Peaks and Valleys Book Summary – Spencer Johnson M.D.

Book – Peaks and Valleys Book (Summary)

Author – Spencer Johnson M.D.

Genre – Self- help Book

Published Year – 2009

“Peaks are moments when we appreciate what we have, Valleys are moments when we long for what is missing.” Loved this line from the book.

Got hands on another short tale with powerful insight after I read Who Moved My Cheese? From Spencer Johnson M.D. and have to admit author kept me engaged throughout the story and left me with simple, yet awesome lessons about life.

About The Author

Dr. Spencer Johnson was an American physician and author. He was known for his famous book Who moved my cheese? He also wrote the peaks and valleys, The Present, The yes or no, and co-authored One Minute Manager series of books.

About the Book

Peaks and Valleys is the story of young man, who decides to climb nearby mountaintop to find answers after being unhappy in the Valley for long time. In this journey he ends up meeting old man (Who turns out to be very successful man) in the Peak.

He learns the new perspective about life, which old man calls concept of the Peaks and Valleys of life (Peaks and valleys used as metaphor for good and bad times in life), Which helps him in understanding How to get out of Valleys sooner, stay on Peaks longer, and how to have more Peaks and fewer Valleys in the future.

How to get out of Valleys sooner – How to turn around bad times in to good sooner.

Stay on Peaks longer – How to continue having good times.

How to have more Peaks and fewer Valleys in the future – How to make good times last longer and be prepared for bad times.

Few key Learning From the Book

1. What helps in coming out of Valleys (Low times) in life

This lines sums up solution well – To change Valley in to peak we need to know what brought us to valley, and which of our habits were keeping on Peak. We may not control outside circumstances all the time, however we can always control how we respond to it and how we act.

2. Nothing fails like Success

As after returning from Peak, young man applies what he learn from Old man and sees success in all areas of life. Though within sometime everything starts to fall apart for he don’t manage his success well.

Lesson As we get success, we should always take out time to appreciate, rest and reflect for what we have achieved so far, what got us there? Keep in mind that there will be always valleys following peaks and we need to be prepared accordingly. We only get better with every valley we pass through.

3. I can have more good times than bad times.

After going to peak again and meeting old man, young man learns important lessons to sustain good times longer.

  • We can have fewer bad times when we appreciate and manage good times wisely.
  • We shouldn’t mistake arrogance for confidence in good times, and fear for comfort in bad times.
  • Having and drawing sensible vision for future is another great way of getting out valleys faster and staying on peak longer.
  • We must avoid believing things are better than they are while on peak, and worse than they really are when in valley.

I have also created video of few quotes from the book – I am sure you’ll like it. You may consider subscribing to my YouTube channel – Myread4change, I put out quotes from the new book I read every week.


The Book has captured low times, what gets and keeps us there, how to come out of it and continue to have good times longer very well with engaging story.

Whether you are dealing with low times in life or feeling stagnant at some point. This short read will be great help in drawing sensible vision and inspire to broaden perspective so that you look at same things from different perspective and move forward confidently.

You may download free E-book from here.

Please share your comment/feedback of this post in comment below or any question you have and I will be glad to answer it.

Thanks for reading…


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