Think back on your favorite vacation. Through the years, as you have reminisced on this trip, you have probably replayed a few select memories over and over again. Research shows that we recall experiences by forgetting most of what happened and focusing on a few particular moments. The question is, “How can we create the moments that people will remember?”

In Power of Moments, The Heath brothers explain not just how moments shape you, but how you can shape moments. Whether you are a leader who is planning his next event or a parent who wants to create meaningful moments with their children, the Heath brothers give simple steps to help you create moments that will be remembered long after they are finished.

3 Quotes I Loved

“Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them (p.5).”

“The surprise about great service experiences is that they are mostly forgettable and occasionally remarkable (p.11).”

“What’s indisputable is that when we assess our experiences, we don’t average our minute-by-minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions (p.9).”

2 Ideas That I Am Still Thinking About

The peak-end rule: People’s selective memory tends to remember the peak (the best or worst moment of an event) and the ending. (p.8). This means that meaningful moments can come from events that are largely forgettable and occasionally remarkable. It is more beneficial to spend most of your energy trying to create one “mountain top” experience and a strong ending than to focus on creating an event that is meaningful minute-by-minute.

Four types of memorable moments:

The Heath Brothers identify four types of defining moments. With each one, the Heath brothers provide several different strategies for creating them.

  • Elevation: Defining moments rise above the routine
  • Insight: Defining moments deliver realization and transformations
  • Pride: Defining moments commemorate people’s achievements
  • Connection: Defining moments bond us together with others

1 Action Step That I Am Taking

Thinking In Moments: Now understanding the importance of creating moments, I am wiring myself to think about how I can create them. During event planning, we are now asking how we can create a “peak” moment or have a strong ending.

Additionally The Heath brothers identify, three situations that foster natural meaningful moments: transitions, milestones, and pits. To create a defining moment, transitions need to be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled (p.33). I currently am thinking through each of these. As I build our church’s on-boarding process, I am thinking about how to have a transition moment; as I lead our Guest Services ministry, I am trying to identify “pits” in our guest’s experience and quickly fill them; and as our church builds its church and staff values, I am brainstorming about how to create milestone moments.


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