Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You – At Work and in Life
by Spencer Johnson
The publisher of this book puts a diamond shaped symbol on the front of this book labeled Gem: Small but Valuable” and I couldn’t agree more!
This book is targeted at a fairly wide range of folks, but for the most part I would say the “business motivation” category. However, its not really a motivational book. It’s more like a philosophy book, let me explain…
Peaks and Valleys presents, in narrative story format, how shifting our thinking about the ups and downs in our lives can change how long we dwell in the personal valleys or savor the personal peaks of life.
Most of us can rifle through our brains and come up with a little old man (or woman) who has had really great results in life. This individual always has a smile on his or her face, and always has a positive outlook on life. However, looking deeper you learn that he or she has in fact been through some trials that have left others claiming they are victims. It seems that no matter what was handed to this individual, the more mature they got, the faster they could take a supposed “bad thing” and spin it right quickly into something that proved to be beneficial! Often times, we call these folks lucky, optimists, and claim they just got a few good breaks/ (ignoring that they’ve endured as much as any of us!)
This book is, in a way, a philosophy book that sets out to explain the mechanics of just HOW their life came to have the shape it does … and how you can do the same!
Peaks and Valleys talks about how the choices we make when things look good (or bad) set us up for more or less of the same, and how emotions play a pivotal roll in determining outcome. For example, if fear tells us things are hopeless… we can continue to live and act on that fear and get more of those results, or we can focus on the truth of the situation (which rarely is as bad as we fear) and the positive, and shift our results! The same is true when things are good… if we continue to do what was creating us the good results, we thrive. However, if we get cocky and full of ourselves, we can leave the peak because we’re not taking care of our thoughts and actions and we’re letting ego drive us. Once ego sets in, it’s usually a rapid descent into the valley, where fear is likely to take over.
Controlling our outcomes in life comes down to controlling our emotions and actions related to those emotions. When we master our emotional intelligence, learning always to ask “what is the truth of this situation” and “how can I be of best service”, and opening our hearts to loving expression, the outcomes are just delightful.
While this book could be said to be metaphysical, from the standpoint of manifesting our destiny through thoughts and the Law of Attraction, that may be doing this little book a disservice. While I enjoy those categories of books, they often are just esoteric enough that a business person will not stop to even try to wrap their head around them. This book presents very practical guidelines in an easy to accept manner. The story-book element of it allows someone new to positive thinking to enjoy the book the first time, while a long standing practitioner of the Law of Attraction will find deeper meaning in the story. Lightweight easy-reading and pleasurable yet thought-provoking, this book is destined for many re-reads!