Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Love: The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

I was struck by this book from when I first heard of it (I believe from The Popcast with Knox and Jamie?) and then I saw the cover and knew I was going to read it.  It certainly doesn't work on all books but I am drawn to books with a blue cover.  Or most anything in blue.  When we were driving around looking for houses to buy 12 years ago (we had more free time back then) and I kept pointing out all the styles I liked.  Then Matt pointed out that I was just showing him all the blue houses.  Which was true.  It's no coincidence that when we repainted our house 10 (!!!) years ago it ended up blue.

But I digress.  Greatly.

The concept of this book was very interesting to me: "Why Certain Experiences have Extraordinary Impact". (cover tagline).

Why do they?  Some are obvious: weddings, births, big vacations, etc.  Those are generally pretty memorable days.  They are anticipated, planned for, and milestones.

But could you give ordinary moments the same oomph?

Maybe not the same but there are things you can do to elevate what can be mundane and make it more special.

There are countless examples in the book, of people going above and beyond, sometimes to a lot of time and money, to make moments matter.  The kid who left behind a beloved stuffed animals and the hotel staffers who photographed the animal "enjoying" the hotel and included a photo album with the animal when it was returned.

The high school students who prepare and put on a whole trial over human nature, complete with costumes, cross-references and using a real court room.  It takes a lot of work from all involved but it ends up being highly memorable.

So how do we apply that to our regular lives?  Making everything special makes nothing special but we also don't want to march through every day, the same as the last.

Some of this is very counter intuitive to me.  I was reading all their stories and examples and thinking "Yeah, that sounds great!"  Then they started to point out how these things take a little extra work and what the "shortcut" would be.  And then I was really nodding my head.  Yep, I would generally take the no-fuss shortcut.

But it's worth making a fuss sometimes.  Not always but we can make some of the ordinary moments more memorable.  Things like occasional special breakfast, celebrating the smaller holidays, and maybe doing special things "just because".  It doesn't always have to take a lot of effort.

I especially think about this in regards to Luke's childhood.  I want him to remember more than just summer lake trips and vacations.  We live most of our lives at home and I want to do more here to elevate those everyday moments so he remembers them.  Celebrating accomplishments and even just smaller random days (I just made a quick spreadsheet to figure out when he'll be 2000 days old...I think we'll be celebrating that.  It's around 5½.)

But this isn't a book just for parents making their kids' childhoods memorable.  There are a lot of business examples in the books, a lot, so it could definitely still apply even if you don't have young, moldable children at home.

This was a great read and I really enjoyed it.  It wasn't dry, was easy to read, and I feel like I learned a lot.  It gave me a lot to think about in how I want to mark and highlight our lives.  Definitely worth picking up.

Goodreads | Amazon

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