Peaks and Valleys

I am finally back and I hope you missed me. Today the topic is ‘peaks and valleys’, which, incidentally, is a the title of Spencer Johnson’s latest book. Spencer Johnson, who is a medical doctor, is also one of the world’s most respected thinkers and beloved authors. You may know him for his best-selling book “Who Moved My Cheese?” and “The One Minute Manager” which he coauthored with Ken Blanchard.

Peaks and Valleys is the story of a young man who lives unhappily in a valley until he meets an old man who lives on a peak. This will change his life forever. Initially, the young man does not realize he is talking with one of the most peaceful and successful people in the world. However, through a series of conversations and experiences that occur up on peaks and down in valleys, the young man comes to make some startling discoveries. Eventually, he comes to understand how he can use the old man’s remarkable principles and practical tools in good and bad times and becomes more calm and successful himself.

Peaks and valleys are not just the good and bad times that happen to us. They are also how we feel inside and respond to outside events.

I agree with Dr. Johnson when he states that “whether we are temporarily up on a peak or down in a valley, we should ask ourselves: what is the truth of the situation? If we make our decisions based on the truth, we are going to come out in very good shape.”

We need to uncover the good that is hidden in a bad time, and use it to our advantage. What if we went back to the basics? What if we spent more time together with our families and with ourselves? We would probably feel more calm and peaceful if we went back to the basics. We also need to be humble and grateful. We need to do more of what got us there, keep making things better, do more for others. We also need to save resources for our upcoming valleys. Spencer Johnson also added that “If you are humble enough to remember that you’re only part of the peak and you’re only part of the valley, then you start getting a more realistic perspective.”

If we imagine ourselves enjoying a better future in such specific, believable detail, we soon enjoy doing what takes us there.

Have you ever felt that way?



7 thoughts on “Peaks and Valleys

  1. Well said, Alberto.
    I agree that a sense of gratitude can improve the perception of any situation , peak or valley as it might be. More than gratitude I like the word/concept “appreciation” because it implies “giving a price” or giving a value to things. If don’t give value to the things we’re surrounded by, we’ll most likely sell ourselves short.

  2. Hi Alberto
    Good to hear from you. I hope your enjoying your new position and Community.

    It seems the battle we paramedics are fighting has been one long series of valley’s with only the occasional peak!!


  3. Thank you Sal, very insightful comment and thank you Richard, I know the battle goes on but the final peak is awaiting.

  4. I appreciate this entry quite a bit. I’m at a place in my life where the peaks and valleys are only as beautiful and beneficial as I am true to myself; I’m in love with the journey and not so concerned about the destination. Thank you for a great post, Uncle!

  5. Alberto: I send our family’s best regards and best wishes for the New Year. I have enjoyed your previous posts and welcome your “return”. Who can disagree on the importance of truth as a basis for decision yet truth is so elusive for the majority.
    In fact it seems to change for most as they journey from peak to valley. Certainly, how we feel inside (whether good or bad) profoundly affects outside events and these events commonly influence what we “believe” to be true. In fact, some believe that everything we experience is a product of our own creation. As a Christian, I reject this, however it is hard to deny that positive experiences are born from a positive attitude and vice versa.
    I love your Spencer Johnson quote about being only a part of the peak/valley. I do not know his theological background but his perspective speaks truth to me.

  6. Hi Alberto

    Happy New Year!!!

    I hope this message finds you and your family happy and healthy as we head into 2010. I can’t believe how time flies?? Remember when 2010 was just an event we were working on ???
    and of course we missed you (miss you) ….. and your perspective.



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