Peaks and Valleys

“The path out of the valley appears when you choose to see things differently.”  p.29 Peaks and Valleys, Spencer Johnson M.D.

There is an excellent book called, “Peaks and Valleys” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. that was given to me as a gift several years ago.  The book has less than 100 pages, and it’s in parable form, but I’ve found it speaks volumes about the potential control we have over the successes we create our lives.  It’s a very simple premise – your ‘peak’ times are when things are going well, you’re happy, and you’re balanced.  Your ‘valleys’ are when you have feelings of anxiety, a lack-of-confidence, and an emotional imbalance.  One of the main themes in the book is that peaks and valleys happen all the time in our lives, but we have more control than we think to make our time on the peaks longer and our time in the valleys shorter.

I often look back into the book Peaks and Valleys when I’m feeling like I’m in need of a quick dose of simplicity to bring me back-to-center.  ‘Seeing the world differently’ can mean different things to different people, depending on the situation they are in. However,  one thing for me remains constant:  ‘seeing things differently’ means challenging myself to navigate a difficult situation with emotional energy that is positive and productive.  That’s tough to do when emotional bandwidth is running low, but the payoff of this strategy always seems to be as follows:

When I choose to see the world differently…I’m more open to innovative ideas and creative thinking in my career.

When I choose to see the world differently…I find my time on the ‘peaks’ are longer and my times in the ‘valleys’ are shorter.

When I choose to see the world differently…I’m happier and more centered in my thoughts and feelings.

Challenging myself to consistently see the world differently is hard, for sure, but it’s worth the effort every time.





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