Peak End Moments
January 27, 2021
Our lives are full of significant and memorable events.
I can vividly remember the moment WHEN
- I saw my Roll No published in the newspaper indicating that I had passed my School Certificate program with a first-class.
- The Dean awarded me my Master’s Degree.
- I got the offer letter from my first employer
- When I got promoted after being passed over a couple of times.
- I crossed the finish line in the first 10 Km race of my life.
- When I won a “speak up” case against my direct supervisor overcoming great odds.
In Psychology, there is a concept of a Peak End Rule. This rule says that we only remember the emotionally intense peak moments and the endpoints of any experience involving a lot of struggle. Peak Ends are mental hyperlinks that remind us of some of the memorable and meaningful experiences in our lives.
E.g., If you are running a marathon for the first time, there would be enormous struggle and sacrifice in preparation for the race. Also, the race in itself would be very challenging and stressful. But, crossing the finish line is that peak end moment that makes all the pain, sacrifice, and challenge worth it. You are filled with a sense of achievement and fulfillment.
Almost all the transformational experiences in our lives are “Peak End” moments because they symbolize our capacity to overcome odds and achieve something meaningful.
Paradoxically, there would be no Peak End moments if not for the struggles and challenges. So, relish the challenging, stressful, and difficult moments of your life. They are the “Peak Ends” that you will remember the rest of your life.