The Surprising Science of Life Changing Moments

Have you ever had a moment when your life changed? Perhaps it was a comment or it was a moment and although it may not have seemed to be anything to others around you, you experienced a seismic shift in how you viewed yourself. Dr. Michael Rousell studies these moments and relates them to neuroscience. Today he shares the surprising science behind the commonalities in these life-changing moments. As teachers, we hope to be part of these moments.

You could say these small but very epic life-changing moments are the seconds that could take years of relationship building and effort to cultivate and then, light a bolt of lightning - it happens - and a child is transformed for the good. You'll want to learn to understand these moments as a teacher. This is one of those episodes to share and discuss due to the exciting impacts it can have in the life of children. 

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Show Notes about Surprising Moments

  • Most moments that transformed people were in moments that surprised people.
  • Flattery doesn't work and seems to be "empty calories for kids.  "
  • When you deliver a comment, make it declarative so it doesn't sound empty.
  • Learn how to share comments in a way that can transform how a child views him or herself.
  • What is a surprise from a neuroscience perspective and how does it help children change their views?
  • How to pain struggles in the landscape of life.

Michael Rousell, Ph.D. - Bio as Submitted

I’m a teacher, associate professor, psychologist, and author. I taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. As an academic, I study formative moments, those events that instantly change what you believe about yourself.

My next book is titled, The Power of Surprise: How Our Brain Secretly Changes Our Beliefs, (not yet published).

My slogan: Whoever learns the most wins. You can see my recent TEDxSalem talk at



Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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