Ever since reading Made to Stick I’ve been a fan of authors Chip and Dan Heath. I read their follow up books Switch, Decisive and most recently The Power of Moments. As you might expect, I was very excited when I learned Dan Heath was going to be a keynote speaker at the Chief Learning Officer Symposium I attended a few weeks ago. Dan didn’t disappoint and everyone in attendance was given a copy of The Power of Moments.
My quick synopsis of the book is this: We know there are special moments in life that stand out from the rest and it turns out they’re not random. Chip and Dan have spent a good bit of time studying why some moments mean more than others. In the book they give readers ideas they can use to create their own powerful moments. They explore moments of elevation, insight, pride and connection. I encourage you to pick up a copy because you’ll get ideas on ways you can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
After hearing Dan speak I had the opportunity to briefly meet him. All of this made me reflect on the power of moments in my life. I’ll share a few that really stand out.
When I asked Jane to marry me I did so on her 23rd birthday. Because it was her birthday she thought the dozen roses I sent to work were just a gift. Of course, getting roses in front of coworkers scored me some brownie points. Later that day I showed up at her apartment with a bottle of wine and another dozen roses. Another surprise was the chauffeuered 1963 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce I hired to take us to dinner that evening. It was later that night, in the back of the Rolls Royce that I asked her to marry me and as they say, “The rest is history.”
Milestone birthdays (30, 40, 50, etc.) are usually memorable because quite often then involve parties. For Jane’s 50th birthday I gave her (us) improv lessons which were a blast. But for her 52nd birthday I had my most creative and challenging idea ever. To commemorate 52, it occurred to me that there are 52 weeks in a year. With that in mind I decided to give Jane a gift a week for an entire year. It turned out to be great for three reasons:
- It gave Jane something to look forward to every week.
- I learned more about her because I had to pay close attention to her likes, dislikes and needs.
- I spent more time with our daughter Abigail because she helped me pick out many of the gifts.
Abigail is our only child. We would have loved to have more but it wasn’t in the cards for us. To tangibly show Abigail how much we love her we started a tradition we call “Special Day” when she was just a year old. This is a day we choose at random each year where we surprise her with gifts and plan the whole day around her. When she was little it might have been lunch at McDonalds, a Disney movie and cupcakes later that night. As she grew up it was horseback riding, plays, shopping sprees and other fun activities. To Abigail’s knowledge, none of her friends growing up had anything like a special day so it really continues to make her feel special.
One last occasion I’ll mention is Abigail’s birth. We tried for years to have kids but to no avail. When she finally arrived, she was an answer to many, many prayers. Within days of her birth I wrote a letter to her detailing the events leading up to her arrival in the world to let her know how loved and wanted she was. It was also my desire to give her to have a strong sense of how evident God was throughout the whole process. When she was 12 years old she was struggling with some identity issues so I gave her the letter. It was a powerful moment for her because she’s read it many times over the years and often asks questions about the events surrounding her birth.
I was fortunate that long before reading The Power of Moments I was creating powerful moments for my family that have influenced our relationships in very positive ways. The same opportunity exists for you. If you’re not sure where to start or what to do pick up a copy of The Power of Moments and you’ll learn everything you’ll need to know to create your own powerful moments.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at InfluencePEOPLE and Learning Director at State Auto Insurance. His Lynda.com course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed more than 125,000 times! Have you seen it yet? Watch it and you’ll learn how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process.