The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath [Book Summary – Review]

You can see a great many self-help books everywhere talking about the significance of carpe diem. This sounds quite right as we live indeed in a long chain of tiny moments. However, for much of the time, we are unable to grip these small moments. Usually, it is as if we were unable to control things in our own lives; as if these moments came about instead of us paving the way for them.

But, after understanding the degree of power a moment can have, you might begin taking steps and creating life-altering moments for your own and other people. There are plenty of advantages provided by moments. For, example, moments can give you the motivation that pushes you to fulfill objectives at work. The important thing is to make these moments noticeable. This summary is going to teach you how to do it.

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Chapter 1 – In order to render learning memorable and make students participate, instructors have to better the classroom experience.

When you remind yourself of the most unforgettable moments of the times when you were a child, what do you remember? For most people, the things that we remember most clearly are the products of extraordinary moments. Usually, sitting in a classroom and paying attention to what a teacher teaches isn’t part of such memories.

All diligent teachers confront this issue: What can they do to give students knowledge such that it will not only be worthwhile, but students will remember it forever as well?

This is definitely an issue that English instructor Susan Bedford and social studies instructor Greg Jouriles coped with when they were teachers at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California.

In 1989, the two teachers felt as if they couldn’t go beyond the ordinary and tedious method of reading from a book, talking about the book with students, and finally assigning them with an essay. The teachers were aware that sports events, prom, and school plays made up the sole stuff that attracted students’ attention. So, they realized this stems from the fact that these activities outside school curricula gave them permanent memories. Thus Bedford and Jouriles started to collaborate to figure out a method to turn classroom learning into something that would be memorable for the students.

They realized all they had to do in order to provide classroom experiences that students would remember for their whole life and learn something was to add some creativity in it.

There is a perfect example of this by Bedford and Jouriles. They cooperated to render the teaching of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies something that would be memorable for the students. When they finished the Lord of the Flies, students were given a judicial report holding William Golding guilty of libel because of how he depicted human nature in the Lord of the Flies.

They split students into two groups, prosecution and defense teams, and for the next several months, they made diggings about the case and discussed the case. The case ended up becoming a public trial, where students were acting the roles of lawyers and witnesses before the viewers who consisted of parents, teachers, and school teachers.

At the end of this case, students learned much about the legal process and this method changed the teaching of literature into an interesting event. Briefly, this activity raised the classroom experience to a memorable level.

As a result, this method was so much liked that the public trial became a yearly school experience. Bedford and Jouriles managed to demonstrate that unforgettable learning should involve interaction and entertainment. Applying a method like this not only assists students to keep knowledge in mind, but it also generates perpetual links between everyone who participated in it.

Chapter 2 – It is possible for people and companies to generate unforgettable experiences by challenging expectations.

Once, a tiny crisis flared up in a family after a small child abruptly came to realize that he couldn’t remember taking Joshie, his stuffed giraffe, and left it at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in which the child’s family had been vacationing.

The father promptly reached the hotel staff and requested them to send the giraffe as shortly as possible, and apart from this, he wanted to know if the hotel staff could post a picture of Joshie so that he could demonstrate to his son that the giraffe was secure.

So, the Ritz-Carlton went further than just posting a photograph of Joshie; they shared with the child a folder including lots of photos of Joshie – while the giraffe reposing on a sunbed by the pool, Joshie on a golf vehicle, Joshie receiving a spa therapy and spending time with the hotel parrot.

Through their defiance to the expectations, the Ritz-Carlton generated an unforgettable experience that will endure in the memories of the child and the family for long. In the words of Psychologists Roger Schank and Robert Abelson, this is breaking the script, and this is a valuable method for companies to generate perpetual bonds with clients.

No matter what the situations are, there’s a general trend of the way events unwind.

To illustrate, suppose that a client wants to get a cheeseburger at a restaurant, however, after the waiters present the food, the food isn’t warm and is repulsive. The typical thing that anyone would do would be an apology by the waiter and the client would leave less tip than normal.

However, were the restaurant to follow a different method, the restaurant could apologize and tell them that they aren’t going to charge the client for the burger, and, in addition, offer him a gratis dessert. This unusual proposal would generate an unforgettable experience and, rather than losing a client, they may make that person a devoted fan.

Businesses have demonstrated that there are many methods to exceed customer expectations.

Pret A Manger, the bakery chain, utilizes astonishment through letting its workers give a specific quantity of products gratis to clients every week. Thus, should a client who seems as if going through a tough day enter, the workers at the bakery can brighten her day by presenting her a gratis cinnamon roll.

The unexpectedness of this arbitrary action of kindness generates a win-win situation for both sides: the client feels better and, therefore, it becomes more likely for her to visit the bakery again.

Chapter 3 – It is possible to utilize unforgettable experiences to alter undesired behaviors.

Humankind has made unprecedented developments since the first times of house plumbing and public sewer systems. However, places in which sanitation is still not as much developed as other places and thus claim lives continue to exist. Approximately a billion people continued to excrete outside their houses everywhere in the world in 2016 – which is a hurdle hard to eradicate.

In 1999, the WaterAid organization was giving their assistance to build public toilets in Bangladesh, however, having the citizens of Bangladesh defecate in them was a hurdle that made it necessary to utilize an unforgettable experience.

When the toilets were put in their place, sanitation specialist Kamal Kar went back to the villages and saw that many didn’t change their old habits. Thus, Kar created a novel plan to really emphasize the level of peril not defecating in the public toilets poses.

The plan, known as Community-Led Total Sanitation, included specialists coming together with the villagers and utilizing visualization instruments to render the experience more effective. For instance, they demonstrated to the villagers a chart that made clear what the situation looked like: the village was being encircled by excrements.

In their final stress point, to truly provide the villagers with a perception of the perils that were in front of them, the specialists would utilize hairs of one villager, put excrements on it, and then put it into a glass of water. The specialists later asked whether any one of them wanted to finish this glass of water.

Of course, no one was willing to do so, and at that moment, the specialists highlighted that the flies were causing almost the same situation in the village. As the bugs were always traveling on air from human excrements to the villagers’ meals, the villagers were ingesting bad quality food constantly.

By means of visual representations, the villagers eventually realized the significance of utilizing public toilets and were encouraged to alter their behavior. The sanitation specialists had presented them with an unforgettable experience that would be impossible to disregard, and this made a huge transformation.

In the following section, we’ll examine one other advantage of influential moments – the way they assist to generate personal insights.

Chapter 4 – You won’t always find success if you try to make your vision come true; however, unforgettable experiences will continue to bring special rewards for you

Many of us have a vision – a vision we want to make true were we to have the time, money, or resources.

There is a saying that states nothing is for sure in life. Should you chase your vision, it might turn out to be a futile attempt, however, you’re instinctively compelled to generate important moments that will, at a minimum, present insight.

Lea Chadwell found out this after she followed her dream of applying her newly-discovered baking ability in a small business belonging to her. Her baking history was only a year old and she was working as an assistant at a vet clinic as her second profession; however, when she worked for several weeks at a bakery in Portland, Oregon, Chadwell discovered that she was meant for baking.

Chadwell’s passion became A Pound of Butter, a shop whose expertise is in skilfully homemade birthday cakes. The shop was working nicely, however, at the end of 18 trying months, Chadwell gradually but certainly understood the running a bakery as an owner wasn’t for her. Despite the short-term operation of A Pound of Butter, which she’d hoped to be in business for good, this was still an effective and important experience.

Chadwell needed to abandon this vision, however, this experience had an upside: what she had done provided her a huge amount of personal knowledge. Throughout her 18-month long time as a bakery owner, she realized that it wasn’t in her personality to be the manager of a baking shop. Today, she understands that her powerful aspect is being an industrious worker, and this important knowledge assisted her to manage the remainder of her professional life.

Even though your vision doesn’t become a story of commercial achievement, occasionally, being aware of your strong sides and weak sides constitute a reward. A Pound of Butter nonetheless gave Chadwell unforgettable moments that she’ll remember for the remainder of her life.

Chapter 5 – Being aware of the ability and toil generates precious proud moments.

People may go through hard times as teens, particularly when they are inclined to be shy or low self-esteem.

So this common information takes us to this defining factor of unforgettable moments: pride.

When someone makes you get the feeling of pride for your abilities or successes, it’s a different sort of influential moment that has the potential to change your life and make you never forget about it.

A moment like this assisted Kira Sloop, who was a weird 13-year-old teen with a terrible hairstyle, misaligned teeth, and low self-esteem that rendered her a simple prey for bullies, back in 1983. One thing that she always enjoyed was the choir, however, this was at risk of slipping away from her hands as well.

In 1983, the school employed a novel choir instructor, and after listening to Kira sing, the instructor said to her that her voice was odd. Following this humiliating moment, Kiro no longer sang and started just mumbling the words rather than singing during choir rehearsals.

Next year, though, everything changed completely. When she was at summer camp, Kira, continuing to feel terrible due to the choir instructor’s remarks, went on to just mumbling the words during camp songs. However, this didn’t escape the choir instructor’s notice, talked to her in one-to-one when the class ended, and persuaded her to sing. Certain enough, the instructor was amazed and said to Kira that her voice was exceptional – a genuine gift.

The same summer month, Kira and the choir instructor became very congruous for hours, and because of her restored self-esteem, she continued to sing lead in high school choirs, ultimately appearing at the stage at Carnegie Hall. Everything was the product of the time at a summer camp where an instructor presented her a life-transforming moment of pride that affecter her throughout her life.

Such moments can, or should, come about in the relationships between patrons and workers, too.

From the 1940s onward, much research has constantly revealed that showing on a regular basis that patrons care for workers’ performance is the only perfect method to encourage them. However, research revealed that there is no such relationship between many patrons and workers. Whereas four-fifth of patrons believe they praise their workers satisfactorily enough, four-fifth of workers think that their work is appreciated from time to time.

You don’t have to be a patron to endow powerful moments to people. You can appreciate their good performance and give them some proud moments.

Chapter 6 – It is possible to utilize unforgettable moments to maintain our motivation and attain objectives.

You may become completely irritated when a person says to you to “get happy” after a saddening situation or tells that it is better to prepare lemonade if life presents you lemons. Should you go through a tough break-up, this sort of cruel positivity may exacerbate your situation.

However, this is how clichés work; however, there is a small amount of truth in those dull remarks since it indeed is helpful to take advantage of a negative memorable thing as a message for positive lasting experiences.

After breaking up with her girlfriend when he was 25-year-old, Joh Clark took up jogging so as to stop worrying about his problems. However, jogging did more than relieving his troubles; Actually, jogging turned out to be such an entertaining activity for him that he started to give his assistance to other joggers so that they preserve their motivation.

The method Clark developed was a plan aimed at the maintenance of motivation that was based on injecting pride in other joggers through providing them with unforgettable moments of success.

For starters, Clark created a five-kilometer program that helped people raise their fitness level gradually but certainly. People would initially hike the five-kilometer course and slowly start running. Clark put a huge objective in all joggers’ minds, too, which was a real five-kilometer contest, with a huge planned ceremony after everyone crossed the finish line.

This gradual, progressive process is efficient with any purpose and will guarantee you maintain motivation and feel pride in your achievements.

Suppose that you are eager to take up an instrument – the guitar, for example. The initial thing you should do can be to take a one-hour course weekly and exercise on it what you’ve learned for at a minimum of a quarter-hour daily.

The next thing might be to discover the notes of music in order to be able to teach yourself an easy piece; and the penultimate thing can be to memorize its notes to play the piece using your memory. The last thing to do might then be to play it before your friends, family, or other people at a local open mic.

If you put in front of yourself a range of tiny objectives that moves up to a huge one, you’ll consistently get chances to acknowledge your own success with unforgettable proud moments.

Chapter 7 – It is possible to utilize powerful moments to patron-worker relationships and enhance workers’ performance.

When you work at your own company, what you never want to see is to generate a terrible experience that a client will always remember.

Naturally, bad client experiences can vary from merely irascible to completely terrible.

In 1998, Sonia Rhodes decided to see her father in a hospital where he stayed because of a gastric ulcer. It was an appalling experience for Rhodes to witness the terrible service conditions her father had to go through. He had to stay in a crowded and abhorrent room; the hospital personnel didn’t bother to welcome him after they came into the room or didn’t seem to care whether he was comfortable or not.

What annoyed her most was the terrible treatment as she used to work for the same firm that arranged the management of the hospital in which her father received treatment. However, this situation urges her to take action about it; therefore, she determined to present the hospital personnel an unforgettable experience that would enhance their relationship with the patients.

Rhodes arranged a weekend occasion for the whole medical personnel, made up of a range of gatherings, which allowed each worker to partake without neglecting their mission to the patients. At these gatherings, Rhodes provided a novel idea for the hospital – an idea of world-tier patient care.

She didn’t arrange this event to denigrate the hospital staff. There was more like a party ambiance and it permitted Rhodes to set up a bond with all of the hospital personnel and guarantee they recognized the significance of their part in this novel idea.

When the weekend was about to end, each member of the medical staff started to perceive their role from an entirely different perspective, and this gathering became such a success that they turned this into a yearly occasion.

The medical personnel became so considerate of the patients that they started to notice if no one had sent a present to patients and they would guarantee that they got a gift of flowers or some baked treats.

In the final section, we’ll examine further the way one can set up a bond and give rise to powerful moments with other people.

Chapter 8 – It is possible to enhance every school through the creation of bonds with parents by means of powerful moments.

In 2010, the Stanton Elementary School in Washington, DC, was on the same list where the worst US schools were. However, the same year, the school employed Carlie Fisherow as the novel headmaster of the school, and she was resolved to stop the rot in the school.

Carlie Fisherow started her improvements in the normal style, by renovating the classrooms and providing supplies and employing a novel crew of teachers. However, she later found out that the school needed more creative interference.

Despite the fact that the new school semester started with shimmering rooms and new teachers, it didn’t alter the essential issue: pupils continued to be absent in classes, and even leaving the classroom if the class was tedious. Described in simpler terms, the school couldn’t restrain students, as almost three-tenth of then were in detention each day.

The teachers couldn’t think of any way to rectify this dire situation. It was only when Fisherow understood that she had to set up bonds with the pupils’ families. As a result, she would be able to powerful moments and change the situation from a dire one to a good one, with a better and healthier vision for the future.

Many years, the families of pupils at Stanton Elementary School believed the school was terrible at educating their children, while the teachers believed it was the families that didn’t rear their children in a good way. Claire Fisherow was resolved to transform these views. Thus, she got teachers to go see their pupils in their houses and to have a conversation with parents and pupils with regard to their expectations for the future.

As understood, this was all they had to do. Such meetings transformed the parents’ behavior, which as a result transformed the attitude of the pupils.

This is exactly the type of surprising, powerful, and very unforgettable experience that we can generate if we are determined to do that. Do you wish to transform the behavior in your workplace, raise a student’s spirit, or enhance your view on life? Everything that is needed is just one special moment.

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath & Dan Heath Book Review

If we take a look at what happened in the past, the events that altered us and dropped the most significant effect on us are moments – exceptional, powerful, and unforgettable moments. If we become aware of this and remember it, it’ll be possible for us to utilize this potential and to start designing moments instead of merely waiting for them to come about. When we implement these moments in real life, it’ll enable us to have meaningful experiences not just for us but for strangers as well.

Build a memorable moment in your individual relationships.

This is actually a simple process, which is in contrast to your negative thoughts. A powerful, surprising moment can come about by preparing a card on which it is written how much you are in love with and admire your wife or girlfriend. From time to time, we can’t understand how important these acts are, however, they’ve got the potential to change a conventional moment into a very unforgettable one for your beloved.

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