Here’s an interesting fact of human psychology. It seems it doesn’t matter how long an experience, good or bad, lasts. What matters is the intensity (not length) of the peak highs, lows, and ending. That’s how we remember experiences You can use this wonderful fact to your great advantage by manipulating the ending of your experiences.
You can change your experience of what you consider routine, monotonous, or unpleasant experiences by creating a situation where the very last moment is a pleasant (or less unpleasant) ending. You can have an hour long painful and uncomfortable colonoscopy, but if the physician leaves the tube in for an extra few minutes at the end, this few minutes of reduced discomfort will result in you reporting a much better experience than someone who had a 10-minute procedure without the better ending. This is known as the peak-end rule.
You all are better suited than I am to come up with ways you can use this wonderful trick in your own lives, but there is one obvious thing that jumps out at me. End your work day on a good experience. What a simple little trick to change your experience. Don’t waste it!
Make it a point to always end your work day with a positive experience. The worst thing you can do is give up whatever you are working on and leave in frustration thinking you will get back to it tomorrow. That might be a good strategy to solve the problem, but it is a bad strategy in the psychology of how your mind experiences your day.
Go ahead and stop struggling with your problem, but find something else to accomplish at the last minute before you go home or stop working if you work at home. It can be as simple as having a pleasant chat with one of your colleagues or accomplishing some small task. Try clearing the clutter in your workspace and experience that peace that comes from looking at your minimalist setup.
End your vacation with the best day as the last. End your rabbit food meal with a piece of sweet fruit. End your argument with a sweet kiss. End your boring exercise routine with a free and fun dance. You get the point.
It is a big mistake to ignore these little tricks we can play on our minds. Don’t let your stubborn habits or skepticism rob you of such a simple way to change your experiences. Whatever you are doing, get creative and end it on a high note. I’m definitely adding this tool to my tool box.
What ideas do you have on creating peak-end experiences?
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