Some of my life experiences were exceptionally special. They were so intense and remarkable to the extent that they contributed to shaping my character and the person who i currently am.
One example is: a very challenging project in the university in which i had to work on with my college friends for days and nights. we worked so hard and we were so dedicated. We forgot about food we forgot about our families. I remember that i had to sleep on bare floor out of tiredness. The moment when we succeeded in fulfilling this project was not a normal one. It was a moment of fulfillment and great satisfaction.
It gave me the clear proof that some far tough objectives can be fulfilled. That built a good portion of the self-confidence inside me.
I have to say I did not realize this effect at that time, i have just noticed it nowadays, when i started looking backwards on what my character grounded on.
I believe such experiences are parts of the lives of each one of us. We all get the chance to feel it in a way or another. But may be we do not realize how much effect do they cause to who we are today.
These experiences are known as ‘ Peak Experiences ‘ in Psychology. Peak Experience was originally developed by the famous psychological scientist Maslow in 1964.
He described the Peak Experiences as follows:
‘rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.’
The studies Maslow did suggested common triggers for peak experiences which included art, nature, sex, creative work, music and scientific knowledge.
He also described the person in a peak experience will perceive the following:
- loss of judgment to time and space
- the feeling of using all capacities and capabilities at their highest potential, or being “fully functioning”
- functioning effortlessly and easily without strain or struggle
- being without inhibition, fear, doubt, and self-criticism
- a free mind that is flexible and open to creative thoughts and ideas
- complete mindfulness of the present moment without influence of past or expected future experiences
- a physical feeling of warmth, along with a sensation of pleasant vibrations emanating from the heart area outward into the limbs.
Maslow suggested that one of the best ways to think of peak experiences are to think of the most wonderful experiences of your life. Those moments of ecstasy and complete and utter happiness.
In one survey, people reported that peak experiences tended to occur during artistic, athletic or religious experiences. Moments in nature or during intimate moments with family or friends were also common. Achieving an important goal, either a personal or collective one, could also lead to a peak experience. Other moments when such experiences might occur include when an individual helps another person in need or after overcoming some type of adversity.
According to Maslow, people in peak experiences are : closest to their true identities, their real selves. They appear to be more integrated; less split; they appear to be more synergistic with less internal friction.
End of Maslow’s work
Here is my 2 revelations and conclusions that about Peak experiences:
‘A big part of who are we now is built mainly by a series of separated very deep and intense experiences that made a strong impact on the identity of the personalities who we are today’
‘Re-thinking about these experiences and re-embracing them can have their positive effect on us nowadays. It can give us a fresh spotlight about how and why we are in the place we are in today, and remember what did we plan to do with our lives’
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