What Is A Peak Experience?

Rock climber celebrates  on the needle pointed summit of a pinnacle after a successful ascent.

A peak experience is a moment accompanied by a euphoric mental state often achieved by self-actualizing individuals- according to Wikipedia.

The topic of peak experiences has been talked about for quite some time, if you were to google it you would notice that Abraham Maslow owns most of the search results as the originator of this topic, in fact here is a quick video of him talking about it….

This dates back to 1964, Maslow describes peak experiences as “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.”

A peak experience has far less to do with what you are doing and more to do the care-free and effortless feelings that is being experienced during the event itself. So it can be experienced during something extreme and high octane or something mundane, the point is that as that holistic moment comes together the individual is reaching their full potential.

Fun fact, here at Peak Experiences we are all about full potential, in fact that is a primary goal for us with everyone who gets involved with our company- to help them tap into more of their potential hence why we named the company Peak Experiences


peak experiences and flow state

Now don’t confuse Peak Experience state with FLOW state they are in fact different-kind of…

Allow me to turn once again to Wiki who explains the difference beautifully.

Self-actualization is a concept developed by Abraham Maslow that is characterized by one becoming all they want to be, and can be, by maximizing their potential. A common phenomenon that many self-actualized people experience is called flow, proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow has been described as a state of mind when one is using their full potential, completely immersed in their current activity, and are therefore not conscious of time, or anything else for that matter.

Self-actualized people often experience flow, as well as peak experiences. Although flow and peak experiences are often thought of as the same thing, they are different occurrences. While flow is a subjective conscious process that happens internally, peak experiences are describing an event that has occurred to someone who was functioning at optimal levels. Peak experiences are the actual outcome of an external occurrence, while flow is an internal mental process that may or may not precede a peak experience. Due to the nature and characteristics of self-actualized individuals, peak experiences often occur in their lives with their ability to perceive, accept, understand, and enjoy the journey of life

— end Wiki

If you want to learn more about FLOW, you can read this recent post I did talking about how FLOW state can speed up learning and skill acquisition.

I will leave you with a quote that I like…

Don’t try to recreate peak experiences. Instead, just accept them as the gift that they are, and don’t beat up on yourself for not being able to stay there. Because if you stayed there, they wouldn’t be peak experiences. They would be normal, every day in time hum drum boring, experiences. So, savor the peak experiences and compliment yourself upon your achieving of them, and expect more of them, and leave everything else out of the equation.”– Abraham-Hicks