By Eric Boles

One of my daughters had an opportunity a while back to learn an improve on the volleyball court. In the world of sports, those opportunities seem to come up frequently. A little tweak on form, an adjustment on attitude or approach can make a difference in a game. Pay attention and make a slight adjustment. Continual improvement.

I call these Significant Learning Moments (SLM). A quick correction, a small new idea – change is made and momentum forward is kept. I believe it is the best way to learn. The other way to learn? Significant Life Events (SLE). Something major happens that forces us to change, or forces everything around us to change and we are left in the wake.

For my daughter, the SLM was on the court, realizing that something needed to change and then adjusting. The SLE would have been in our living room, cut from the team and broken hearted because it turned out that something should have changed and the effort wasn’t made.

The tuition cost of a SLM is our attention. We need to pay attention to what is going on around us, to what we read, to advice we are given. It’s a low cost with a pretty good return.

The tuition cost of a SLE can be much higher. It could cost you a spot on the team, a relationship, a job, an opportunity. Those are much higher costs! And the “return” may simply be that someday you can gain back what you lost.

Some Significant Life Events are simply Significant Learning Moments that were ignored.

Choose to pay attention! Let the Significant Learning Moment be your teacher. If you don’t, I guarantee a Significant Life Event will come along and do the teaching instead.

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