“To experience more defining moments, we need to rethink the way we set goals”.
A digital image is a collection of pixels, where each pixel represents some information. Jointly, those pixels create an image the viewers can enjoy. In our lives, each moment is a pixel, and we must take control of “our pixels” and create them in line with our aspirations. The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath is an extraordinary book on the importance of moments in our lives. A few hours spent reading this book can shape the direction and value of your future hours and ultimately your life.
Both in business and in personal life, if we wait for “our pixels” to be created for us, we lost an amazing opportunity to generate a unique value for our customers and us.
According to the book, a defining moment is one that is both meaningful and memorable. Focus your attention on your time in high school or on some specific holidays you’ve been. Try to capture the first moment that comes to your mind -I am no magician- but that moment will be one with a deeper meaning than initially seemed. Heath described defining moments as the output of the following inputs (Elevation, Insight, Pride & Connection). In a business context, building a reputation for the experience you provide is vital for the success and longevity of your corporation. When we recall experiences, we tend to be “duration neglect”, meaning we ignore the length of the experience and instead focus on (1) the peaks (or pits) and (2) the ending. — entrepreneurs keep notes!
Fill pits, then build peaks!
Given that customers tend to focus a lot more on pits than peaks, the book advises businesses to firstly fill the pits (avoid disappointments) and then build the peaks, a forgotten experience often implies that the experience matched expectations. The second stage however is the crucial one. Turning a 4* to a 5* rating is expected to generate you 9 times more revenue than turning a 3* to a 4*. Amplifying positive experiences boost brand loyalty and create a loyal fanbase. The concept applies similarly to personal experiences and relationships.
“Variety is the spice of life”
When old people recall their most memorable experiences in life, they tend to focus on the years between 15 and 30. — Oh god, is that it? This is not the way to think! Rather, try to spice up your life even beyond 30. Add variety to your routine and your routine becomes full of defining moments.
Lastly, relationships! Above all we are social beings and building strong bonds with other humans is both enriching and rewarding. Chip & Dan advise that we are responsive to our partners and relationships. Being responsive encompasses understanding, validation, and caring.
Ending this article, I would like to share with you my personal highlight of this book, the thoughts (regrets) of an elderly individual at the latest part of her life.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The next time you sit down and set your goals, try to take the power of moments into consideration. I know, I will.