Sarena Hess

Sarena Hess and her dad on her wedding day. 

In school, I remember hearing some girls I hung out with talking about their dads.

That their father was absent. Didn’t have time to go to their school events.

Or that their parents were in the middle of a divorce and it was really hard.

I never had any grounds to talk bad about my dad. Because he is the best. Honestly.

And because it’s the men’s issue, I wanted to share a funny story and important life lesson that my dad taught me with a box of Lucky Charms.

I’ll set the scene for you.

Saturday morning. Pajamas, cartoons and Lucky Charms cereal, which were my favorite. While I was watching “Fairly OddParents,” Dad was in the other room picking at his guitar or shaving or doing some type of dadlike thing. Without adult supervision and an entire box of Lucky Charms, a genius idea struck.

How incredible would it be if I were to eat all of the marshmallows in a brand-new box of cereal? Wow, what joy. That would be the ultimate snack, right? So my little 11-year-old hands went right to work.

I picked and snacked and watched Cosmo and Wanda help Timmy Turner. And after a couple episodes of work, I had done it. I rescued each and every marshmallow from the plain cereal and devoured my prize. After every marshmallow had been separated, I proudly showed my dad this accomplishment.

“Woah, that’s a special type of determined” he said.

But here’s where it gets interesting: I didn’t think about this thing called consequences.

Consequences are an adult concept that basically means “the thing that happens because you did or did not do something.” Consequences can bring major success or huge pain into your life.

Through Lucky Charms cereal, my dad explained that because I ate every marshmallow, I now had to finish the sad marshmallowless box.

Hello, consequences.

For the remainder of that month, I worked on the box. With way less enjoyment than before.

While I’m not sure if you’ve had the opportunity to binge on a box of Lucky Charm marshmallows, I’m sure you’ve experienced a moment where you had to do something unpleasant. Maybe get a cavity filled because you didn’t floss. Or maybe you got a raise at work because you’ve been such a hard worker this last year.

Ken Levine says, “We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.” So whatever you set out to accomplish today, remember that each small action leads to a bigger action.

I challenge you to be intentional with your small moments. Like waking up and thinking about what you’re grateful for, taking the time to nourish your body with a healthy meal or setting aside 10 minutes to catch up with a friend. Because the small moments add up to the big moments, let those small things create momentum to change your entire life. And next time you go to the grocery store, grab a box of Lucky Charms. Just don’t let my dad catch you. 

Sarena Hess is a confidence coach for women and motivational speaker. The views expressed are her own.

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