“Don’t peak when you’re in high school” is advice I heard a dad give his son recently. The advice is sound but a larger question prevails with many questions behind it: When should one peak?
And peak in what? Happiness. Influence. Contentment. Love. Harmony. Health. Wealth.
I have the fortune to meet many new people a month. Some are relentlessly chasing a goal today, right now. Others are relaxing and enjoying retirement. Typical barometers people can check on where they stand or peak (versus themselves or others) include tangibles such as educational degrees, Instagram followers, body mass index, investments, etc.
But where does one spend their time and energy to excel? The weightlifter in the gym may not care about peaking with gaining Instagram followers or getting a Phd.
Another broad example: For the past 10 years, George W. Bush has rarely been in the public life. Is it fair to say Donald Trump is more relevant or peaking more than George W. Bush right now? Yes, of course. Any current president has more power and influence than the ones prior. Interestingly enough, Donald Trump is three weeks older than George W. Bush. Yet, 43 is likely peaking with his painting career.
What about athletes? Tennis players almost always retire before 40. Tom Brady seems to push back the clock every year and now he’s 41.
What does a retired athlete with millions of dollars do for the rest of their life?
Or what about the entrepreneur who sells their business, retires, and lives the rest of their life at the beach? Did they peak when they sold their company?
I view “peaking” in many ways.
Constants where I always want to peak revolve around being a good husband and father. Time with family is paramount. Next revolves around health — keeping a steady workout routine and healthy diet. Lastly, is learning. This is done primarily through writing, reading, and conversing with smart, interesting people. If I can constantly peak in those areas, I’m confident many other goals will be achieved.
One other aspect of peaking worth noting revolves around your purpose(s). I believe one can peak around their purpose. Charlie Paparelli sat down and interviewed Andrew Young about his 6 different purposes throughout his life. Purposes change, as they should! The 50 year old pro-tennis player will never win Wimbledon. The key takeaway from reflecting on shifting purposes, for me, keeps a very long term view of my life as key timing of when to peak. There are certain times in your life to peak with certain initiatives, in the example of Andrew Young, purpose #6: getting the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta.
Winston Churchill thought and worked as if he believed he would die in his 40’s — he truly believed he would pass early based off family history. He worked and progressed everyday as if his time was limited. Ironically enough, Churchill lived past 90 and tens years before his death he predicted the exact date he would eventually die.
“When to peak” is a fascinating concept because there are thousands of variables, initiatives, and interests revolving around the sands of time. Knowing where and when you want to peak is important to how you spend your time and what habits you create.
Strive to peak, always.