Last update: October 19, 2019 Buying that luxury car you’ve always wanted won’t provide you with lasting happiness, according to researchers at Cornell University and the Journal of Psychological Science. Instead, studies continue to prove that your peak experiences in life actually create the powerful feelings of happiness and excitement that you crave.
The basic reason for this is that your brain never fully associates material purchases (like a new car) with your true identity. On the other hand, your experiences make up who you are as a person, and your brain acknowledges this fact by rewarding you with greater life satisfaction.
What are peak experiences?
Peak experiences are some the greatest moments of happiness and fulfillment that you will experience in your lifetime.
To quote Wikipedia:
A peak experience is a moment accompanied by a euphoric mental state often achieved by self-actualizing individuals. The concept was originally developed by Abraham Maslow in 1964, who 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.
Why people should want to have peak experiences
While having material possessions is always a great thing, you will probably only remember a series of important moments towards the end of your life.
In other words, at the end of the day, your life experiences are what matter most. Not your possessions.
How to achieve peak experiences in your life
The good news is that just about anyone can enjoy peak experiences in life, regardless of your age, job or position in life.
You don’t even need much money or time to accomplish most of the tasks on this list. So, make sure to enjoy as many of the experiences on this last as you possibly can.
Because, the following 27 life-changing peak experiences are guaranteed to shift how you interact with the world…
Peak Experience #27. Shocking Safari in the Serengeti
If you’ve never experienced an African safari before, you’ll be in for a real shock if you decide to make the voyage across the Serengeti region of Tanzania. The Serengeti hosts the largest migration of mammals in the world, and you can watch it all happen in-person – if you’re brave…
Peak Experience #26. Attending a Mind-Shattering Music Festival
Music festivals allow you to enter a fantasy universe for a few hours or even days. They offer an extremely healthy way to escape from reality, and provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Peak Experience #25. Morning Ocean Swims
The feeling of diving into a cool ocean at 6 A.M. and watching the sunrise is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. After you’ve tried it once, morning ocean swims will become your newest healthy addiction.
Peak Experience #24. Living in the Dominican Republic
The DR offers one of the most natural and exciting cultures in the world. Connect with your primal roots, let yourself get a little bit loose, and enjoy living in the magical Dominican Republic.
Peak Experience #23. Taking An Improv Class
“Improv” is a form of live theatre or comedy in which the characters, storyline, and details are all made up on the spot. Taking a single improv class will instantly supercharge your confidence, and give you a great new group of friends to spend time with.
Peak Experience #22. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Mardi Gras is a month-long celebration of life that takes place in the most exotic city of the United Sates. If Mardi Gras is still on your bucket list, prepare to experience an abundance of amazing seafood, cold beverages, and some of the most interesting people in the world.
Peak Experience #21. Seeing The Real Side of Cambodia
Seeing the real side of Cambodia is absolutely essential if you want to understand what spirituality, devastating poverty, and glowing happiness looks like in a single country.
Peak Experience #20. Becoming a Small Time Filmmaker
Shooting your own videos will allow you to create memories that last an eternity. By filming even a single amateur video, your great grandchildren will have something to remember you by. Start filming your legacy today.
Peak Experience #19. Lounging At Vondelpark in Amsterdam
The most famous park in Amsterdam is the Vondelpark, which has existed since 1865. Spending a single day talking with some new friends at Vondelpark has the potential to become one of your fondest memories.
Peak Experience #18. Celebrating Winter in the Desert
The world’s greatest indoor ski resort is actually located in the United Arab Emirates, a country well-known for its sizzling-hot desert climate. Going from blistering heat to freezing winter wonderland in seconds is something that everyone must experience.
Peak Experience #17. Attending The World Cup
Attending the World Cup is only half about the soccer. You also get to experience people of the world coming together for one life-changing event that only happens once every four years.
Peak Experience #16. Spending Summer in Tokyo
Immersing yourself in Tokyo for a single summer will completely change how you perceive the world. The Japanese food, people, and culture just might convert you into a Japanophile.
Peak Experience #15. Soaking in the Hot Springs of Iceland
Iceland’s astonishing geothermal activity creates an amazing opportunity for people to literally dive into. You can visit Iceland’s hot springs at any time during the year, but it’s recommend that you visit during Iceland’s warmer months for the best experience.
Peak Experience #14. Getting Unbelievably Fit
Getting unbelievably fit creates an indescribable feeling that everyone should experience at least once. The best news is that anyone can become unbelievably fit, with just a little bit of grit and hard work.
Peak Experience #13. Whale Watching
Whale watching will change how you think about the hidden world that lies beneath us. Some of best whale watching destinations include South Africa, the Maldives, Alaska, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Peak Experience #12. Joining a Book Club
While most people claim to not have enough free time to read, joining a book club will motivate you to pursue one of the greatest life-changing experiences you will encounter. Discussing books as a group might sound boring at first, but it’s a powerful way to connect with other people, and understand multiple different points of view.
Peak Experience #11. Visiting Cuba
Cuba is perhaps the only country in the world that actually feels like you’re going back in time when you visit. The old-world architecture, classic cars and energetic culture makes visiting Cuba a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Peak Experience #10. Learning How To Create Art
Learning how to create art means that you’ll be investing in a lifelong skillset. You can sell your artwork, offer it as a gift, or pass it along to family members to keep.
Peak Experience #9. Discovering Hawaii’s “Hidden” Islands
Most people are content with visiting Hawaii’s popular tourist destinations like Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. However, Hawaii contains a treasure trove of “hidden” experiences like Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii as well.
Peak Experience #8. Hearing Life Stories in New York City
As one of America’s greatest hubs of immigration, New York City attracts people from all walks of life. Taking just a few days to speak with the people of NYC will make you realize that everyone experiences great difficulties and tough times in life. You are not alone.
Peak Experience #7. Delivering a Speech or Lecture
Public speaking is one of the most common fears that people everywhere are terrified of learning. However, while learning how to give public speeches might be uncomfortable at first, it’s a valuable skill that will make you feel on top of the world once you’ve mastered it.
Peak Experience #6. Teaching English Abroad
Want to travel the world while making a massive difference in children’s lives? Yes? Then volunteer to teach English abroad today, and you will not regret it.
Peak Experience #5. Road Tripping Across North America
People tend to underestimate just how beautiful and diverse North America is. With its massive network of superhighways, North America provides the perfect opportunity for the ultimate road trip experience.
Peak Experience #4. Brazilian Carnival
Carnival in Brazil is the greatest party in the universe. It’s completely free, open to the public, and will make you want to live life like there’s no tomorrow.
Peak Experience #3. Spending Time With A Trusted Therapist
While not as adventurous as Mardi Gras or Carnival, spending time with a trusted therapist will certainly help you solve deep-rooted issues that stem as far back as childhood. Regularly visiting with a trusted therapist will be one of the greatest investments that you make.
Peak Experience #2. Exploring Machu Pichu
Machu Pichu is the Inca city on top of the Andes mountains in Peru. Visiting Machu Pichu will allow you to experience how people truly lived in the 1500’s, which is something that will stick with you forever. You might even realize just how lucky you are to be alive in the 21st century.
Peak Experience #1. Backpacking Southeast Asia
The greatest life-changing experience that you can have is backpacking Southeast Asia. There’s something liberating about throwing all of your belongings into a backpack, purchasing a flight, and spending a few months experiencing what life is like on the other side.
27 Peak Experiences Conclusion
If you decide to embark on any of the peak experiences in this article, I’m confident that you’ll live a more fulfilling life than most people.
But, if you can manage to pull off a variety of these life-changing moments, journeys or experiences – you’ll live one of the most exciting life’s imaginable…