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Peak's Irony -- Success Despite the Sadness

Updated: Feb 21

A fighter.

(For the directory on success, click here)

Living in the Shadow of the Peak

Many people, throughout their lives, experience a period of peak performance and success as they conquer their goals in succession. This phase, whether long or short, becomes the pinnacle of their existence. They reach the top of their metaphorical mountain and enjoy the glory of their accomplishments. Phrases like "This is the best moment of my life," "I will never have this much fun again," and "things can't get better than this" echo through their minds, as they feel to be glad to be alive.

However, this seemingly positive perspective holds a dark irony. The belief that a particular peak represents the absolute best of their lives implies that it won't get better, if this phase is indeed the pinnacle of their lives. Once the excitement fades, the mountain climber is left only with the memory of reaching the top, unable to find a new peak of equal or greater than itself.

This mindset can be limiting. It confines individuals to the shadows of their past achievements, hindering their growth and preventing them from experiencing new joys and triumphs. Life becomes a constant comparison to a singular moment, instead of a journey filled with its own unique peaks and valleys. It can be compared to life of the fictional protagonist Bojack Horseman, which I wrote about before.

And indeed, the irony of this peak is, no pun intended, peak irony. The very thing that we aspire to, can depress us, once we attain it.

Instead of clinging to the past, individuals should embrace the possibility of new peaks, in an endless stream of goal-conquering that might as well only end with death. That's because every stage of life offers its own opportunities for growth and accomplishment, making it unwise to underestimate our own potential. By focusing on the present, as a platform for potential conquests in the future, individuals can avoid the trap of living in the shadow of their past successes.

As such I personally choose to be unsatisfied, and see it as granted, because satisfaction would greatly deter my life's work that is Philosocom.

Here are some points to consider:

Beyond the Limitations of Current Success

Success is a highly individual experience. While some find fulfillment in marriage, parenthood, or achieving rockstar fame, for others, it may lie elsewhere. It all depends on your goals. Ultimately, whether an event constitutes a "peak" depends on individual values and aspirations. And for these values and ambitions to be understood by oneself, one must be honest with themselves and discover what they truly want to do in life.

For many women, particularly my own mother, motherhood represents the pinnacle of their lives. Similarly, musicians often define their prime success as achieving widespread recognition. The same can arguably be partially applied to philosophy as well, if you're philosophizing publicly. The joy of music extends far beyond mere entertainment; it serves as a powerful tool for expression that can be philosophized about as well. Many artists, for sure, pursue the dream of reaching a vast audience, and may define that as their success.

Yet, for me, music production, though a passion, doesn't occupy that peak. My motivations lie elsewhere. How can you reach a peak you haven't designated for yourself to go towards? Either way, whether or not the peak you've reached was of your own design, it's quite hard to reume being satisfied, when you still crave for more. This means that even the highest of peaks might as well fail to satiate our hunger for more, some of us might have.

Interestingly, a video game survey posed a thought-provoking question: "Does life begin or end with marriage?" While for some, it's the dawn of a beautiful journey, for others, it marks the beginning of a decline. This illustrates the subjective duality of "peak": A moment of immense joy and achievement that, at the same time, points at the possibility of an ending.

Since both answers, of yes and no, are true, this indicates that the subjective equality of existence is true. But I digress.

This "Peak's Irony" is one-way ticket to a desired destination, a celebration combined with the bittersweet awareness of potential limitations. It reminds us that life is finite, our chances limited in both energy and time. Just like scoring a basketball with a finite number of tries, our attempts at achieving our peaks will eventually run out, making way for the inevitable demise of the human body and mind regardless of success or failure.

This realization, however, shouldn't discourage us. Instead, it serves as a powerful motivator to embrace the present moment and strive for excellence while we can. For in the face of limitation, each success, big or small, becomes a precious treasure to be conquered as ours and as our successors.

I have no desire to lead a life of fun and adventure, when I can focus on building my empire in the confines of my physical hermitage from the world. I don't care that I'm missing out on the experiences earned in the orthodox ways of life. I care for my ambitions. And my ambitions I will attempt to realize into a reality.

Purposefulness can be a great liability when it is finally earned. However, I am settled with the fact that I don't intend to ever be fully satisfied again. That will make me far more successful in the field of philosophy, promoting Philosocom to be, hopefully, one of the best philosophy blogs online.

Resisting the Inevitability of Decline

The concept of "Peak's Irony" is a sharp reminder of the fleeting nature of success and the inevitability of decline. It urges us to carefully consider our choices and pursue our visions with determination, or we'll be left with regret and a sense of unfulfilled potential.

While achieving a peak can be a source of immense satisfaction, it also carries the risk of frustration and idleness, once achieved. The fear of never replicating past achievements can hinder growth and prevent us from exploring new avenues for fulfillment and self-discovery.

Would we want that, or should we resume being on the move as long as we're alive?

Either way, life is a dynamic journey, not a static destination. Decline is an inherent part of life's cycle, and our ultimate peak may not be a single moment, but rather the collection of all our experiences, both positive and negative. Should we choose to see life like that, we can basically live life in the best way we can, AKA, according to our own ideals.

Instead of dwelling on the fear of inevitable decline (or any fear for that matter), we should focus on how to make the most of our present moment. This involves:

  • Actively pursuing our visions: Having a clear vision of what we want to achieve in life provides a sense of purpose and direction. It's how we can create a meaningful and fulfilling existence.

  • Embracing continuous learning: The world is constantly changing, and to keep pace, we must commit to lifelong learning. This allows us to acquire new skills, broaden our perspectives, and adapt to new situations. That way we can at least try and even overcome peak's irony indefinitely.

Ultimately, understanding "Peak's Irony" can serve as a powerful trigger for positive change, despite the bitter meaning behind it (or even, because of its bitter value). By embracing the lifelong ambition constant success we can create a life that is both meaningful and resilient in the face of the inevitable decline of the human body and mind.

And as you might find for yourselves, constantly being occupied, either physically, mentally or both, can help your general situation from declining as you age.

And that's why you should always be looking for the next challenge. Not necessarily for others exclusively, but for yourself as well, in order to avoid or decrease personal decline.

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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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