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You Can Do It, What I Learned from a Thirteen Year Old

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I recently attended the Bat Mitzvah of my niece Mya. This is a coming of age ritual for Jewish children who reach the age of 13. It takes over a year of practice and study as they learn a Jewish Sabbath service, prayers (in Hebrew and English) and are required to make a speech to the congregation.

Her achievement was particularly impressive. She overcame some learning disabilities which we thought would prevent her from accomplishing this, and that was no easy task. What she accomplished clearly reinforces what you can do when you set your sights on a goal. Attaining her Bat Mitzvah was quite a remarkable accomplishment when you are thirteen, but it holds true at any age.

Accomplishing a goal takes a series of baby steps. You don’t reach the finish line in one simple leap. It requires first setting a goal you want to attain. Then you need to plan the various steps you’ll need to take along the way to accomplish that goal. Sometimes it seems insurmountable. My niece practiced every week. She enlisted the support of the family as she also needed to go to religious services and Sunday school. There were a lot of hurdles to overcome but she persevered.

I see this type of goal setting among our leadership within AAHAM. Members of our board of directors have risen from the ranks within their chapters. They’ve paid their dues in time and energy and patiently taken baby steps to get to where they are today. Similarly, as I have had the pleasure to get to know each of them; they have pursued their careers with the same determination. Our board members seem to find the time balancing their careers and family obligations with their volunteer hours and continuing education. It’s quite amazing. It is also true with certification, many of you have the goal of becoming certified, and it also starts with baby steps!  

As we come to the end of 2015 and are looking towards a new year; it’s an opportunity to take stock of your life goals and see where you are. Are you taking the baby steps you need, or do you need to reevaluate your path?

Our board members are always available if you would like to brainstorm. They probably have been in your shoes and are excellent mentors in helping you look towards the future.


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