How to create peak experiences consistently

Hey my friends! I’m Hayley Hobson and I’m so glad you’re here! Welcome to the Whole You Podcast where I share tips to help women like you implement healthy hacks and habits so you can eat smarter, rest better, and get it ALL done. 

So, honestly, how are you doing?!

Like really?

And don’t just reach for that automatic and superficial response we all do in a high pitch…

You know the one I’m talking about.

((raise pitch in your voice))
“Yeah, I’m GOOD!”

I’m pretty confident in speaking for the masses here... that this has been a difficult year. 

It’s thrown us for a lot of unforeseen loops in life.

There has been a lot of tragedy and loss. And STRESS. 

But you know what has been getting ME through this?

And allowing me to have a positive outlook when things seemed pretty bleak?

Looking for those silver linings.

Because what’s amazing is… despite ALLLLL the challenges we’ve had… there have been MAJOR opportunities and shifts.

Like starting a biz… or CHANGING your biz… or making personal lifestyle changes you told yourself you couldn’t do in the “before times”.

If you look at life through that lens… the lens of OPPORTUNITY… it changes everything.

This is the sort of thing we work on in my Habit Hackers community.

Just such an amazing group of like-minded individuals.

If you were to ask me what the NUMBER ONE thing that creates lasting change is… I’d say support.

Community. Collaboration. A team of people cheering you on, holding you accountable, and being there to lift you up.

It’s super hard to make change in a vacuum… and what I love about Habit Hackers is that the members are so supportive in pushing one another to achieve their goals.

If you’re already a Habit Hacker… know that I just love all of you and I’m so thankful for this community.

And if you aren’t already a member, you are gonna want to jump on that real quick. 

So let’s talk about what it means to look at challenges as opportunities… or to look for silver linings.

Your silver lining could be something small…

Like finally mastering your banana bread recipe.

Because remember when literally everyone… (including my fav girl Chrissy Teigen LOL) was making banana bread everyday?

It’s like we thought banana bread could fix all our problems…

I mean, what a great concept -- if only! LOL

P.S. send me your best vegan B-bread recipes.

It may not take all my worries away but… it’s worth a try, right? HA!

But anyways.

My point is that it’s time to CHOOSE to see difficult experiences as an opportunity.

  • For growth.
  • For change.
  • For redirection.
  • For a new purpose.

It isn’t a question of IF hard times will come.

It’s WHEN, girlfriend.

Because no matter who we are…

There are bound to be tough times.

Yep, even for Chrissy Teigen…

And it’s important to know that it’s ok... to not always be ok.

But what are you going to DO about it?

How are you going to make sure those difficulties have a purpose?

That’s what I want to talk about.

When the struggle is real… (even if it’s something you choose LOL)... how will you fight through it and create something beautiful?

In order for us to really dive into that idea…

I need to make sure you know about my boy, Maslow...

The humanist psychologist, Abraham Maslow.

You might not be super familiar with him, so I have the 411 for ya.

Maslow came up with this hierarchy of needs.

It’s a motivational theory.

A 5-tiered model, or pyramid, of human needs. 

Ah ha… Am I starting to ring those old college psych memories now? LOL

Ok so, in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you start off with just your basic physiological ones.

That’s access to food, water, shelter, clothes, etc.

Essentially the basic things every human needs to literally SURVIVE.

Then you have your safety needs.

Like somewhere to call home, money, and job security.

Next is belongingness and love needs.

That’s your intimate relationships and fulfilling friendships.

Then comes your esteem needs.

AKA: Feeling pride and accomplishment about your life.

And the very top of that pyramid is self-actualization.

That’s the need to achieve your ultimate potential.
It’s a big one.

And it’s got that top spot on the pyramid for a reason.

Because all the needs below it must be satisfied first.

THEN you can think about self-actualization.

I mean, it’s hard to focus your effort on living your purpose and reaching enlightenment if you’re living in a dangerous, unstable environment, right? Or literally without food or water.

Most of us spend our lives fluctuating between the different levels. For many of us in industrialized societies, it’s wavering in the middle ones.

And that’s what keeps us from hitting that self-actualization jackpot.

Now what I’ll say is… the specifics of what fulfills a person at each level will vary.

But the GOAL to want it all is always there. 

We all WANT to make it to that self-actualization level.

Because that’s where the good stuff happens, my friends.

I’m talking about those sweet peak experiences.

That’s another term I got from our buddy, Maslow.

He was like, really smart. Knows his shiz for sure. LOL

So this concept of peak experiences.

You can think of it like reaching the top of a mountain… Or PYRAMID.

See what I did there? HA!

Ok let’s take a simple example… have you ever done a long and difficult hike?

You push yourself to complete a challenging, uphill climb…

And at the end, you’re rewarded with a beautiful view at the top.

You know that feeling of excitement for having made it?

You’re a little in awe at yourself for pushing through. You literally feel that hum in your blood. That sense of WOW. That sometimes can make you feel a little high. LOL

That’s a peak experience. 

It’s something meaningful.

It makes you feel alive.

Transcendent, even.

A peak experience will look and feel different for everyone.

But they all have a few things in common.

First, they‘re significant.

As in, they bring awareness of self… and are potential turning points in life.

Second, they bring fulfillment.

You feel like you got a reward and have positive emotions.

And third, they’re spiritual.

You feel at one with the world and often lose your sense of time.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

When you KNOW these moments… it actually puts a lot into perspective.

Especially when you are in the OPPOSITE of that feeling.

Makes me think about my old job.

The job I knew was wrong for me.

I wasn’t happy.

And I wasn’t fulfilled.

What I was… was ANXIOUS AF.

All. the. freaking. time.

And then I had my AH HA moment.

I was literally standing in my law office looking over downtown Philly… and it just hit me.

This wasn’t for me.

I didn’t know what I wanted at the time, but I knew it wasn’t THIS.

It was my turning point.

In a way, it was like a peak experience. I FELT it in my bones… this wasn’t mine.

I took my unhappiness with my career…

And used it to figure out what I wanted. 

Since that time, I’ve had many peak experiences… personally and in my biz.

The day I quit that attorney job… LOL

The first time I got a paying coaching client…

The first time I made 6 figures with a launch…

The first time I was riding the yoga high after a difficult yoga class I taught… and a student told me she felt CHANGED in the hour we spent together…

Oh and PS -- exercise is an amazing way to have peak experiences. Things where you PUSH yourself… very very often give you that feeling.

So I wonder… How many of you are on the cusp of this same sort of experience?

How many nights have you stayed up daydreaming…

  • About being your own boss?
  • Following your passion?
  • Being more in control of your life?

I know it can be scary… the idea of breaking out on your own.

Trying something new.

Getting out of your comfort zone.

Worrying about if it will work out.

But that’s why I’m here!

To remind you that you have already HAD this experience before… in some way, shape, or form.
And that you CAN have it again.

That feeling of being ALIVE… fully in the moment… in a state of FLOW.

And what I’ll tell you is... the way to start having these peak experiences on the regular… is to get out of the drudgery.

You know what I mean… the same old same old.

The clocking in and clocking out of life.

Peak experiences come when you’re doing something NEW. Something ACTIVE.

It could be writing or painting… working out… gardening… sometimes I’ve had them listening to music. Or meditating.

Flow comes from the act of CREATING. Of breaking free from shallowness.

It comes from focus. And opening yourself up to something fresh… 

When you go about your day in a state of frenetic, shallow activity… the flow state rarely comes.

So today I’m offering you a challenge…

This week, I want you to do something NEW. Something that is about CREATION.

Think about the times you’ve hit this flow state before… and bring that into your life more.

Sometimes it helps to have a coach -- someone on the outside who can offer perspective.

And I want to help you get to your full potential.

Your self-actualization… to have those peak experiences.

Because those types of experiences help people in a lot of ways.

  • They can make you more playful.
  • More self-sufficient.
  • More alive.
  • And more creative.

Aren’t those things you want to be?

You have to take the risk to get the reward.

Because isn’t it scarier to be in the same position 10 years from now… than it is to just go for it?

When people tell me they’re debating some big change in life… I like to remind them:

The biggest leaps have the biggest rewards.

Like… wouldn’t it be amazing to look back on life…

And know that despite the struggles and setbacks… you turned those lemons into lemonade.

You didn’t live in a what-if world.

You lived up to your potential.

And had life-changing -- life DEFINING -- experiences. 


It’s totally possible, my friends!

Think about this freaking pandemic we’ve lived through.

It could be super easy to just say, WHELP,  this has been a wash of a year -- and go on about much you wanna forget it.

But I actually know a lot of people who have managed to do some amazing things through all of the crazy and scary times.

Like my friend who moved into the apartment of her dreams because rent prices fell so much in her city.

I have another friend who, after 30-something years, bonded with her sister in a way she never had before.

Another friend kinda became a stay-at-home dad to his toddler when he lost his job… and it’s completely changed how he approaches his career now.

My neighbor discovered his passion for writing… and he even LOOKS completely different when you look him in the eyes now. 

He actually has PURPOSE… and he told me that he consistently has these flow moments because he’s doing what he’s SUPPOSED to be doing now.

Which he never would have discovered had he kept on working at his old job.

But making the most of a difficult situation doesn’t always look like something big.

It can be small… but powerful. And meaningful, right? Like I said, it’s different for everyone.

And... because I want you to be rollin’ in those peak experiences…

I’m gonna to leave you with a few hacks.

Ways to overcome difficulties in order to reach that self-actualization. To get into a flow state more consistently… and out of the land of shallow activity and BUSY-ness..

The first hack is: Breathe.

LOL, it sounds weird but honestly, most of us don’t even pay attention to how we’re breathing.

Literally everything gets easier when you breathe through it.

Like bringing awareness to your breath in meditation.

Breathing through a tough yoga pose.

Steady breathing while running.

Or when you feel anxious… maybe a panic attack coming on… breathing is one of the most prescribed antidoes...

Even just taking a deep breath to calm your nerves before a big meeting.

It all comes back to breathing.

Breathing is literally drawing in freshness. And letting go of the old.

So notice the quality of your breath when you’re in tough situations… and bring consciousness to it. 

You’ll totally feel the difference.

The next hack I wanna offer is: Looking after your health.

I’m talking about full package wellness.

So I’ll ask you again…

How are you feeling? Like for real.

Are you healthy?

Are you eating right?

Getting proper exercise for those sweet, sweet endorphins?

Sleeping enough?

Be honest with yourself…

Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? 

It’s gonna be hard to be self-actualized when you feel like crap. You gotta take care of yourself to reach your full potential.

End. Of. Story.

Hack #3 is… Prioritizing Self-Care.

Have I mentioned how important self-care is?

Only everyday, you guys! LOL

Like your wellness, you have to make sure you’re getting everything you need.

Breakthroughs happen when you’re not wound up tight like a top. 

That’s why they happen so often while working out… or creating… or listening to music… or meditating.

So, I wanna know…

What relaxes you at the end of the day?

When’s the last time you got a pedicure?

Sat outside on your porch in a little patch of sun and just blissed out listening to some jams? Or had a Lady Gaga dance party by yourself while cleaning your kitchen.

No, just me? LOL 

You totally should try that one!

What I want you to know is…

When you let go of alllll that tension, you open up pathways for the universe to bring you what you need to take it to the next level. So shake it up! 

And like they say in Frozen… let it go. HA!

Now this last hack is actually my fav… It’s to connect with others authentically. AKA: Community.

Have you ever heard that you become the people you surround yourself with? 

There’s a whole book from Lynne McTaggart about the Power of 8. It’s all about the power of small groups to create HUGE IMPACT. Huge change -- with shared intentions.

It’s true.

Think about what happens when you hang out with people you really connect with.

You probably pick up each other’s expressions, jokes, energy, and motivations.

This happens at work ALL.THE.TIME. I even see it in my team. 

Somehow there’s this whole Lord of the Rings meme thing with my team that I don’t really get but… I mean, it happens. LOL

I have no freaking idea how it started either. But apparently there’s a LOTR meme for every occasion.

It’s hilarious. So we’ve built a little community… even though some of us are thousands of miles apart.

What I’m saying is… you need to be around a community of people who will encourage and support you.

Ones that bring out your best and highest self.

Those who only want good things for you. Who GET you.

Like our Habit Hackers community!

What I see inside the group is that COMMUNITY is the transformation secret sauce for all the massive wins going on in there.

It’s not the monthly magazine…

It’s not the guest speakers…

Or the ongoing habit hacking training…

It’s the community. 

The group dynamic that includes group coaching. 

You can literally see the changes session by session. 

It’s so powerful when you bring a group of likeminded people together… with shared intention… and you work on goals -- TOGETHER.

If that sounds right up your alley, I’d love for you to check it out. 

We’re accepting new members right now… and the link to see if it’s for you is

I’ll drop the link in the show notes and in this week’s newsletter for ya.

So I wanna leave you with this…

Who you give your time to MATTERS. Yep, this is the same shiz your mom told you about in high school. LOL

If you want to become your very best self… surround yourself with others of the same mind.

Mic. Drop. LOL

All these pro tips I offered today will help you climb up Maslow’s pyramid and reach that peak more consistently than ever before.

It might be difficult. It might take some time.

But, I promise you…

It’s so worth it.

So before we wrap up for today… remember the challenge I offered you.

Think about when you have had those peak experiences… what you were doing, what was going on in your life… maybe in your body…

And bring at least one back into your life this week.

I can’t wait to hear about it!

I’ll see ya online.