How To Create Lasting Memories

Have you ever wondered why you remember some things so vividly and forget others? This post will give you a little insight into why that is.

Recently on the Tony Robbins Podcast, Professor Dan Heath was explaining why certain experiences influence us so strongly and how we can intentionally begin to create these defining moments to enrich our lives and the lives of others.

Psychologists have been trying to understand why we remember what we do for years. Why is it that we remember only specific experiences? We also tend to remember snippets of scenes and specific moments, almost like a movie trailer, rather than the whole experience. This concept is called the Peak End Rule. There are two kinds of moments that we disproportionately remember, the peak moments where the most positive moment happens and the ending moment where the whole experience ends. Furthermore, in order to create a peak moment, the experience would have to be something that doesn’t normally occur in a day.

As a result of this, we remember the peak moments but only if they were an occurrence that would not normally happen in a day.

Professor Dan Heath explains how businesses can also create these moments, and how the Magic Castle Hotel is a great example of how creating Peak moments can positively impact people. In fact, Professor Dan Heath describes how the Magic Castle Hotel is painted bright yellow, doesn’t have the nicest rooms, and yet is rated the number one hotel in Los Angeles on Trip Advisor. It’s even above the Four Seasons Beverly Hills which is luxurious and has amazing rooms. So how can that be? Well, it’s all about the experiences and the moments that the Magic Castle Hotel creates for people and their families. Some examples of creating Peak moments included a cherry red phone near the pool where someone could pick it up and another person would answer saying, “popsicle hotline, may I help you?” You’re then able to order any kind of popsicle that you want free of charge. Afterwards someone brings the popsicle to the pool area on a silver tray wearing white gloves like an English butler. You can also order different kinds of candy, like sour patch kids for free, and there’s even a board game menu where you can pick up board games to play for free. Those are only a few examples of the Magic Castle Hotel has created ways to help guests construct Peak moments. Although the hotel itself is nothing special, the experiences that they create become lasting memories.

Defining moments can be described as short experiences that are both memorable and meaningful. This includes things such as weddings, birthdays or even getting a compliment from someone unexpected.

Professor Dan Heath goes on to justify how the occasional memorable moments are worth investing in because they are what we actually remember. What’s really exciting is that we’re actually able to create moments like this ourselves as there are some common elements that these experiences all share. What’s also fantastic about this concept is the diversity that it can be used for. People can create these moments for their loved ones, teachers can create lessons that students will remember for years or businesses can even use these concepts to create amazing experiences for their consumers. There are so many options and yet it’s so simple.

There are four different characteristics that will make a moment stand out. If you can incorporate one aspect that’s great but if you can include more than one, it increases the chances of it becoming a Peak moment.

So what elements do these moments need in order to make them memorable?

1) Elevation: An experience that rises above the everyday experience. Example: Birthday party or playing in a sports game. The feeling of being absorbed in the action of what you’re doing.

2) Insight. Abrupt realisations.

3) Pride: Moments when we’re at our best or have accomplished something important to us.

4) Connection: Can be between individuals or groups. Often when groups work together on something difficult it creates more positive relationships and memories within the group.

Remember, great experiences are not end to end great. They have moments within them that are remarkable and this is true for so many different aspects of life.

With this understanding of creating memorable moments, we can begin to create these Peaks in our own lives.

What kind of Peak moments will you create?

By: Cortnie Dawn

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