I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of a moment.
In a minute, things can all turn around.
In a moment, memories can be made for a lifetime.
In a moment, you can change someone’s life.
I read a quote in a store window this weekend, that went something like this: “I never remember days, but I do recall moments.”
Cliché, a bit. But too true.
We talk about moments with our clients. P&G talks about the “moment of truth.” Twitter talks about “planned and spontaneous moments.”
A lot can happen in 60 seconds, if you let it.
I remember traveling the world in my prior gigs, and instead of recounting my trip meeting by meeting and city by city with my kids upon my return, I’d recall a single moment, in vivid detail. And to do this, I’d force myself to stop and stare for a moment, at whatever the scene happened to be.
One such moment happened in Kuala Lumpur. I was stuck in a hotel conference room for 3 days of Asia Pacific regional planning meetings, and walked outside for some fresh air, and a mental break from spreadsheets and growth projections.
And I stared at the scene, for 1 full minute.
It was pouring rain, like it pours sheets of golf ball size rain drops in monsoon season, like it does in Malaysia at that time of year. But it was warm, really warm, so it was actually nice, and people seemed to move about without real regard for the wetness. People weren’t scampering for cover. Instead, they were going about their daily business, walking instead of scurrying. They’d clearly seen this kind of rain before. And across the street, there was a woman holding a bright red umbrella, at an angle that made her look to me like the Morton Salt girl. She was buying some fresh fruit from a street vendor, and she looked to be buying Star Fruit, a sweet yellow and somewhat pungent fruit grown mainly in Thailand. She had a blue bag, and seemed to fill it full of fresh, wet fruit. She paid the man in coins, and then as she put her purse away, turned toward the street and stepped right into a puddle the size of a small lake, without hesitation or alarm.
All in a moment.
And, that’s what I reported to my kids about my trip to Kuala Lumpur.
10 years later, I can still remember it, vividly.
And so, as we race to the finish line in 2013 and shop for holiday presents and go to holiday parties and plan our holiday travel, I am pausing to remind myself, that every moment is precious.
In a start-up most especially, moments are the stuff of legend.
Moments of hilarity.
Moments of discovery.
Moments of triumph.
Moments of sadness.
Moments of frustration.
Moments of kindness.
Moments of fear.
Moments when we decide to do something, just because it feels right to us.
Moments of simply making it so.
And above all, moments of pure exultation, at a task not merely completed, but annihilated.
Taken together, these are the moments we’ll recall.
So, take a moment, and regard the moments that make up our days, every day.