PEAKS N’ VALLEYS

Whether it be our relationships, careers, or fitness goals, virtually every aspect of life has peaks and valleys. These are the highs and lows; the good times and bad; the victories and defeats. The peaks and valleys are the experiences through which we develop and refine the most valuable attributes and characteristics: self-awareness, patience, empathy, humility, forgiveness, kindness, and optimism; and ultimately achieve success. Yet, as humans, we are often so terrified of the valleys that we never engage in the behaviors or opportunities necessary to reach the most extraordinary summits.

Valleys are the adversities of life. They represent the losses, hardships, and failures we experience over time. The valleys often generate significant mental, emotional, and physical distress- the gateways to depression and anxiety. With these side effects, it is
clear why the valleys leave us paralyzed with fear. In contrast, valleys also provide opportunities to cultivate and demonstrate resiliency, optimism, and strength, because it is through adversity that we learn to adapt and overcome.

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Therefore, we must adopt a new perspective on the peaks and valleys. First, we must understand that life is a journey; it is dynamic and ever changing. Regardless of the width, depth, and darkness of the valley, or the height of the peak, it is only temporary. Second, we need to realize that adversity and failure are not synonymous. Adversity is a state or instance of continued difficulty, and is temporary; whereas failure is the omission of perseverance, the acceptance of defeat, and is everlasting. Failure is the consequence of complacency, and is a conscious decision. It is easier to declare failure and accept complacency than demonstrate resilience. In order to achieve our full potential and lead a truly fulfilling life, we must persevere. Finally, we need to realize that in order to reach the highest peaks, we first have to navigate the deepest and darkest valleys. For it is the attributes and characteristics cultivated in the valleys that provide the stamina and strength necessary to make the climb.

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