“In life, we can work so hard to get the kinks out, we forget to put the peaks in.”
– Chip and Dan Heath
When have you had a defining moment? A moment where everything changed? Either literally or mentally?
- Often defining moments occur around peak milestones: graduations, weddings, baptisms.
- They also occur around transitions: a new job, a cross-country move, an overseas mission trip.
- And sometimes they involve a pit: a death, an injury, a divorce.
We are always in a season of change.
Whether we are young or old or in-between, life is never constant. Relationships change. Job and family responsibilities shift. Even our bodies never stay the same.
Sometimes we’re forewarned that a new season is approaching. Other times it whirls in like a tornado at our front door, unexpected and unannounced.
Underline the Moments
Regardless of how or why changes come, they sometimes require a mark.
“Moments matter. And what an opportunity we miss when we leave them to chance!”
The Hebrew people in the Old Testament often stopped to build an altar to remember a moment (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 28:18; Exodus 17:15; Joshua 4:5-7; Joshua 8:30; and more).
Sometimes we need to do the same, erecting our own stones of remembrance, underlining an experience, in whatever form that takes.
The Power of Moments
For the next four Wednesdays, I’ll be sharing unique ways to mark a moment.
The four ideas will come from a fantastic new book by Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.
The authors explain in the book how to capture your own peak moments through these four elements.
- Moments of Elevation
are experiences that rise above the routine
- Moments of Pride
commemorate people’s achievements
- Moments of Insight
deliver realizations and transformations
- Moments of Connection
bond us together
[For various reasons, the authors thought it too cheesy to use EPIC as an acronym for the four elements—they order it EIPC in the book—but EPIC is easier for me to remember.]
I highly recommend you get a copy of this book for yourself. You won’t regret it.
“Teachers can inspire, caregivers can comfort, service workers can delight, politicians can unite, and managers can motivate. All it takes is a bit of insight and forethought.”
Marking My Transition
Personally, my life is about to change. After 25 years of being married to Jeff, caring for our two daughters, opening the family to two son-in-laws, we’re about to add a new layer. Morgan will add a baby girl to our family in January.
I don’t know how to be a grandmother. But I know I want to be a good one.
So Jeff and I recently marked the moment of upcoming transition, asking for God’s help as we shift gears.
On our 25th anniversary trip to Maine, we brought with us a group of rocks, marked with “Thanks,” “Help,” and “Wow.”
I’ll share what we did with the rocks in the upcoming posts, how we made a moment.
But for now, I’ll share some quotes from The Power of Moments to inspire you to create your own moments.
As you read them, think of your own transitions. Are you in a season of change within your job, your family, school, church, health?
Why create a defining moment around your change? Chip and Dan Heath suggest these reasons:
- To enrich your experience.
- To connect with others.
- To make memories.
- To launch your life or your career or your team in a new direction.
All quotes below by Chip and Dan Heath.
~ * ~
“Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the author of them.”
~ * ~
“Shouldn’t couples acknowledge and celebrate what they’ve accomplished together? One couple we know kept an anniversary journal for the first decade of their marriage. Every year they would record the things they accomplished: Redecorating the back bedroom, hosting extended family for Thanksgiving dinner, and so on.”
~ * ~
“Moments when we display courage make us proud. We never know when courage will be demanded, but we can practice to ensure we’re ready. The protesters involved in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins didn’t just show courage, they rehearsed it.”
~ * ~
“Courage is contagious; our moments of action can be a defining moment for others.”
~ * ~
“Remote contact is perfectly suitable for day-to-day communication and collaboration. But a big moment needs to be shared in person. (No one dials in to a wedding or graduation, after all.) The presence of others turns abstract ideas into social reality.”
~ * ~
“Creating more memorable and meaningful experiences is a worthy goal—for your work, for the people you care about, and for you personally—independent of any secondary impacts.”
* * *
Join me next Wednesday, October 18, for how to create a defining moment with #1, Moments of Elevation.
“Moments of elevation are experiences that rise above the routine. They make us feel engaged, joyful, surprised, motivated. Research suggests that organizations dramatically under-invest in building peaks, choosing instead to fill potholes.”
What’s been a recent memorable moment in your life? Please share in the comments.
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