Good and Bad Times Work For You
— At Work and In Life
By Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Peaks and Valleys
Peaks are moments when you
appreciate what you have
Valleys are moments when
you long for what is missing
Peaks and Valleys is a story of a young man who
lives unhappily in a valley until he meets an old
man who lives on a peak, and it changes his work
and 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.
Now you can take a similar journey through the
story and use what you find to your advantage in
your own work and life.
1) You cannot always control external events, but you can
control you personal Peaks and Valleys by what you believe
and what you do.
2) Have you ever noticed that your life is filled with
ups and downs? It is never all ups or all downs.
“Like a healthy heartbeat, your personal Peaks and Valleys are an essential part
of a normal, healthy life. So are the Plateaus, if they are times of healthy rest
when you take stock of what is happening and pause to think about what to do
next. Peaks and Valleys are not just the good and bad times that happen to you.
They are also how you feel inside and respond to outside events.”
3) We can make good use of our time in the Valley. There
are valuable lessons to be learned in the Valley and, you
can’t stay on the Peak if you are not prepared.
“ The errors you make in today’s good
times create tomorrow’s bad times. And
the wise things you do in today’s bad
times create tomorrow’s good times.
People who use a Peaks and Valleys
approach during bad times make things
better when they return to basics, and
concentrate on what matters most.”
4) Peaks and Valleys are connected. The errors you make in
today’s good times create tomorrow’s bad times.
5) You can have fewer bad times when you appreciate and
manage your good times wisely.
6) The pain in a valley can wake you up to a truth you have
Make reality your friend
Whether you are temporarily up on a
Peak or down in a Valley, ask yourself:
What is the truth in the situation?
"If you make your decisions based on the
truth, you're going to come out in very
7) The path out of a valley appears when you choose to see
8) Between Peaks there are always Valleys. How
you manage your Valley determines how soon you
reach your next Peak.
9) If you do not learn in a Valley, you can become
bitter. If you truly learn something valuable, you can
10) A plateau can be a time for you to rest, reflect
11) You can have fewer bad times when you
appreciate and manage your good times wisely.
Find and use the good hidden in the bad time
Relax, knowing valleys end.
Do the opposite of what put you in the valley.
Get outside of yourself; be of more service at work
And more loving in life. Uncover the good that is hidden
In a bad time, and use it to your advantage.
"What if we went back to the basics? What if
we spent more time together?... Would we in
fact, feel a lot more calm and peaceful because
we got back to the basics?"
12) The most common reason you leave a Peak too soon is arrogance,
masquerading as confidence. The most common reason you stay in a
Valley too long is fear, masquerading as comfort.
13) A great way to get to you next Peak is to
follow you sensible vision.
Follow your sensible vision
Imagine yourself enjoying a better future in
such specific, believable detail that you
soon enjoy doing what takes you there.
“Is what I'm doing raising or lowering my
energy? Am I feeling more calm or more
stressed? Am I getting better or worse
results? If you're getting the negative
answers, then you know you're not being
true to what you need.”
14) The pain in a Valley can wake you up to a truth
you have been ignoring.
15) To stay in a Peak longer : Be humble and grateful. Do
more of what got you there. Keep making things better. Do
more for others. Save resources for your upcoming Valleys.
Appreciate and manage your good time
Be humble and grateful.
Do more of what got you there.
Keep making things better. Do more for others.
Save your resources for your upcoming valleys.
“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.”
16) Help people make good and bad times work for
them too. Share it with other!
“The single most powerful way
to share Peaks and Valleys with
those that you work with and
live with is look at the principles
and the practical tools and use
Thank You Very Much
Understand and apply this wisdom to successfully navigate the peaks and valleys
of your life at work and at home. Recognize and utilize the positive that is so often
hidden in the bad times. Appreciate and capitalize on your good times.
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