The peak-to-peak principle

Have you ever watched people make one bad decision after another? Do you know anyone who seems to have an inherent knack for poor decision-making, always missing key moments or fumbling significant life transitions? Conversely, do you know anyone that always seems to get it right? Do you have people in your life who excel at making quality decisions that positively impact or advance their lives?  

Some people seem to do a much better job at making significant life decisions, and there is a principle in decision-making that might explain why. It is called the peak-to-peak principle, wherein successful decision-makers make their big decisions on the peaks in life rather than in the valleys.

The people who most consistently make great decisions do so at the high points in life when they are refreshed, inspired, clear-headed, and close to God. From the peak, we have an ability to see further. We have more vision. Things are clearer from that vantage point and when we make our decisions at the peak we stand a much better chance of making the right ones. On the other hand, some people wait until they are in a slump and are not doing well and then they make frantic, discouraged, or uninformed decisions that actually move them from bad to worse.

The Scriptures teach that in this life of faith we go from faith to faith, from strength to strength, and from glory to glory (Romans 1:17; Psalm 84:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18). However, the trajectory of our journey seldom mirrors an ever-ascending escalator, but rather, it often contains dips, detours, and valleys in between the summits. We touch strength and then we have a downward dip until we emerge again and touch an even greater strength. Although the arc of our life in God is upward and forward it often moves there in an up-and-down sort of way.

As you consider your life and as you make your life decisions, try making them at the peak. Make them at the high point. Make them when you are clear-headed and you sense God’s steadying hand on your life. If you are in the valley stay faithful. You won’t be there forever. God will pick you up. You will eventually go from strength to strength, faith to faith, and glory to glory. So, whenever it is possible, wait until you are on the upswing before making your big moves. Wait until you have perspective. Make decisions from peak to peak and you will consistently make better ones.

The Lord said to Abram… ‘Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.’” (Genesis 12:14-17)

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