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Peak's Irony -- Sadness and Success

Updated: Jul 11

(For the directory on success, click here)

Many people, throughout their lives, have this moment, or a series of moments, where their lives just couldn't get any better — literally. That is the phase in their lives, long or short, where they are at their peak performance, peak success, peak achievement, and so on.

That might as well be the greatest phase of their lives! One of prosperity, productivity, renown, and so on. Things couldn't — and wouldn't — get any better than whatever they are having now in their lives.

Do you see the irony? Expressions such as "This is the best moment of my life", "I will never have this much fun for the rest of my life" and "things can't actually get better than this", are ironically very dark. Why? Because once this overly exciting period in their lives is over, that is it. Such a phase won't necessarily repeat itself again.

This, of course, assuming they are right, and that there will never be a better experience than the mentioned peak. Regard this as a mountain. You may reach the top eventually, and may have to go down from there. No more tops.

Whether it is a speech you gave, a wedding with your beloved, or a great moment where you were featured in a major media outlet, that is it. The excitement will eventually be reduced as you become acquainted with this phase of peaking. And then you are just left to live the rest of your life in that peak's shadow, never actually overcoming it in terms of success.

It is very individual, and unless you live a life of mediocrity without any exciting events whatsoever, then it is likely that you won't get it. If we're looking at it in terms of greater renown and remembrance, of course. However, there may be events in one's life that are far more significant in terms of excitement, success, or exposure.

The most popular one might as well be either getting married or bringing a child into the world. For many women, their prime success in life (at least in some of their eyes) is either finding a husband and/or bringing a child or children into the world.

While obviously not true for all women, many women still view the act of giving birth as one of the most important parts of their lives, as does, for example, my own mother. That, of course, could be true for men as well and is not gender-exclusive. As a philosopher I oppose sexism.

For musicians, as another example, their prime success in life is when they get famous. They then achieve the "rockstar dream" of raising public awareness for their music (and for themselves).

Why is music so important in the eyes of many? It's not just the fun of playing or listening to it, but also the use of it to get big in the world. That's how many singers get rich and famous, and that one phase in their lives, where they get the most renown, will be their peak. Then, they won't necessarily be able to reach the same peak ever again.

I also produce music, but I couldn't care as much about it. I'm not working for myself.

Back to marriage. In a certain video game where surveys are included, I found a very interesting question: Does life begin or end with marriage? For some, it is the start of something great, but for others, it is just the beginning of the end. It's the moment when things might go downhill, never necessarily returning to their former state.

Remember that "Peak's Irony" is, ultimately, a point of no return. The only way it won't be a very crucial moment of your life is when you'll be able to either repeat that peak -- or even outperform it, either once or more. Then, it won't be a peak anymore, because a peak needs to be the absolute best of what we've got, and arguably, many of us have had that moment in our lives, haven't we?

With the excitement of this peak, sadness could come to the more philosophical mind. That is the oxymoron of this concept. Its like a ritual you're passing through. A ritual of great positivity, which in fact indicates something sadder. Sadder at the possibility of the end. By the end, I mean not necessarily death, but the end of any greater success of ever reaching actualization.

Deem it a one-way-ticket to a place you want to be in.

Should you fail to reach the peak once more in your life, there is only one other, impossible solution: immortality. When you're immortal, you have all the time in the world to try again, and thus you reduce the chance of reaching a point of no return at any moment in your death-free life.

Other than that, if there is something that this concept teaches us, it is the fact that life is finite and your chances are likewise limited. Life is very much like having to score the basketball with limited tries, and once the attempts have run out, the moment that is your life in this existence has run out, and thus, another moment is to come after you.

So, if you're going to make certain decisions, make sure you'll not regret them. You might make mistakes here and there that could only become your own obstacles, and you might even never get to overcome them. The point being, if you have a vision of success, make sure you try to achieve it and not remain fantasizing about it. If you don't have that vision, make sure you do if you don't want to feel either small or worthless for the rest of your life.

"Peak's Irony", for the sake of the truth, is the slow embrace of death. Have you bloomed big enough? Great. Now, enjoy the fruits, as you eventually grow either irrelevant, old news, or just old. You can try your best to make another comeback, but there is no guarantee to anything, especially the possibility of being even better than the "best" you've already been.

People don't like the thought of withering away, unless they're suicidal or have accepted this inevitable end. However, one's peak performance, no matter how ideal it was, is but one moment in the series that is our lives.

The only thing it symbolizes, which puts it out of the rest, is the fact that, it might take someday, or even soon, to realize that one is going to die, and once death arrives, nothing else could be done about one's life by its own owner. That's what makes Peak's irony and death so connected -- the possibility of no repeat.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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