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BOOK BITES: The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

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This Month's Selection
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

Authored by: Chip Heath , Dan Heath

The twelfth in a series of Better Impact Book Bites
A taste of great books worth consuming.


Why This Book:

One thing almost everyone desires after they pass from this life is to be remembered; to know that our life mattered, that we meant something to someone. It is why donors spend so much money to have their names added to buildings, backs of chairs, on performance halls, and even bricks outside a theater. This book sheds light on ways not only to be remembered, but intentionally create memorable moments that will last a lifetime for those we lead, love, and interact with on a daily basis.

In the spirit of the holidays, where creating memories is paramount, I thought this book was fitting. As leaders, it gives real insight to how we can create powerful moments for our teams, and these same principles can be wildly useful during the holiday season too! It is 266 pages with 12 chapters broken down into four major sections, and available on audiobook. It is the perfect thing to listen to while traveling to and from as you try to think of that “perfect gift” for family, friends, and colleagues this holiday season.

You Should Read This Book If:

  • You want to create a more meaningful work experience for the people you lead
  • You want to enhance your interactions with the people you serve
  • You have always wondered what makes an event or experience stand out more than others in people’s lives
  • You want to create a special memorable moment for someone, not only during the holidays but on any given day
  • You want to shake up how you view volunteer engagement…for the better

Who Should You Gift This Book To:

  • Yourself
  • Your team leads
  • A parent
  • A sibling
  • A random stranger; why not? It’s the season of giving.

Important Takeaways:

It is fascinating to discover what solidifies itself as something to be remembered in our psyche. You may be surprised that it isn’t what you may think. I was. It is amazing that on a seemingly impossible day, with difficulties and annoyances, how that same day can still be rated one of the best days ever. I don’t want to tell you more; you need to read it for yourself.


This book doesn’t have a dictionary definition type of introduction, but it does have two chapters that lead into the meat and potatoes of the book. It starts off by explaining what a defining moment is (“a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful”) and then proceeds with digging deeper into understanding what those defining moments are “made of.” Elevation + Insight + Pride + Connection is the magic formula that melds together to create unforgettable memories in our lives.

Section 1: Elevation

“Defining moments rise above the everyday.” This section discusses what “peaks” are and how to build them. It also covers how an action as simple as breaking the script can turn something that took only a moment to become a lifelong memory. It is profound how a perfectly timed kind word or small gesture can freeze time in our psyche forever.

Section 2: Insight

“Defining moments rewire our understanding of ourselves or the world.” Call it an “aha” moment if you will. A moment when your “eyes are opened” and you simply see the world and your existence in it differently. This section discusses “tripping over the truth” and what it means to “stretch for insight.”

Section 3: Pride

“Defining moments capture us at our best – moments of achievement, moments of courage.” This section ties into one of the reasons accomplishing a hard-earned goal tends to be such a memorable moment. It covers recognizing others, how to multiply milestones and, my personal favorite, practicing courage.

Section 4: Connection

“Defining moments are social: weddings, graduations, baptisms, vacations………. sporting events.” I would like to throw in there community and teambuilding too. When accomplishments are shared with others, they are like bonding agents and memories are strengthened. This section discusses how to create shared meaning, how to deepen ties and how to make moments matter.

The Last Bite

Riding on the coattails of a previous book bite, “Wonder Drug,” the Power of Moments is directly tied to what we can do to help create impactful memories for others in this life. In a society that is seemingly becoming more and more self-absorbed, we risk the slow decline and almost extinction of powerful, positive defining moments; moments that render people unforgettable because of either how we impacted them, or they impacted us. During this holiday season, and even more importantly, after all the festivities have died down, the Power of Moments is a constant reminder of how we can enhance the lives of others with even the smallest of efforts that can change their lives (and ours) forever.

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