Songwriter Carly Simon recalls an emotionally intense high school episode when her boyfriend referred to her stammer as "charming." She regards that moment as a turning point for her self-esteem. Other celebrities share similar seemingly minor moments with truly life-changing effects. Tennis champion Venus Williams recalls one of her sister's pep talks when "her words changed my life." Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal credits an offhand remark by his mother as "the words that changed everything for me." All three cases illustrate a Spontaneous Influence Event, or SIE. In this book, the author, a psychologist who has studied such events across decades, shows us how SIEs occur when we are emotionally charged and do occur for most of us, for better or worse. These events trigger intense emotional response and activate a mental state of extreme suggestibility, meaning there is fertile ground for others' statements about our worth, abilities and potential to be implanted solidly in our mind, leading to lives of success or failure, without our even completely comprehending the effect and why it occurred. The author also explains how and why the brain encodes SIEs to be triggered again and again in memory at later dates. He explains how we can all recognise the Elevated Suggestibility States, which might also be called "teachable moments," then use that knowledge to create positive SIEs for ourselves and those we love. And he explains how we can undo the damage of negative SIEs that may be haunting, holding back or hurting each of us.