I’m awful at making moments. And athletics are the reason why.
Reading the book “The Power of Moments” gave me that revelation.
I’d sum up the book in one sentence — Our lives are measured by moments, and we have the power to create them.
The authors share four key elements of “defining” (meaningful and memorable) moments. I’ll share why sports naturally provide these type of moments:
- Elevation (moments that rise above the everyday): Here’s how you do it — Boost the sensory appeal, raise the stakes, and/or break the script. In sports, this is game day. For an even higher peak moment, make it a rivalry game or the playoffs. As athletes, our preparation centers around those peaks. Game day is different. Everything is amplified. “Butterflies” (anxious excitement) prove the heightened meaning of those moments.
- Insight (moments that rewire our understanding of ourselves or the world): The key takeaway: “Action leads to insight.” Athletics force us into action. Once the ball is tipped or the gun is fired, it’s go-time. While it’s possible to learn from the sidelines, nothing stimulates growth like stepping between the lines. Win, lose, or draw…you’re gonna learn.
- Pride (moments that capture us at our best): This is achieved through practicing courage, pushing past milestones, and receiving recognition. Athletics provide opportunities daily to grow in courage and experience a good kind of pride in the work we do. There is adversity to overcome, goals to pursue, and (if coached well) constant feedback.
- Connection (moments that are strengthened because they’re shared with others): Any group can quickly and deeply connect when they take on a demanding and meaningful task together. Preseason always reinforced this for me. It was incredible how fast a group of guys from all over the world could come together and trust one another after a gut-wrenching practice or an intense game.
There are far more important things than sports in this world, but I’m not sure if anything competes with sports’ ability to consistently create defining moments. As an athlete, I never had to work to generate moments; I simply stepped into them.
I’m not sure if ‘moment-making’ is a strength for most of us. We’re typically more consumed with managing minor things as opposed to magnifying the possibilities. At home, there’s meals to prep, floors to clean, stuff to fix, and kids to discipline. At work, no one’s tasked with conceiving moments.
But what if we took some of the practices of sports into other areas of our lives? How can we build camaraderie, begin traditions, plan out strategies, and pursue worthy goals with those around us?
While moments may have just happened to me through ball, I’m discovering the best moments aren’t merely consumed → they’re created. They don’t have to be big, expensive, or on a beach. They simply need to be meaningful and memorable.
“Often, what looks like a moment of serendipity is actually a moment of intentionality…They were not receiving a moment, they were seizing it.”
Making moments will never be an urgent matter, but I think they may be more important than we know. And we have the ability to craft them.
Here’s to breaking the script, raising the stakes, taking action, pushing past boundaries, encouraging others, chasing challenges, and bringing people along…