tardiness

Showing up late leads people to think that you lack respect and tend to procrastinate, as well as being lazy or disinterested. Contrary to these perceptions, a San Diego State University study by Jeff Conte revealed that tardiness is typically seen in people who multitask, or are high in relaxed, Type B personality traits. Conte’s study found that Type B individuals are often late because they experience time more slowly than the rest of us. Bottom line here is not to read too much into people showing up late. It’s better to ask what’s behind it than to make assumptions.

Handwriting

There are all manner of false stereotypes attempting to relate your handwriting to your personality. For example, people believe that how hard you press down on the paper relates to how uptight you are, the slant of your writing indicates introversion or extroversion, and the neatness/sloppiness of your writing reveals organizational tendencies. The research is inconclusive at best when it comes to handwriting and personality. If you have an important letter to write, I’d suggest sticking to the keyboard to keep things neutral.

Eye contact

The key to eye contact is balance. While it’s important to maintain eye contact, doing so 100% of the time is perceived as aggressive and creepy. At the same time, if you only maintain eye contact for a small portion of the conversation, you’ll come across as disinterested, shy, or embarrassed. Studies show that maintaining eye contact for roughly 60% of a conversation strikes the right balance and makes you come across as interested, friendly, and trustworthy.

Bringing it all together

Sometimes the little things in life make a big difference. It’s good to be ready for them, so that you can make a strong impression.

From theladders.com, May 2018. Travis Bradberry is the co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the co-founder of TalentSmart.  This column first appeared on LinkedIn.

Preparing Your Manager For the CMCA

Hiring a new manager is a big investment for a management company. Giving your new manager time to adjust as he or she adapts to your company culture, gets to know your clients, and navigates the inevitable learning curve takes time and money. But often overlooked in the early part of this process is professional development. What can you do to help your manager succeed in your business and with your clients?

It’s widely known that the community association manager’s scope of responsibility is vast. A manager needs to understand contracting, property maintenance, reserves, and much more to properly manage a community association. That’s why the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential is designed to verify a community manager’s knowledge of industry best practices in these critical areas.

Many management companies have seen the value in the CMCA program and require their new hires to pass the exam as a hiring contingency. Certifying new managers as CMCAs will help them gain a valuable qualification not only to further their careers but their success for the company as well.

While certifying new managers as CMCAs is an excellent idea, many new managers may have either limited or no previous knowledge of the many facets of their position.

To set your manager up for success, it’s important to give them the time and resources they will need to fully absorb all the different aspects of the profession. Encourage your manager to visit the www.camicb.org website for resources designed to help prepare new managers to successfully pass their CMCA Exam the first time:


Encourage your new manager to enroll in The Community Associations Institute (CAI)’s M-100: The Essentials of Community Associations course, which also fulfills the educational prerequisite.
This course is designed as an overview of the community association management profession as a whole and will give your new manager the foundation of knowledge they will need to build on.

Give your managers time to review and study the exam prep materials available on the www.camicb.org website.
A list of all preparatory materials is available on www.camicb.org by selecting Get Certified >> Exam Preparation. From games and puzzles to glossaries and definitions, these study materials cater to a variety of learning styles.

Emphasize to your manager the importance of learning standardized test-taking strategies
Because the CMCA exam is designed to evaluate a community manager’s knowledge of industry best practices, more than one multiple choice answer may, on an initial reading, seem correct. From an industry best practices perspective, however, there is only one correct answer.

Develop study sessions for new managers that include experienced staff.
With so much information to take in, your manager will likely have many questions while studying for their exam. Consider pairing the new manager with other CMCAs in your office to give them the opportunity to ask specific questions and learn important skills they will need to apply their knowledge.

Offer the new manager up to a year to study and gain experience for the exam
The CMCA Exam tests both the manager’s knowledge and the manager’s understanding of the application of best practices.  That understanding will best be gained from hands-on experience.Giving the manager enough time to understand and apply knowledge in practice will dramatically
increase their chance of success on the exam

If your management company already has in place an avenue for managers to earn professional credentials, like the CMCA, tell us how you do it! Share your insights; what works and what doesn’t work to help other new managers find success.

Mulhare Shares Insights As He Embarks On Another Two-Year Term

By Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM
CAMICB Board Chair

I’m honored to serve as Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners and to work alongside passionate and experienced Board members, all of whom are deeply committed to the strength and integrity of the CMCA credentialing program.  We represent an organization that’s committed to professionalism in the field of community association management and to the success of individuals pursuing the CMCA credential.  In doing so, we work hard to offer our exam candidates a wide range of useful, engaging tools to assist them in preparing for the exam, and we’re excited to launch new materials in 2019.

Drew 2

Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM

Over the years, I’ve witnessed the evolution of the community association management profession mature into a dynamic and vital career. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that has a strong and continuing commitment to raising awareness of what the CMCA credential represents among our professional community, homeowners, as well as legislators and regulators.

As demand for the CMCA credential continues to grow – both here in the U.S. and abroad – CAMICB will work through the NCCA reaccreditation process for the CMCA credential and will also pursue accreditation through ANSI, which is a critical component for international expansion of the CMCA. ANSI accreditation will ensure the CMCA Program is in accordance with requirements defined in International Standards. Both NCCA and ANSI accreditation confirm the CMCA Program complies with stringent standards for a professional certification program. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA Program and is a mark of quality. This is no small undertaking, consequently 2019 promises to be a busy and important year!

Drew Mulhare is the co-owner and President of Realtec Community Services, Inc. where he employs 65 full time and a number of seasonal team members in service as the Management Agent for the Ford’s Colony Homeowners Association in Williamsburg, VA.  He also serves as the Association’s General Manager. Mulhare earned the CMCA credential in 1996.

 

Keeping Homeowners & Employers Confident in Your Ability to Provide High Quality Service

If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the April 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.

Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.

CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential

The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.

Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.

There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.

Continuing Education

It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Not sure of your recertification date? Go to: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca

Visit www.camicb.org for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.

This 75-year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy

Photo by Nina Uhlíková

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional health of two groups:
  • 456 poor people in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study)
  • 268 graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939–1944 (the Glueck study)

After following these groups and testing them (e.g., blood samples, brain scans) for several decades, the findings have been compiled.

Here’s the conclusion:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” — Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development

As Melanie Curtin reported on Inc., “The biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.”

Although the Harvard study lays the foundation, there is other compelling research on the importance of human relationships.

This meta analysis showed a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships. Put simply, if you have healthy relationships, your chances of survival increase by 50%.

Nearly everything in life is impacted by WHO is around you, and how those people support you.

Childhood trauma, for example, is not about what happens to you. But about what happens “inside” of you, according to Dr. Gabor Maté. In other words, if you go through a terribly horrible experience and you have someone there to help you process it, you’ll likely recover quickly. If you don’t have someone to help you through it, you’ll internalize it, isolate yourself, and that trauma will turn into a lifetime of pain.

Healthy relationships, then, could help you avoid addiction. Could help you overcome life’s challenges. Could help you reach higher than you could on your own.

In an article in SCIENCE, authors House, Landis, and Umberson stated the following:

“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health — rivaling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity”

Transformational relationships

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” — John Wooden

The most loving and deep relationships are built on a very simple foundation: giving and gratitude.

When the focus is on what you can give, rather than what you can get, the relationship becomes a gift to both of you.

There’s no holding back.

No keeping score.

Only in such relationships can you be fully present to the moment and fully un-inhibited in the expression of your love.

Giving freely without an expectation of return is essential. As are expressions of gratitude. In fact, this study found that expressions of gratitude have a powerful effect on the other person.

Specifically, this study found regular expressions of gratitude can:
  • Increase a person’s self-worth
  • Increase a person’s self-efficacy (confidence)
  • Increase a person’s prosocial behavior (in other words, when you’re grateful to someone, they become a better person to society at large).
  • Increase ability to cope with life’s challenges

Interestingly, Brad Pitt once provided the most beautiful evidence of the science of gratitude and giving. Although he may have forgot …

Whatever happened since, check out this love letter Brad wrote to Angie several years ago:

“My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and problems with children.

She had lost 30 pounds and weighed about 90 pounds in her 35 years. She got very skinny, and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs.

She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the morning and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of break up.

Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role.

I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon … But then I decided to act on it. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on the earth …

I began to pamper her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised her and pleased her every minute. I gave her lots of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends.

You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became even better than before. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and she loved me even more than ever.

I had no clue that she CAN love that much. And then I realized one thing: The woman is the reflection of her man. If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.”

This stuff works. However, relationships aren’t a quick-fix thing. You’ve got to stick to these incredible practices of giving and gratitude or the relationships will stop being transformational. It will die.

Living for something beyond yourself

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl

Great power is not what creates great responsibility. Instead, great responsibility is what creates power.

When my wife and I became foster parents of three kids a few years, our lives changed. We had something bigger depending on us. We had to rise to the occasion.

According to what psychologists call, “The pygmalion effect,” you as a person either rise or fall to the demands of your situation. If your situation doesn’t demand much, you won’t rise up.

Having other people depend on you is a beautiful thing. It’s the pressure that will turn you into a diamond. It will cause you to dig deep within yourself, and overcome the addictions and bad habits holding you back.

You have so much more to live for now.

In the digital world we now live in, it’s not about the amount of hours you work. But the amount of thought and humanity you put into your work.

The deeper and more transformative your daily experiences, the more perspective you’ll have into what the world needs. The better you’ll be at your job. The happier you’ll be as a person — despite experiencing hardships throughout life.

When you have people around you who love and help you, you become a different and better person. You become transformed. You become capable of doing amazing things. You are enabled to overcome hardships that would destroy most people.

Do you have deep and loving relationships?

Have you expressed gratitude lately?

Have you given your greatest gifts in complete love and generosity?

This article originally appeared on Medium. By Benjamin P. Hardy

Ron Perl Receives Prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award

Ronald J. Perl, Esq. partner-in-charge of Hill Wallack’s community associations and eminent domain practice groups in Princeton, N.J., has been awarded the Don Buck Lifetime Contribution Award, the most prestigious honor given by the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Perl accepted the award on Jan. 25 during the 2019 Community Association Law Seminar in New Orleans.

CCAL_R_Perl.png?r=1549305537823

(Left to right) Ronald J. Perl, Esq. receives the CCAL Lifetime Achievement Award from Matt D. Ober, Esq. president of the 2019 CCAL Board of Governors.

The award recognizes attorneys who exhibit exceptional leadership in the field of community association law.

For the past 40 years, Perl has devoted his career to the community association industry and to Community Associations Institute (CAI). He served as president of the New Jersey chapter in 1986 and president of CAI National in 2007. Perl was inducted as a CCAL fellow in 1994. In addition, he served as president of the Foundation for Community Association Research, member of the New Jersey Political Action Committee, and commissioner on the Community Association Managers International Certification Board. He has chaired CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee, the Federal Legislative Action Committee, and the national Business Partners Council.

The Lifetime Contribution Award was created in 2009 in honor of Gurdon “Don” Buck, a pioneer and innovator in the field of community association law who died in 2008. Among his many achievements, Buck, a senior partner in what would eventually become Robinson & Cole, LLP, devoted countless hours to the betterment of common-interest communities with his service and contributions through education and scholarly writings for CAI and other organizations.

Through this award, CCAL ensures that Buck’s spirit, devotion, and commitment to the community association industry remain alive. The Don Buck Lifetime Contribution Award is awarded periodically at the discretion of the CCAL Board of Governors. Perl is the eighth recipient of the award.

Denise Lash, founder and president of the CAI Canada Chapter, congratulated Perl on his award and his exceptional leadership in the field of community association law. “Many years ago, I connected with Ron as a Canadian attorney trying to find my way in this new and exciting field of association law. Ron provided guidance, support, and expertise for my own law practice at a time that I was struggling with career decisions. He welcomed me as the “Canadian” to the CAI family, spending much of his free time making those important introductions that resulted in the creation of the CAI Canada Chapter.”

For more information on the College of Community Association Lawyers, visit CAIonline.org.