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This is a guest post by parent, Dan McMahon.

How important can a single moment in time be in your life?  Each day 86,400 seconds pass and a huge percentage of them aren’t given a second thought.  They come, they go, and they are gone forever.  Life in 2011 is extremely busy.  We live each day paced by the calendars in our smart phones, and we try to cram in as much as humanly possible.  Second by second, time ticks by and most of us probably don’t even consider the importance of a given moment.  Was that moment life changing or was it just another moment?  Was it worth a second thought?  If I had it back, would I change how I acted in that moment?

I attended a sales meeting with my former company last year to listen to a speaker named Scott Demming who gave a fantastic presentation about customer service.  He discussed how all of us are in the people business, and relationships are our products.  At any given moment, we can lose a customer, friendship, or relationship by an action that we make or don’t make, and many times we don’t even realize how pivotal that moment was.  In large companies this occurs far too often and those that really care about the relationships don’t even realize that the $8/hr worker that answered a particular phone call severed the relationship and cost all future business because he was in a bad mood when he answered the phone and took it out on the customer.  This is a huge problem for businesses everywhere.

Let’s look at how this can affect all of us in our personal lives.  Many days I walk in the door of my house after a long, stressful day and Kaylee comes running to me with a big smile asking for a hug and a kiss because she is so happy to see me.  I’m worn down to nothing because of the long hours I have put in, but I have a decision to make.  I can shrug my beautiful child off and say, “I’m tired sweetie.  I need a few minutes to decompress and I’ll play with you in a bit”.  Or I can realize the importance of that moment in time and realize that of the 86,400 seconds during that last 24 hour period this may be the most important at least to Kaylee who is vying for as much of that time as possible. 

How about this scenario?  Kaylee comes to me crying because her teddy bear is missing.  Once again I have a choice to make.  I can dismiss the importance of the moment and tell her that I’ll help her find it later, or I can grasp the importance and make it a priority to help her find it now.  In my mind a missing teddy bear is certainly not the end of the world.  We have a roof over our head, food on the table; we can pay the mortgage, put gas in the car, etc…  These are all things to worry about and stress over in an adult mind, but a missing teddy bear isn’t the end of the world, is it?  How about to a five year old?  Her teddy bear to her is as important as that house that we live in.  It is everything to her and if I dismiss it as nothing, I’m certain she views it as I don’t care about the most important thing in her life.

Many moments pass us by every day.  It’s what we decide to do with them that will determine and shape our lives.

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