Create Peak Moments for a Meaningful Life

In the competitive, industrial or post-industrial world, productivity is often defined by a simple formula: Output / Input. (Output is ideal output x efficiency). Or Value of Work / Hours Worked. You have metrics like revenue per employee, revenue per hour, and units produced per hour. From this angle, productivity seems more fitting for machines. But there’s a more positive aspect that is not easily measured. Productivity means being engaged in doing the things you really want to do and doing them really well. It means being empowered to design a well-lived life, which sparks big memories out of tiny moments.

A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful. It could be a month or a few seconds. These moments often relate to a new job, a new relationship, a relocation, or a vacation.

In episode 19 of The Incrementalist podcast, you will learn:

1) The four elements of peak moments
  • Elevation - moments of elevation rise above the everyday, above the routine
  • Insight - moments of insight bring realization and transformation
  • Pride - moments of pride capture us at our best
  • Connection - moments of connection are shared with others
2) The acronym EPIC will help you remember the elements, but peak moments don't have to be epic. They can be small but deeply personal, or painful, yet transformational. 

3) The benefits of peak moments 
  • Make your life more memorable and meaningful
  • Enhance your leadership, teaching and communication skills
  • Create a better experience for customers, clients, patients, students, employees and others
  • Improve your relationships and deepen connections
4) The effects of Duration Neglect and the Peak-End Rule - why we forget the duration of an event or experience and remember fragments of it (peaks, pits, beginnings and endings or transitions)

5) The four types of defining moments 
  • Transitions, which are to be marked. Example - reverse wedding (ritual of transition to remove wedding ring following death of spouse)
  • Peaks, which are to be remembered
  • Pits, which are to be filled 
  • Milestones, which are to be commemorated. Example - GE's Adventure Series at children's hospitals (industrial designer and his team shift their focus from the MRI machine to the experience of children getting an MRI done)
6) How to create peak moments
  • Moments of Elevation - boost the sensory appeal; raise the stakes; break the script
  • Moments of Insight - trip over the truth; stretch for insight
  • Moments of Pride - give specific, sincere recognition; multiply milestones; preload your response in advance
  • Moments of Connection - shared laughter; shared purpose and mission; shared struggles and challenges
Resources cited: 
  • Chip Heath & Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

Music by:
  • Sebastian Brian Mehr

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© 2021 Dyan Williams