Life is filled with peaks and valleys. When I think back over the almost 54 years of my life, I can find something to smile about in both places. I am currently standing on a peak. Life is good. Things are aligned and good things are happening. I am in a place where I feel like the sun seeks me out. I genuinely feel that if I was to stand in the darkest place that I can find, light will come in and find me. The peak feels wonderful. It’s a time where prior learning and hard work is paying off in just about every aspect of my life. It is a productive season, a time to ride the wave and enjoy accomplishments.
Enjoy the View
The view from the peak is expansive and unobstructed. When you are there, take it all in. Realize how far you have come and be grateful for the journey. We can be hypersensitive to what’s happening when times are difficult. Don’t allow yourself to miss the celebratory season when you arrive at a peak. We are so accustomed to being in a state of always looking for what’s next, that if we’re not careful, we’ll miss all of the pleasure that now is poised to give us.
As usual, I have a few suggestions for getting the most out of your peak season:
- Celebrate – you might not be where you want to be but be grateful that you are not where you were! There is obvious progress. Look where you are standing. Don’t take another step without giving yourself a pat on the back. This encouragement will fuel what comes next.
- Recharge your battery – rest! You’ve earned it. You’ve worked hard, overcome obstacles, and here you are. Take the time to relax and be at peace in the now. Tomorrow will come with new opportunities and challenges. You’re gearing up to conquer those as well!
- Gleam the lessons from the journey – this is harder for me than the other suggestions, but I have to make myself slow down enough to survey the journey. This is important for a few reasons:
- It builds my gratitude practice.
- It teaches me about my ability to persevere. Seeing my resilience will aide me in future challenges. I’m rewriting my story to show that I am strong and can get through life’s challenges. I’ll need that during the next one.
- I can adjust how I respond in future situations. Our journeys teach us not only what to do, but also what NOT to do. They’re both powerful lessons. Don’t waste your struggles. Learn from them and lessen the possibility of having that same struggle again.
Life has taught me that no matter what, struggles will come. We all have our times in the valley. I learn the most in the valley. During those times, life is more chaotic, relationships feel strained, or things are not going as planned in general. It’s a hectic time and I have to figure it all out. I have to dig deep and overcome whatever obstacles I’m facing. That requires brain work, creativity, thinking outside the box. Even though I may not realize it at the time, immense learning happens in the valley. Growth happens in the valley. I learn that I am capable of things that I would not have thought I could handle in the valley. Valley situations are inevitable. We can’t stop them from happening, but we can have strategies to help us move through and possibly shorten the time there:
- Recognize where you are. Once you realize that you’re in a valley situation, it’s time to adjust expectations to align them with where you are.
- Identify the issue. It’s time to get really clear about what this particular valley is. In order to adequately solve a problem, the problem must be accurately identified. Spend some time thinking about what this valley is trying to teach you.
- Plan your exit. Now that you know the issue, plan how you will resolve it. Plan a complete resolution. If you need to put a temporary solution in place, so be it, but go back to the original problem to ensure that you have a lasting solution.
- Do the most important next thing. Repeat. You have identified your problem. You have a plan. It is now implementation time. Do the most important thing first. Once that’s done, do the next most important thing. Keep repeating this cycle until the full resolution is implemented.
- Look up. Find your light. As you work through your implementation plan, keep looking up and following the light. As you look up from your work, the scenery should be changing.
- Recognize where you are. You are making progress. You are no longer where you started. Be encouraged by the progress that you have made and know that you are getting closer to stepping out of the valley.
- Celebrate. Congratulate yourself for being resilient. You made it through what seemed like an impossible situation. See the strength in you. Take joy in knowing that you didn’t quit. That resilience will carry you through whatever challenges arise in the future.
Remember that anything is possible with hard work and discipline. You have both. You have demonstrated it in the valley which will lead you to your next peak. Wherever you are, peak or valley, remember that you are there for a reason. You are either being rewarded or taught something new. Each is a gift. Make the most of your time there and don’t come from either place, the same person that entered. Leave more grateful and more informed. Walk in your new strength and incorporate what you’ve learned into your existence. It all happens in service to you becoming the best version of you. Enjoy the journey!