When we were brainstorming topics for Random Writers just a few short months ago, this is one I threw out there. Understanding what makes people tick is often an insight into their needs/wants/desires, and it simply interests me. So I was excited to encourage my three dear friends to explore the topic as well, and have been looking forward to this week’s postings. Please check out Gil’s here, Jeff’s here, and make sure to come back tomorrow to catch Lee’s.
(It’s at this point that I should admit that I was the one Gil referred to as his friend who deemed this topic “what gets you off”. I’ve matured over a matter of months to leaving poorly placed innuendos in the dust.)
As I’ve grown and learned more about myself, I’ve learned how to recognize outstanding moments in my own life. Those moments where the rest of my world disappeared, and I was so caught up in the moment that what was happening was lifting (floating) my ego (boat) to the point that it left me wanting more.
For more than five years, part of my job responsibilities have included teaching home buyer education classes to Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Topics primarily cover budgeting, neighboring, and home maintenance with some additional life skills sprinkled in there. These classes are held in the evenings, and while I enjoyed the classes, I HATED waiting around to teach them. My life was happening outside of the office, and I was just waiting there to fulfill my duty. So from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, I sat in my office willing the time to go by. Often, it was the longest hour of my work week.
One night though, I realized it was worth the personal sacrifice. After locking up the office, putting the chain across the entrance to the HFH compound, and driving home, I realized that the entire twenty minute drive home I had been replaying conversations from that evening’s class over and over in my head. The attendees that session were especially great, and we’d had a truly terrific conversation about budgeting and finances. That night in class we identified a spending leak for every person in the room, and turned that $5 spent here or there into another monthly expense.
I asked everyone in class to identify a spending leak in their daily/weekly spending habits; drinks from the soda machine at work, a quick McDonald’s breakfast, daily runs to 7-Eleven. One woman even confessed to heading directly to Blockbuster every single weekly pay day and dropping $25 on bargain bin movies that she never watched. We talked it out and she realized that though money was tight, that wall of DVD’s made her feel like she owned something of value.
When I took the dry erase marker to the white board and multiplied the $25 times 4 weeks in the month, and she saw the visual of a $1,200 a year spending leak, a light bulb went off in her head. The look on her face as she experienced that “AHA” moment, as I then broke the $1,200 into 3 monthly mortgage payments of $400 (go HFH with your no profit, no interest mortgage), is what floated my boat that night.
Gil wrote a fantastic post on the subject on Monday’s Random Writer’s installment where he touched on how our own egos are always stroked in these moments. His post inspired my own “AHA” moment. Those moments really are about what we bring to the table. That night, and others since, I have realized that I’ve gotten home and am still replaying the class over and over in my head because I feel like I’ve made a difference. My time there late into the evening wasn’t wasted. They got it and that floated my boat.
My “AHA” moment was in the realization of why I have been drawn to blogging. It’s another arena in which my voice can be heard, by whomever God leads to my page. When my personal musings lead to another person’s light bulb moment, I feel like God is using me for His greater good, and that is a reward always worth a sacrifice.