This week in our book group, I led the discussion on The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath. Now, as a student, and lover, and writer of fiction, I usually limit how many non-fiction and self-help books I will read in any given year. Some people are the opposite. They feel that unless a book is “true,” they are wasting their time reading it. Maybe I’ll write another post on another day about what I believe are the differences between factual and true, but for today, I’ll just say I have found some of the greatest, realest truths in well-written fiction. As Stephen King says, “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” So, I will continue to choose to read fiction most of the time. Except, this year:
The Power of Moments is not fiction, but it landed in my lap, so to speak, and so I started it, fully expecting to put it down before long. Honestly, that’s what I thought, but I found it very readable, entertaining, thought-provoking, at times even inspiring. More than that, it caused me to make some changes in my life. I’m not sure you could say anything better about a book.
A brief synopsis: The Heath brothers explore the moments in our lives that are memorable. –An aside: Most of those really memorable moment happen when we’re young–but while so many of our experiences when we are young are about growth and change, that doesn’t mean we can’t have powerful moments as we grow older– They break down what makes a moment memorable, and at times life changing. These are the elements that singly or combined will make a moment stand out: Elevation, Insight, Pride, Connection. The authors have some wonderful examples that illustrate each of these elements. They go on to suggest, and show, how we might create more powerful moments in our lives and the lives of those we work with and for, and those we love.
One of the changes I made was to step up, and take more seriously, my writing. I had a moment when I turned fifty. (Not every moment is a happy high point. Some are a sudden realization that you are not happy where you are and need to change). I decided I was running out of time if I really did want to write. So I started and stopped, started and stopped. And then I read this book and got serious. I now write, (or edit) at least a little, every day.
Another was to try to create and provide some memorable, unifying moments for my children and grandchildren,
To record and learn from some precious memories,
And to reconnect with old friends.
So, I’ve been thinking about powerful moments. Moments that were different/special and elevated from the normal, moments where I had a sudden insight–and make a change because of it, moments where I felt a sense of pride in accomplishment and celebrated growth, or moments of deep connection.
What are the powerful moments in your past? Who did you share them with? Are you still trying to create powerful moments? Who will you share these with?