Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 8, Issue 52;   December 24, 2008: Making Memories to Cherish

Making Memories to Cherish

by

Last updated: November 21, 2018

We all have cherished memories — lovely moments we can replay whenever we want to feel happy. How would you like to have a lot more of them?
Roasted chestnuts. Can you smell their aroma?

Roasted chestnuts. Can you smell their aroma? Smells and memory are tightly linked. The part of the human brain that processes olfactory information links directly to two other elements of the limbic system: the amygdala and the hippocampus. The former is central in the experience of emotions, and the latter in learning and memory formation. Since smells readily evoke memories, preparing to remember smells prepares you to make memories. For more about smell and memory, see Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, or search the Web. Photo courtesy the blog, Världen Som Den Är.

Every waking moment of every day, and some non-waking moments, we make memories. Most vanish before the day is done; very few last a week. Some good memories return when reminders come along, but most are forever lost. We deal with this by keeping diaries, taking photos, or telling stories, and it all helps…a little.

In quiet moments, reflecting on cherished memories, with loved ones or alone, we can feel the happiness. It's so easy to do that we rarely think about the effort. Whenever we want to feel happy, we can remember a beautiful landscape, the smell of a wood fire, the smiles of loved ones, or even their touch.

These memories don't come from diaries or photos or stories — they come from deep within. Take some time to inventory how many wonderful memories you have. However many you find, you might notice two things. You'll be very happy about them, and you'll probably want more. You might think, 'I wish I could remember Grandma more clearly,' or your first love, or your teammates on the day of that great victory, and on and on.

Fortunately, there is something you can do, more powerful than diaries or photos or stories or anything you can buy. You can prepare yourself to create cherished memories. Once you're prepared, it happens almost automatically. Here are some suggestions for preparing to make memories to cherish.

Make happen what you most want to happen
You're much more likely to remember something if you really wanted it to happen. Do what you can — everything you can — to make it happen.
Illuminate the people around you
Memories of others are more vivid when those others are vivid, when there is enough emotional light. Light up the people around you, make them bright, make them glow.
Filter the details
In everyday mode, we attend to everyday details — what's for dinner, when do I have to be there, what to wear. But when preparing to make memories, these details fade compared to the details that truly matter: Am I breathing? Where am I? What is around me? What is that aroma? What is she wearing? What is the shape of his smile? How does the light look in their eyes?
Light up the people around
you, make them bright,
make them glow
Turn on the recorder
Take in all the details of right now, as if you were experiencing them for the last time, because you are. Think of it as turning on the recorder. You might have to search for your own Record Button, but stay with it — you will find it.

Most important, to remember an experience, you must experience it. To experience it, you must be fully in it. These suggestions are for preparing to make memories. Thinking about the preparations while you're in the experience can take you out of the experience. Prepare first, then do. Go to top Top  Next issue: The Perils of Piecemeal Analysis: Group Dynamics  Next Issue

Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunLove the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenrDUDwWaUxOAJtKFRner@ChaclWPJpPZohNvtYLEJoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.

Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.

Related articles

More articles on Emotions at Work:

Too much time on his handsHurtful Clichés: II
Much of our day-to-day conversation consists of harmless clichés: "How goes it?" or "Nice to meet you." Some other clichés aren't harmless, but they're so common that we use them without thinking. Here's Part II of a series exploring some of these clichés.
A wild turkeyIt's a Wonderful Day!
Most knowledge workers are problem solvers. We work towards goals. We anticipate problems as best we can, and when problems appear, we solve them. But our focus on anticipating problems can become a problem in itself — at work and in Life.
A pipe tomahawk dating to 1740-1780How to Avoid a Layoff: Your Relationships
In troubled economic times, layoffs loom almost everywhere. Here are some tips for reconfiguring your relationships with others at work and at home to reduce the chances that you will be laid off.
Computer-generated image of the third stage ignition for Mars Climate OrbiterConfirmation Bias: Workplace Consequences Part II
We continue our exploration of confirmation bias. In this Part II, we explore its effects in management processes.
Amundsen's team working on personal kit during the winter before the trip South to the PoleHandling Heat: I
Heated exchanges in meetings are expensive to both the organizational mission and to the careers of the meeting's participants. Preventing them — or dealing with them when they happen — is everyone's job. But what can you do when they persist?

See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

An onion, sliced and dicedComing December 11: The Rhyme-as-Reason Effect
When we speak or write, the phrases we use have both form and meaning. Although we usually think of form and meaning as distinct, we tend to assess as more meaningful and valid those phrases that are more beautifully formed. The rhyme-as-reason effect causes us to confuse the validity of a phrase with its aesthetics. Available here and by RSS on December 11.
Winston Churchill in the Canadian Parliament, December 30, 1941And on December 18: The Trap of Beautiful Language
As we assess the validity of others' statements, we risk making a characteristically human error — we confuse the beauty of their language with the reliability of its meaning. We're easily thrown off by alliteration, anaphora, epistrophe, and chiasmus. Available here and by RSS on December 18.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenrDUDwWaUxOAJtKFRner@ChaclWPJpPZohNvtYLEJoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

Get the ebook!

Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:

Reprinting this article

Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info

Public seminars

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power

Many The
Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
303 Tips for Virtual and Global TeamsLearn how to make your virtual global team sing.
101 Tips for Managing ChangeAre you managing a change effort that faces rampant cynicism, passive non-cooperation, or maybe even outright revolt?
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
Exchange your "personal trade secrets" — the tips, tricks and techniques that make you an ace — with other aces, anonymously. Visit the Library of Personal Trade Secrets.
If your teams don't yet consistently achieve state-of-the-art teamwork, check out this catalog. Help is just a few clicks/taps away!
Ebooks, booklets and tip books on project management, conflict, writing email, effective meetings and more.