The Power of Moments (book review)

powerful mments book reviw zilvold blog
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Summary: This article is a book review of “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath. It helps you to recognize moments and to turn them into powerful moments. The result is a life with more joy, purpose, compassion and meaningful connections.

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What are special moments in your life? Probably the day you graduated from university, the first day at your first job, the day you got promoted, the day you successfully completed a project, the day you met your partner or the days when you’re children were born.
I am sure you have similar special moments in your life or at work. Most of the people I know, can list 10 to 20 special moments in their life.

Would you like to experience more of these powerful moments? The Brothers Chip and Dave Heath have studied many defining and powerful moments and have found out that these moments contain one to 4 of the following moments: moments of elevation, pride, insight and connection.

power of moments book review blog zilvoldIn their book “The Power of Moments” they describe these moments so you can better recognize and use them to make more powerful moments.

Moments of Elevation

Moments of elevation are those which are out of the ordinary such as birthday parties, speeches, actions like a spontaneous road trip. They make you feel engaged, joyful, energized, amazed and motivated.

One way to create moments of elevation is to break the script like ending a leadership meeting after 5 minutes to ask participants to take surfing classes. Another way could be to inverse your day and start with dinner in the morning.

Moments of Pride

Then there are moments of pride. They lift us above the everyday as well. Moments of pride can be great achievements such as receiving a promotion. They are showing us at our best: when earning recognition, when we’re conquering challenges and showing courage.

You can create more moments of pride by adding more meaningful milestones in your life and to practice courage. You can also uncover milestones that could have gone unnoticed. I recently calculated that I have trained more than a thousand people with one of my workshops. Quite a milestone of which I am proud.

Moments of Insight

Also, there are moments of insight. They deliver realizations and transformations. One way to get insight into the effects of your actions is by reflections or by the help of a mentor or coach.

As the Heath brothers say, we need to stretch in order to produce moments of insights. You could do this to start with a challenging task; something you’ve never done before. You do not necessarily need to be successful. The aim is to learn.

Moments of Connection

Finally there are moments of connection. They bond us with others. They make us feel united, validated, warm and emphatic. Among other elements you will need a shared meaning or purpose.

The answer of a janitor of a hospital to a question on why he mops the floor is striking. Of course he answers “to make money” and “because my boss tells me to do so”. After repeatably answering questions on why he does his job he comes to the realization that he contributes to the health and happiness of patients. This is a powerful insight into the contribution of his work to the collective purpose of the hospital.


There is more connection when there are deeper relationships. This happens when people are responsive, understanding and caring towards each other. You can do this by asking meaningful questions (next to these questions). One of the best questions to ask to deepen any relationship is to simply ask:

“What matters to you?”

Alone and together these moments above create powerful moments. The result is a life with more joy, purpose, compassion and meaningful connections. It’s your to create.

The other Moments…

And of course there are other moments. Moments of grief when you lose a dear or loved one. Or when you have a traumatic experience. This book also offers insights on how to deal with loss and what you can learn from these kinds of moments.

After reading this book, the Heath brothers hope that you stay alert to the promise that moments hold.

What I didn’t like about it and why you should not read it:

I was exited but pretty sad when I finished this book. I wanted more. More great moments to inspire me to create great powerful moments for myself.
You should definitely not read this book, if:

  • you’re convinced that life just ‘happens’
  • you already have too many powerful moments in your life
  • you accept the everyday flatness of your work and life

What I liked about it and why you should read it:

It is well written and has a clear structure.  The theory about the powerful moments is illustrated by great stories that stick. A good example is the story of the forgotten stuffed animal which resulted in a moment of elevation by breaking the script of the hotel staff.
It actually shows great customer service of the staff who found a forgotten stuffed animal from one of their guests. Of course, the little owner is upset and his parents assure him that the stuffed giraffe is doing fine and wanted to extend its vacation. The parents called the hotel and the staff agreed to play along that the giraffe was indeed still on vacation. As proof, the staff did send a letter along with pictures of the stuffed animal enjoying it’s stay at the hotel. For the whole story, click here to read it or here to watch it.

The book contains more heartwarming and amazing stories to illustrate the power of moments.

It makes you aware of occasions in life and how to turn these into powerful moments. It also helps you to make connections with the people you meet by asking meaningful questions.

The book contains summaries after each section. This helps to quickly get a recap of the most important things from a section.

Next to stories, the book contains case studies on how you can apply the theory in daily life, in your career or business. There’s a great example of how a traditional Chinese restaurant can reinvent itself in order to create a great experience for clients.

At the end of the book, there’s a lists other resources on how to create powerful moments. It contains a blueprint, a list of Podcasts and tips on how to use this book during a book discussion. You can find these resources online as well.

Who should read this book:

Entrepreneurs, teachers, trainers, customer service professionals, people who are terminally ill (you will learn how to create powerful remaining moments), mentors, business owners, HR professionals, health professionals (doctors & nurses), event planners, clerics, career counselors and…YOU!

How do you create powerful moments with extraordinary impact? Let me know in the comment box below. I, and other readers of this article look forward reading from you!

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