In the first post I made on this blog, I went over a bit of my background and highlighted that I work in the Commercial Real Estate Valuation field. As I continue to learn new things daily about the business, I’ve found there is a significant amount of crossover between the concepts I’m learning in my line of work and just everyday living. Figuring out the crossovers and making the connections help simplify concepts when I’m explaining them to those outside of my work (especially Kryzia). One of the concepts that I love to connect is the principle of Highest and Best Use (HABU). This week’s post is a bit short, but it gets straight to the point.Put simply, the principle of Highest and Best Use (HABU) in my field simply looks at a piece of land in a hundred different ways to figure out what should be done to get the maximum potential out of a particular site. Here’s the perfect example: Imagine you are in the heart of downtown Toronto at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas. Once you hear the word “downtown”, what immediately pops into your mind? You must be picturing a bunch of buildings. For those of you who aren’t natives of the Greater Toronto Area, the intersection of Yonge and Dundas features one of the city’s most prestigious malls: the Eaton Centre. Surrounding the mall is a large number of high rise condominiums and office towers. If you take a good look around that intersection, everything there seems to fit. It’s the principle of HABU in practice.

But then imagine if in the midst of the big mall, the condos, and the office towers, you find a one-storey home right in the middle of it all. Immediately, your face frowns: Something clearly doesn’t fit, right? Having a one-storey home in the midst of a busy intersection filled with a mall, condos, and office towers isn’t the best practice of HABU. 

So, where’s the crossover? How can we apply HABU to our everyday life?

In daily living, HABU is similar to the concept of playing to your strengths. However, in my opinion HABU takes it a step further and involves the intentional positioning of oneself to be able take advantage of their unique set of skills to impact others. You can’t just play to your strengths wherever and whenever you want. It takes strategic and intentional positioning.

In Kryzia’s last post, she highlighted the extreme pain she felt back in University when she was positioned to try and operate in a field that completely failed to align with her set of gifts. Without intentionally positioning herself, playing to her strengths would prove to be a vain effort. She could possibly use her strength of writing in the field of medicine, but that’s not the strength that helps you succeed in that particular field. The moment she made that HABU pivot, she saw an increase in her overall happiness, her overall energy in pursuit of her goals, and her opportunities to unintentionally inspire others.. All by simply placing herself in the right situation to do what she’s phenomenal at. 

Applying the HABU principle doesn’t have to always be a radical, career changing, life changing decision. It’s also about the small steps: making minor changes here and there to ensure that you’re not just playing to your strengths, but the situation and the environment you choose to place yourself in nurtures those strengths. Disclaimer: this doesn’t mean things will always be easy. Things will get difficult at times, but those difficulties will push you to grow, rather than stifle you into mediocrity. I strongly encourage everyone I come into contact with to try as much as possible to make choices today so that they can be in a position tomorrow to be able to take advantage of their Highest and Best Use.

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