When we give others the gift of experience, especially transformational experiences, we give them so much more than any physical gift. We give them opportunities to fuel their passions, get inspired and motivated, and we can even set them on a path towards ever greater learning and success in life.
Why do experiences matter?
Our brains are hard-wired for memories that are tied to experiences that stir up our emotions. The Harvard Business Review’s Elements of Value Pyramid illustrates how people perceive the benefits of products and services that are available to them. There are several elements that demonstrate the allure of novel and life-changing experiences. The emotional and life-changing layers are indicative of personal change associated with experiences that truly resonate. Such resonance is the magnetism that keeps people coming back with the hope of re-creating pleasurable experiences that have stuck in their memories.
We have identified 30 “elements of value”—fundamental attributes in their most essential and discrete forms. These elements fall into four categories: functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact. – Harvard Business Review
Creating Emotional Connections and Lifelong Memories
This sort of emotional engagement works in a variety of ways, and is so powerful when it comes to learning new things!
People don’t actually buy products and services. We buy experiences that leave lasting memories. Exposure to something new and unfamiliar increases the release of dopamine in the brain. Novelty motivates people to expect pleasure.- Shayla Price
What is delight really about? Surprise. Novelty. Wonder. The unexpected. Deviating from business as usual and injecting awe, a visceral emotion reaction, into the learning journey. Novelty and surprise fuel the pleasure-seeking reward centers of our brain, which is exactly the opposite of evoking a stress response due to poor product or service experience. The brain chemicals matter when it comes to making memories. These are also the sorts of experiences that people are prone to share, and to ask people to join in on.
How do memories develop and stick with us? And how does that impact learning? It’s about responding to latent human needs for novelty and surprise, the cornerstones of delight.
The experiences we remember are defined by change. Our stories are made up of experiences that are new, novel and those that have greater significance. We actually don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences. And even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories. –Daniel Kahneman
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