Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ah-Ha Moments

In last week's soccer game, our seven year old daughter was playing noticeably different.  For three years (six seasons), our daughter has been an involved, but not committeed, soccer player.  Although she was often running after or near the ball, she would rarely try to get  or take control of the ball.   However, in the first game of this year, she is already playing at a much higher level.

In the first quarter, our daughter was aggressively playing for the ball and challenging the opposing team, which she routinely avoided in the past.   She also took control of the ball several times.  Finally, she scored her first goal, which also happended to be the first team goal, in the first quarter of the first game :-)  Clearly, our daughter had one of those Ah-Ha moments about what she should be doing in soccer.   Hopefully, she will maintain this playing attitude for the rest of the season :-)

For me, I can remember a couple Ah-Ha moments that have made a difference in my personal finances.   The first was in high school academics.   Up until high school, I had been a slightly above average student, getting good (in the B to A range) but not particularly stellar grades.   In high school, I soon learned that studying harder would lead to better grades.   I ended up having a 4.0 average (in the days when an A in AP classes was still only a 4.0) and graduated as one of the valedictorians.  (For reference, I also was the starting fullback on our state championship football team.  So I wasn't just studying all the time.)  While I didn't realize at the time, getting great grades helped me get into college of my choice, get a degree in engineering which led to a higher paying job.

The second was Ah-Ha moment was 12 years after I started working.   I was a "middle third" employee, as one supervisor rated me, meaning I was somewhere just above or below average.  (I suspect he meant below, but didn't want to tell me:-)  At year 12 I realized that I didn't want to be at the same level 20 years in the future.  That realization enabled me to make significant changes that led to a career turning point which resulted in advancing two levels and a significant increase in compensation.

Now, some readers are probably thinking, "Doh! These Ah-Has seem pretty obvious and self evident."  Maybe so to others, but not to me before my Ah-Ha moment.  But once I had the Ah-Ha, it made a significant difference in my life.

For more on  Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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