The book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip and Dan Heath, grabbed my attention at a point when life was getting a bit mundane and there wasn’t anything exciting that was bound to happen. As I started reading the book, their theory of defining moments started making sense.
Heath brothers have divided the defining moments into four categories: moments of elevation (celebrations and milestones); moments of insight (realizations and transformations); moments of pride (achievements and recognition); and moments of connection (bonds with others). But what is more important and amazing is the fact that we all have the capacity to create our own magical moments almost every day.
Our Scripted Life
As a busy executive, a multitasking mother or a college going student who is about to graduate, our lives are scripted. We pretty much know important milestones which would make us happy, graduating from college, getting that first job, getting married, and the list goes on. Other than some of these important events, we rarely make an effort to break the script and create a certain experience that would have a bigger impact. We keep waiting to reach some of the milestones which we know would come sooner or later.
At times when I feel low, I have often turned to memories of moments that have elated me and given me immense joy. It acts like a cool breeze and refreshes me. I have many times found solace by remembering small instances that have had a major impact on my life, like even a small act of kindness shown by someone.
Authoring magical moments
“Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen,” they write in The Power of Moments. “We can author them.
So what stops us from breaking the script and creating more magical experiences in our life. Instead of waiting for something to happen, why not make it happen. Are we leaving these special moments to chance? For instance bonding with a school time friend, celebrating some small win and making someone feel special. It can be your children, your spouse or your parent. It is not always about creating special experiences for self, but you can create special moments like the above for your family, your friends, your team.
We can intentionally create moments in our life which can make it more meaningful. For me Saturdays are usually very hectic as after a busy week, I would normally have a long to-do list to complete. Running chores through the day would leave me frustrated and tired by the end of the day. On one fine Saturday, I intentionally decided to keep the to-do list waiting and did something which was not a routine.
I planned to have all three meals outside trying out different cuisine. My husband found this strange as he knows me for someone who would always put work first. But he enjoyed the time that we spent together when we could talk on several different topics. The break in the routine created some good moments which we would have otherwise missed.
Creating peak moments in your life
We always seek stability in life and therefore we don’t find the courage to author defining moments in our lives. I have been no exception to this. It takes a lot of effort for me to decide on something different to do. Even if it means to put on hold a to-do list, plan a vacation to a destination which I have never visited before. Or a restaurant and a cuisine that I have not tried before.
The challenge for all of us today is that we are not paying attention to our lives because we are so deeply busy, busy in daily distractions and meeting the needs of our daily life, that we ignore the need to create these special moments.
So what peak moments have you created and experienced today? If you need help, pick up the book. It is an interesting read and it will help you author some of the magic moments in your life.
“Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled. That’s the essence of thinking in moments.”
― Chip Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact