If you follow me, you’ve heard me talk a lot lately about the fact that life is a series of peaks and valleys. After every valley is a peak and after every peak is a valley. If you are in a valley you are depleted in one or more areas of your life. We call those areas your MEPS (Mental, Emotional, Physical Spiritual).

A couple weeks ago, I had a day that was a shining example of this. I was invited to be the keynote speaker at a large gathering of entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders (the talk was broadcast on Facebook Live. If you want to watch it head over to the David Bennett Company Facebook Page). I was on a serious peak when I got done because my talk went perfect and the room was buzzing with excitement!

After the event I headed to my boys’ middle school as I am their boys’ soccer coach. Before the game started I helped move one of our practice goals out of a tall patch of grass and in a matter of seconds found myself COVERED in fire ants – all over my arms, feet, and crawling under my pants up my legs. Folks, that was not fun! I was covered in fire ant bites! My heart started racing, I was sweating profusely, struggling to talk, and my body started to get covered in hives. My wife said I looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch! The athletic director grabbed some Benadryl (it was the type for children) and I downed half the bottle.

I then spent the rest of the game struggling to coach, walk, and talk. Thank God the game didn’t require too much of me though as we won 10-1. I made it home and went on to sleep for fifteen hours!

When I woke up, my wife insisted that we head to the doctor. As I got checked out, the doctor looked at me intently and said, “You’re lucky you’re here today. This could have easily ended much worse.” I looked over to my wife and watched her start to cry. That my friends, is a Grade A valley!

That’s life isn’t it? A peak, followed by a valley….in the same day! I found myself depleted physically, and you might be able to argue that I was depleted emotionally and mentally as well.

You may not have given a world class talk followed by getting bitten by a bunch of fire ants, but I can bet that you’ve had days where the good and bad move at warp speed. How do you make it through the valley? Here are two simple things to think about:

Be Aware

Life is a series of peaks and valleys. When you’re in a peak, you need to anticipate that a valley is coming. If you are in a valley, look ahead and know that a peak is closer than you think.

The first step in assessing your valley is asking yourself where you are depleted – Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, or Spiritually. Once you identify where you are depleted, you can begin to figure out what you need to do to bounce back. I was depleted physically, so I needed rest. It’s that simple but it gave me clarity in the process.

The first step in assessing your valley is asking yourself where you are depleted – Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, or Spiritually.

Apply Rigor

Rigor is being committed to a standard of excellence. We define excellence as doing the best you can with the current, available resources. Too many times people associate excellence with perfection and get deflated and defeated when they realize that it isn’t attainable. However, when you shift your focus to doing the best with what you have, it becomes much more realistic and invigorating as you take what you have and create something incredible.

Rigor is lived out as a passionate pursuit of never-ending refinement. When you are in a valley, you tend to get stuck, focused on yourself. But, if you apply rigor, the spotlight shifts to improving whatever process you’re involved with so that you can climb out of the valley.

Put these two simple ideas to practice the next time you’re in a valley. And here’s a word of advice – try to stay away from the fire ants!