Valleys and Peaks

Life is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes we have our A game and other times we are just watching it downpour. This is not unusual and does not have any meaning behind it. Things happen in cycles, after dark comes the lights and then again comes the darkness.

In our lives things seem to peak only to fall into valleys. We cannot change this but we can shorten the valleys and lengthen the peaks using the following steps:

  1. First acknowledge that this is a normal cycle. This phase is temporary. Remember this whether you are currently on your peak or in your valley. This will eliminate any need for stress. Everyone goes through it. Did you ever have a perfect relationship or a perfect job? Most probably not. Sometimes our partners can be the best and sometimes they are the worst. This is a fact. Know this and move on.
  2. Lengthen your time on the peaks:  Is everything going as planned? Many good news every day? Getting what you wanted? Life seems amazing and it really is. Don’t take it for granted. Count your blessings, start a gratitude journal. Create habits that are not limited to good times. E.g., you must exercise regularly even if today you feel good, eat healthier even though you just lost a lot of weight and can afford to devour. Share your happiness with someone, volunteer at a shelter, sing a song to your puppy, read books that inspire you, visualize your dreams, donate to a charity, refer someone to a good job. Keep the flow of goodness going.
  3. Shorten your time in the valleys: Does the life seem unfair? Too many bad things happening at the same time? Didn’t happen what you wanted? List is endless. Only way to cut it is to literally cut it. Don’t ignore the current situation but continue to look at it as a normal phase. Remember, this too shall pass. Even if things are not as you want, continue to keep your habits from your peaks. E.g. exercise regularly, mediate often, write in your gratitude journal, thank someone, volunteer when possible, make someone else’s day, read books that inspire you. There is no need to get stressed even if things are not going as you expect them to. You cannot control the outcomes of processes, you can only add in the inputs of your hard work.

Instead of feeling invincible when we are on top and feeling depressed when we are at the bottom, let’s accept this cycle of life without wasting our time. Make your mistakes and pick yourself up. See my article on how to improve yourself without criticism here: https://everymomentmatters.blog/2020/05/14/one-way-to-improve-life-dramatically-and-quickly/

One way to improve life dramatically and quickly

white and grey kitten smelling white daisy flower
Photo by Alex .B on Pexels.com

TL/DR: No criticism whatsoever, not of yourself and not of others

Full picture:

Life is full of valleys and peaks. There is always something to complain about. It’s not true that successful people don’t complaint. Everyone complaints. Life is not perfect. There are things that could be different and better. But often times, we don’t look at things as something to improve upon, rather we judge them as not good enough.

It is possible to improve things and ourselves without any need of criticism, if we focus on facts and eliminate all the judgments that we bring from our perspective. E.g., I forgot to put salt in my soup. This is a fact. If we add, I am forgetful so I forgot to put the salt, that’s a criticism. Take this to any area of your life. My boyfriend left me because I am not good enough. Let’s distinguish fact from judgment. Your boyfriend left. That’s it. There is no reason to criticize yourself or him.

This is not to downplay the need to improve but rather accelerating this improvement. When we focus on facts, it’s easier to tackle the main problems. As humans, we add our feelings to all aspects especially when something implies that we are not good enough. It hurts us. Unfortunately, it also adds additional layer that needs to be opened up before we can get to the underlying problem.

It may not be easy at first, but if we can focus on practicing in differentiating facts from judgments, we can accelerate our healing. See the below examples that differentiate between critical and non-critical views.

ExampleCritical Point Of View (POV)Fact based POV
My boyfriend left meMy boyfriend left me because I am not good enough, he is not a good person, etc.My boyfriend left me. It hurts. It has nothing to do with me because we are all free to do things we desire. I may have made mistakes based on what I believed in the past. From now on I will try my best make better decisions.
I did not get a promotionI didn’t get a promotion because of office politics. I did more work than others, I deserve it more than others. Life is not fair.I did not get promotion. It’s disappointing. I tried my best but at the end, this is not something that I control. I will continue to improve myself and review various options to make my life better.

As I said, this approach is not easy at the beginning. With practice, we can become better. This will not reduce our mistakes but it will shorten the time it takes to learn from our mistakes and move on.