From the June 2011 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

The Moment

I’m a sap. Every year I get sucked into watching American Idol. Some might classify it as a mild obsession. My only saving grace (I tell myself) is I’ve never actually texted a vote. So technically, I’m not a groupie.

So what is it, aside from J Lo’s wardrobe that grabs me? It’s the moments. Granted, they’re not my moments but occasionally, there are some moments. What are moments, you ask?

We all have them. It’s just ours don’t usually get played out on national TV. To me, those special moments are the fleeting times when we somehow nail it. When we hit one out of the park. When our passion finally makes sense. It’s the rare moment when we get everything right and we know it. It’s the stuff of legends.

When I watch Idol, sure, I love watching the performers’ moments. But I also find myself reflecting on some of my own moments. I think about moments with family and friends, moments with work and a moment or two on the stand-up comedy stage. Basically, it’s my life highlight reel, without commercial interruption.

The financial industry has provided me, and I’m sure many of you, with our own moments. Do you remember the first order you placed? I do. It was a little blue-haired old lady in Kenton, Ohio. Before I had opened my office, I was brainwashed into going door-to-door making cold calls.

I’ll never forget it. I knocked on her door and introduced myself. After some polite chitchat, she went to get some old bond she had and asked me to sell it for her and put it in a mutual fund. Thank goodness she knew what she wanted to do because I sure didn’t. As I walked away, I thought, “Hmm, maybe this will work after all.”

Other moments followed. I’m sure many of you have similar moments. Remember your first six-figure order? Remember the first month your commissions met your goal? Remember helping a client that no one else could?

As a wholesaler, I also had some moments. (Contrary to what you may think, wholesalers are people too and they can have moments as well.) Getting pain in-the-butt advisors to do business is always a little moment to wholesalers. Giving a blowout presentation in front of your peers is another moment wholesalers treasure.

As life cruises on, I find the older I get the fewer moments there are. Or maybe I’ve just been too crazy busy to dwell on them. “Yeah, that was great but I’ve got to get my kids to the game and the dog to the vet….” Sometimes life gets in the way of living I guess.

So, while I sift through the mundane details of daily life, I like to think about creating more moments. More concrete memories to hang on to until senility sets in.

What’s your next moment? What is it you really want for yourself or your family? Maybe your moment is creating a moment for someone else. This past spring, my 12-year-old boy was pestering me to take him turkey hunting, so I did. By the end of one long rainy week, I counted 5 grown men who had dropped what they were doing to help a 12-year-old boy get his first turkey. And when he finally did, I’m not sure who was more excited, my son or all the adults. My son’s big moment turned into a moment for all of us.

Hopefully, reading this has given you the chance to think back on some of your big moments and the chance to think about creating some future ones as well. In the meantime, I told my son to forget about hunting. There’s work to do. He’s got three more years until he’s eligible to try out for American Idol.
Enjoy your moments.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.