It was a simple enough question from a friend I hadn’t talk to in months.
“What did you do this your summer?”
My answer condensed one hundred days into a handful of stories. Each capturing a brief moment in time.
- The walk in the canyon during a family camping trip
- Drinking Pimm’s with my wife at Wimbledon
- Swimming with the kids at Walden Pond.
- A bike ride with the entire family – including my mom!
These small collections of moments become our summer, our year, and our life.
Given their outsized influence, it is surprising we don’t invest more of our time, energy or money in creating them.
This is the point made in a talk I heard recently by Dan Heath based on the upcoming book, The Power of Moments, written with his brother, Chip.
Throughout the pages are stories about The Popsicle Hotline, The Reverse Wedding, Yes Prep Signing Day, and the Trial of Human Nature. Each according the Heaths, generate one or more of the following: elevation, insight, pride and connection.
In reading the book, the call to invest in more moments is intuitive and persuasive. Yet often in our own lives, it is a classic case of “easier said than done.”
You see, in order to have a moment, we need to first be in the moment.
The chaos, stress and distraction of our daily lives and the world around us, make being in any moment a challenge.
To be elevated we first must feel free. To have an insight our minds need to be open. To feel pride we must remove doubt and to feel connected we must be fully present.
Perhaps this is why so many of our defining moments are during our vacations and major life events where we free ourselves from everything that typically would take us out of the moment.
Yet there is the potential for defining moments waiting to be made all around us each day.
There are two basic definitions of moment. One is “a very brief period of time.” The other less common one is “importance” (hence the adjective momentous).
The way to turn any brief period of time into something important is to be present enough to treat it as if, “This is THE moment.”
So the next time someone asks, “How was your summer? Or weekend? Or life?” I hope you have many great moments to share.