Peak experiences play an important role in Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs. As you probably remember, at the very peak of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization, or a desire to reach one's full potential and become self-fulfilled. Peak experiences are one of the essential characteristics of self-actualization.
So what exactly is a peak experience? These are moments of intense wonder, awe, joy, and ecstasy. They stand out distinctly from everyday events and leave a person feeling transformed, inspired, or strengthened.
Maslow believed that not everyone becomes self-actualized, but he also felt that even those who never reach the peak of the needs pyramid are still capable of having these peak moments. Still, researchers suggest that these events are rare. In one study, only about two-percent of those survey believed that they had ever had a peak experience.
Learn more about what these moment feel likes and their common characteristics in this overview of peak experiences.
Image by Sanja Gjenero