Do You Make the Most of an Experience?

Make the most of every experience. Donít obsess over right and wrong decisions. Stop defending your self-image. Go beyond risks. Make no decision when in doubt. See the possibilities in whatever happens. Find the stream of joy.

Living fully is extolled everywhere in popular culture. Instead of looking for sensory overload that lasts forever, youíll find that the experiences need to be engaged at the level of meaning and emotion.

Meaning is essential. If this moment truly matters to you, you will experience it fully. Emotion brings in the dimension of bonding or tuning in: An experience that touches your heart makes the meaning that much more personal.

Pure physical sensation, social status, sexual attraction, and feeling like a winner are generally superficial, which is why people hunger for them repeatedly.

To experience this moment, or any moment, fully means to engage fully. Meeting a stranger can be totally fleeting and meaningless, for example, unless you enter the individualís world by finding out at least one thing that is meaningful to his or her life and exchange at least one genuine feeling.

Tuning in to others is a circular flow: You send yourself out toward people; you receive them as they respond to you. Notice how often you donít do that. You stand back and insulate yourself, sending out only the most superficial signals and receive little or nothing back.

The same circle must be present even when someone else isnít involved. If you want to fully experience life, you must close the circle.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).


Elisa F.
Elisa F4 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Very interesting article.

amber c.
amber c6 years ago

Interesting, thanks - I will try to be more aware of the signals I am sending out to others

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Bob C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you Deepak and fellow students.

@Heather: Not sure that enjoying noise and loud people are necessary in order to make the most of an experience. Tuning-out those unpleasant stimuli may not always be necessary either.

I would suggest that perhaps more than the nature and amount of stimuli the world around us provides, it is more the choices that we ourselves make that determine our experience and what we get out of it. It is how we choose to respond to stimuli -- and what we think and feel in the absence of stimuli -- that constitute our most meaningful experiences. Your thoughts and feelings may be quiet ones, but they likely are also far deeper than any noise coming from the outside world. Focus on that quiet pool in the center of your being and listen to the silence there. It is powerful enough to vanquish the loudest noise.

heather g.
heather g6 years ago

I can't possibly make the most of every experience - I dislike noise and loud people.
I do enjoy engaging with people very much and many more things (that are not loud!)

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Marianna B M.

thanks for sharing

Ji H.
Jean H6 years ago

Mr. Chopra lists what I consider as examples of addiction: social status, being a winner (my personal dislike is shaking the fist when "knocking off" an opponent), etc. Fully present in the moment is so important in relationships and in pursuing life with meaning on this planet.

Dianne D.
Dianne D6 years ago

Saw a lot of myself in this article.

Krista R.
krista b6 years ago