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Reclaiming Joy

In my job as a Career Coach, when guiding a client who’s trying to figure out what work they want to do next, I ask them about peak experiences. When was a time they felt fully immersed? Tending a garden, training for a marathon, hiking Machu Picchu. Or eating ice cream on a hot summer day. And then I ask why.

Photo from The Anonymous Project


4 comments for “Reclaiming Joy”

  1. Petra says:

    Crossing the finish line when I completed my first half-marathon. It was something I couldn’t have fathomed doing a couple of years earlier. When I registered, I had only ever run five miles. And that I had done exactly twice.I had set a goal and accomplished it. I no longer run (recurrent foot injuries, so I’ve switched to cycling), but I’ll never forget that feeling.

    The culmination of a successful dinner party or luncheon is a coda to a type of peak experience as well. Something about all of the love shared among my friends, some of whom may only have met each other that evening.

  2. Petra says:

    Remembered like it was yesterday (when it was actually 12.5 years ago). My hip started bothering me a week or two before, so I thought I’d run what I could and walk the rest. But I wound up running the whole thing! The crowds, the other 30,000+ runners and walkers, the bands, the lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway–everything just built up that moment I crossed the finish line and a volunteer placed a medal around my neck (all finishers receive one). My heart swelled with pride and accomplishment. I was probably grinning for weeks! Seriously, I closed on my first house the week before, but that paled in comparison to this formerly morbidly obese and completely unathletic teen finishing something she couldn’t have fathomed back as a 17-year-old. I felt like I was capable of anything that moment!

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