Here is a typical story of a man, let’s call him Jason, who has put in the effort and taken the time to try, experiment, fall and learn the ropes to reach his pinnacle of success.  After he celebrates his accomplishment, usually not for long, he finds himself looking at the next peak with a longing and an attitude of “I can get there”.

This optimism is usually fueled by his recent success and his mind feels that scaling the next height of achievement is nothing more than a natural progression along his journey.  He naively expects the path to be a straight line between where he currently is where he wants to reach.

Illustration by Lehka Pendyala

The only catch in this type of thinking is that there is nothing “natural” about this expectation.  Unless you have a “magical” zip line that defies gravity, Jason cannot reach the next peak without having to traverse the valley in between the two peaks.  Most of the time, we find a valley between two peaks.

The experience of the valley is predicated on the attitude that Jason has towards life and learning.  It is all about expectations and awareness of the way things forks in the world.  You can look at various phenomena in the world, whether it be the prosperity of a nation, the growth of an empire, the stock market, and so on… they all seems to have peaks and valleys.

The hidden value of traversing the valley is two fold.  First, it is merely the experience of the valley in terms of its richness of elements and secondly, the “learning” along the way.  Life typically consists of nothing more than a collection of experiences in the world – with people and nature along with its flora and fauna.  More importantly, what I find is how we are presented with the opportunity to learn the skills and develop the talents necessary to scale the next peak.

Engaging fully without seeing the valley as a detour or a setback is critical to enhancing your quality of life.  Having this learning attitude is paramount not only to reach new heights of achievement, but also creates the avenue to have a fulfilling and rich life experience.

Have a great trek!

Krishna