I’m pretty sure you know this, but I am no thrill seeker. You will not find me jumping out of an airplane or off a bridge with a cord strapped to my ankle.
Which is why the last place you’d expect to find me is on the back of a horse named Mud traipsing around Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. And yet, that’s where I was a few days ago.
My friends and I mounted our steeds and sat rigid with fear, waiting for it to begin. “My heart is pounding,” Lyndsay said. “Smile,” Kim said, snapping pictures of us.
Then, a shift. A few minutes into the ride, I felt something like a primal instinct kick in, as if I’d once known how to do this, but had forgotten. I found ease in the rhythm, the way my hips rolled with each step.
Though there was nothing familiar about this landscape. It was like being air-dropped onto Mars or vanishing into your sixth grade geology textbook: Sunwashed layer cakes of red and lavender stone. Scrubby bushes, earth the color of bone.
The guide shared the stories about how the ranch fell to one owner, then another, thanks to winning poker hands or divorce, before Georgia O’Keeffe found a life and inspiration there at the foot of the Pedernal Mountain, which she considered her own.
When Mud trotted uphill, I felt like a child being bounced on a knee, and I giggled the way you only do when you’re not in control, but you’re ok with it.
Years from now, I’ll forget the spa we visited, the shops with their identical rows of turquoise bangles. But I’ll never forget this.
In The Power of Moments, Chip and Dan Heath explore what makes a moment memorable: Elevation, insight, pride, and connection. You don’t need all four to make a defining moment, but that ride hit them all:
- I was elevated above the everyday;
- I got a glimpse of myself and the world from a new perspective;
- I was proud of rising to this challenge; and
- I shared the experience with friends.
Now, I don’t believe I need to or should be better at riding horses, or that I missed my calling as a rancher. I never even pined for a pony.
This experience changed me, as all peak moments can—because it showed me who I was in a new context, with a new challenge. Isn’t that when we feel most alive?
While every day or your life and mine isn’t a thrilling trot across the desert, it also amounts to a lot more than a series of jobs listed chronologically on your LinkedIn profile.
It’s easy to lose sight of that, though, isn’t it?
What if you rediscovered the parts of your work that make you feel most alive? What if, instead of feeling pressured to impress someone with your resume, you re-engaged with the excitement of what you do and communicated that instead?
Next Thursday, June 24th, I’m leading my first-ever What Do You Do Workshop. And while we won’t do it on horseback, we’ll revisit some familiar landscapes from a whole new perspective.
Peak moments will abound. Why? We have all the ingredients:
- An elevated experience, above the everyday
- The chance to see yourself and your work from a new perspective
- The opportunity to experience pride and confidence in what you do
- A shared and connected experience with supportive people
Want to ride with us? Giddyap.
Questions? Hit reply.