Life and Financial Lessons from a Five Year Old

When you have children, sometimes you feel as if you are always walking uphill just to make it from  work to school to activities on time. It is often easy to be on automatic pilot, but if you pay attention, sometimes you can learn life lessons from the smallest people.

Our daughter started gymnastics a year ago when she was four years old. It was a new program in our area, and was offered through the city recreation center, so it was very affordable. Her class consisted of 4-6 year olds, and she absolutely loved it.  When we began kindergarten, we had to stop the classes because we are attennding an out of district school. We just couldn’t make it in time.  The gymnastics program has taken off like a rocket, and the earlier, younger classes are now averaging 50-60 kids. To spread the load, the coaches decided to offer three classes, mixing all ages together but separating like ages into groups within the class. We were able to make the later class, so we tried it out last week.

When we arrived, it was obvious that my daughter was the youngest and smallest one there. There were a couple of first graders, but the rest were older, including the high school cheer squad. When they began the warm up, which is the same for all classes, it was much faster and louder with the older kids. As I’m watching from the bleachers, my daughter comes running toward me with tears streaming down her face.

Daughter, “Moooommmmmy, I can’t do it. It’s too loud.”

Me, “It’s the same as in your class, honey, the girls are just a little bigger.”

Daughter, “It’s just too hard, Mommy, I can’t.”

Me, “Well we’ve signed up for today. Let’s try, and if you don’t like it, we don’t have to come back.”

Daughter (with more tears), “I don’t think I can, Mommy.”

Me, “This is the only time we can come to class. If we leave now, we can’t do gymnastics anymore.”

Daughter, “But I WANT  to do gymnastics, Mommy.”

I convinced her to give it a try and lead her back to the mat beside the first graders. When they separated into smaller groups, she got a little more confident. She started goofing off on the balance beam, like the little girls sometimes did in her other class. The coach gently scolded her, and as I waited for  the waterworks  to start up again, she turned into another child. She concentrated and had the best gymnastics day she’s ever had. She held her own with the kids in her group. Heck, I can’t even walk across the balance beam or do a flip on the lower of the uneven bars. I was impressed and very proud. She was so happy afterwards and can’t wait to go back next week.

How often in life do we give up when we’re faced with an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation?

Getting out of Debt

When you are living beyond your means, it’s hard to pull the plug on spending. You might have to sell some possessions or start driving an older car. It’s hard to tell coworkers you can’t go out to lunch with them anymore. If we really want to become debt free, we have to overcome how others see us and do what it takes to get to the place we want to be.

Getting Ahead at Work

To be a true leader in the workplace, we need to overcome our insecurities. There is always going to be someone smarter, older, and with more experience than you.  Sometimes you have to jump in and make a name for yourself. Trust your training, education, and natural talents, and don’t hide out in your cubicle. By associating with people who are working at a higher level, it will elevate your performance. If you stay with the crowd, you can only hope for mediocrity.

Living an Extraordinary Life

Some people dream of traveling the world, while others dream about staying home and spending more time with family. Whatever your dream, sometimes you have to take an opportunity when it arises. If you wait for the most perfect, most convenient time, it will never come. Plan what you want to do and take the chance when it comes along.

In my case, I’m selling a profitable business that I don’t enjoy anymore. I’ve decided that I don’t want to become a burned out shell of the person I know I can be. I’m finding other streams of income, like our rental property, to achieve financial stability without working myself into oblivion. If you aren’t happy with your current situation, do some planning, live smart, get out of debt, and find a way to achieve what you are looking for.

My daughter just loves gymnastics. At age 5, she figured out how to step out of her comfort zone to get what she wanted.  I can only hope she continues to conquer her fears as she gets older. Sometimes, we can all take life lessons from a five year old.

What lessons have you learned from children? Do I sound too much like Tony Robbins today?


Photo courtesy of Sam Green at The Cortez Journal

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  1. It’s so amazing how our kids can teach us things isn’t it! My next post is about a parenting lesson from my 4 year old!

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