Peaks and Valleys Book Review

Make your good and bad times work for you – at work and in life. – Dr. Spencer Johnson.

When I was younger, I often hear people say that life is a lot like a roller coaster ride. Because sometimes you’re up, and then sometimes you’re down. Like a roller coaster, in life, there will be moments you’re up, with success and happiness, and then in another second, you’re down, with failure and misery.

How about you, how many times have you experienced such roller coaster journey of life? How many times have you felt that things are going smoothly the way you want it and then suddenly, in a blink of an eye, things fall apart?

In life, there will always be good and bad, up and down, peak and valley. We can’t avoid the roller coaster ride of life. What we can do is try to minimize its impact in our life. How? That’s what I’d like to share with you in this blog article.

Peaks and Valleys of Life

A couple of years ago, an event happened which shook my world and I almost fell apart. Back then, I was still too young and immature to handle the unfortunate event that occurred. As such, I took decisions that worsen the situation. Instead of succeeding, I committed more mistakes that made me get deeper into misery. It led me to many occurrences of depression. Until one day, I read a book that gave light to my despairs. Even though the consequences of my mistakes are still bothering me up to this present, my approach to it has changed. Such change helped me move forward in life despite negative circumstance.

The book, Peaks and Valleys by Dr. Spencer Johnson, is the light that guided me on how to make the bad times work for me. I learned remarkable principles and practical tools in managing the good and the bad times that happens. Most especially, it helped me find the good hidden in a bad time.

About the Book: Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and Valleys are not just the good and bad times that happen to you. They are also how you feel inside and respond to outside events. – Dr. Spencer Johnson.

The book, Peaks and Valleys, is about a young man living in a valley. He was very unhappy and unsatisfied with his life. He was dissatisfied with his work/career, friends, family, and his life, in general. In his discontent he decided to go on a journey to the peak of the mountain hoping he will find his happiness and success.

Up in the peak of the mountain, he met an old man who enjoys the good life. And they became good friends. Unknown to the young man, his new friend was one of the most peaceful and successful man in the world. And from him, he will learn a valuable lesson on how to make good and bad times work for him, in work and in life.

By reading the story in the book, peaks and valleys, I learned many valuable lessons on how to handle and make use of today’s bad times to create tomorrow’s good times. I realized that bad times will always happen, it’s one of the inevitable force that I cannot control even I try to. Instead of forcing myself to control it, I need learn how to adapt to it.


The book, Peaks and Valleys, consist of nine (9) chapters story-telling the journey of the young man in finding life lessons and principles in handling the peaks and valleys of work and life.

Personally, I especially liked chapter 5 – learning and 8 – using peaks and valleys.

The remarkable lesson I learned in Chapter 5 was when the old man draw a line of a normal heartbeat consisting of ups and downs.

And the old man explained,

“Like a healthy heartbeat, your personal peaks and valleys are an essential part of a normal, healthy life. So are the plateaus, if they are times of healthy rest when you take stock of what is happening and pause to think about what to do next. While it is unhealthy to try to escape by blocking out reality, it can often be very healthy to just relax and rest and trust that things will get better. Because, after a good night’s sleep or a few days’ break, they often do.”

Furthermore, in Chapter 8, the notable lesson I learned was this:

“To stay on a peak longer: be humble and grateful. Do more of what got you there. Keep making things better. Do more of others. Save resources for your upcoming valleys.”

The Peaks and Valleys Principle

To recap, here’s a quick guide on how to manage life’s ups and downs using the principle of Peaks and Valleys by Dr. Johnson Spencer.

  1. Make reality your friend. In any situation, whether peak or valley, ask yourself: “What is the truth in this situation?”
  2. Find and use the good hidden in a bad time. Relax, knowing that valleys end.
  3. Appreciate and manage your good times wisely.Be humble and grateful.
  4. Follow your sensible vision. Imagine yourself enjoying a better future in a specific and believable detail.
  5. Share it with others. Help people make good and bad times work for them too.


The book, Peaks and Valleys, helped me handle life’s struggles and troubles better. The principles I learned by reading it guided me on how to manage my life’s roller coaster ride. It aided me to stay calm and positive despite negative circumstance when I’m in a valley. It showed me how to take care and manage positive circumstance while I’m in the peak.

Whether you are in the midst of life crisis and difficulties, wherein you feel really down with misery, or you are enjoying the peak of a good life, wherein you are floating with joy and success, I strongly recommend you read this book. The story of peaks and valleys will be a very good source of wisdom for you to effectively manage the good and bad times in your life.

For a final note, let me leave this thought to ponder:

Peaks and Valleys are connected. The wise thing you do in today’s valleys create tomorrow’s peaks. – Dr. Spencer Johnson

P.S.: You may want to read the full version of the book, Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work For You, click here.

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