peaks and valleys

What’s more important to forming our essence, peaks or valleys?

What about rivers and oceans?


A very concise answer. Let me expand on it a bit.


Our “essence” comes from both. I don’t think one is more important than the other but I think the two should be balanced. What’s most important to building our essence is how we use our time in the peaks and the valleys.

Pilots constantly practice emergency situations, either while flying or in simulators, when there is no real danger. The reason they practice is so that when dangerous situations arise their response is nearly automatic. A dangerous situation is the time to act, not the time to plan!
Similarly, when money is easy to come by because we are at a peak it’s important to save because we all face times when money will be tight. In lean times, having savings to dip into can take the edge off the valley.
In both cases, using the time we are at our peak to prepare for the valleys makes the valleys more manageable should we suddenly find ourselves there. The peaks in our lives are the perfect times tp grow intellectually by educating ourselves and financially by saving.
On the other side of our expereiences are the valleys. Imagine a person who goes to the gym to exercise. If they only lift a few small repetitions of an easy weight and walk a couple times around the track they will never get stronger. If they struggle, if they push themselves to the limit of what they can do they will grow new muscle and become stronger and have better endurance.
Like exercise, the valleys in our lives are uncomfortable and we fear them because they hurt. But when we come through them we learn how to empathize with others suffering the same pain. The valleys are useful to help us grow emotionally and learn humility. Sometimes we can even use the pain of the valleys to motivate us to help others when we climb to the next peak in our lives and are able to do so. And like exercise, after we pass through the valley we can look back and see the growth in our character.

Our essence isn’t defined by one but by the sum of both.

I thought essence came from gelflings.

I enjoy my girlfriend’s peaks, but it is her valley that brings life.

I thought essence came from Emeril.

Gotta have slope. Without slope we achieve equilibrium, stasis. May as well be a rock under those conditions.

Also, without slope we don’t have calculus.