A hiker climbed to the top of a mountain after a long, difficult trek through the valleys below. When they reached the peak, they decided that the difficult journey through the peaks was more than they wanted to endure again. Besides, the view was spectacular, and just being on top of the mountain felt so good, like such an accomplishment.
The first day and night were not so bad, but they soon ran out of food. Looking around, there was scarce vegetation, and no wildlife to hunt. Starting a fire was difficult due to the wind and the lack of firewood. There was no structure, and no means to make one, so the first time the weather turned bad, the hiker had no place to hide.
Reluctantly, the hiker realized that as tough as the valleys are, it is to the valleys we must turn for shelter and food.
Without the valleys, we would never survive the mountaintops.
We all want to be on the mountaintops.
We want the wins, the victories, the promotions, and the successes. We want to stay in those moments, dwelling there, setting up camp- living in the successes.
But it is simply not feasible.
The truth is, mountaintop moments do not provide us strength, or sustenance, or protection. It is the valleys we must go through that endow us with these things. We struggle and fight and suffer in the valley so we can reach the mountaintop, but it is these trials in the valley that make us strong enough to reach the peak. When we get there, we need to soak up those moments, use the success to motivate us, but we cannot live in the moments there because mountain tops are not made to sustain life, they are moments that stand out from life. They are not meant to be lived on, but to be pursued, chased after, achieved, then abandoned on a search for grander and higher peaks.
So when you or your students reaches a mountaintop, and fears descending into the valley again, remember, the descent into the valley is just a journey to be made that will give you strength for the next summit you seek. Without the valley, you cannot survive the mountaintop.
I teach Psychology, Sociology, World History Honors and Debate at College Station High School, as well as coach the debate team, sponsor the TED Ed Club, and I am the Lead Innovator for LEADS CSISD (A student leadership empowerment program for 5th-8th graders). I am an aspiring administrator.