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Peak Experience Exercise

Peak Experience Exercise

People often get revelations about themselves by looking at the best parts of their lives in a special way. This peak experience exercise has its roots in the teachings of Abraham Maslow, and in the techniques of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). Do this in a quiet, relaxed state. It is okay to ask for input from others to recall these best experiences, but then return to a quiet space alone to finish out the exercise.


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  1. Define the experiences. From each aspect of your life (Education, Relationships, Work), and at perhaps more than one age, remember particular experiences that gave you joy, a thrill, at which you feel you were at your best. Describe the experience. i.e. Started a business and moved quickly to success.
  2. Think about what feelings the experience created for you (joy, pride, confidence, excitement, comfort, accomplishment, etc)
  3. Vividly recall the situation. Who were you with, where were you, what could you see, hear, sense?
  4. What actions did you take to create the outcome? [Contacted clients, bankers, new vendors, hired people]
  5. What skills do you have that enabled you to take those actions? [Domain knowledge, ability to analyze things quickly, decisiveness, willingness to risk]
  6. How could you apply the skills again? What else can you do with those skills?
  7. Look for patterns – similarities in the actions and skills, that help define who you are and your capabilities.
  8. Anchor the resources you discover in yourself, so that you can access the skills again and again.