Build Peaks – Don’t Fill Troughs

Build Peaks – Don’t Fill Troughs

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There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do things.

I see so many people trying to be someone they are not. There is this belief out there that things should be hard; should be a struggle and you ‘should’ be a certain way.

I don’t really buy it. Any struggle provides information that you should change something. Not permanently endure it.

My life changed once I realised that I was only going to get anywhere in this world by being me, rather than someone else. In that moment, my perceived weaknesses became my super-strengths. In that moment, I changed my approach to everything I subsequently did  in life.

Since that realisation, I try not to do anything I don’t like or don’t want to do. It isn’t always possible, but I have got pretty good at doing it, at developing ways of doing things that help me to thrive, rather than just survive.

I spend most of my time focussing on, leveraging, and developing my strengths. And I surround myself with people who have strengths that cover for my considerable weaknesses. You would be amazed at the sort of things I outsource these days!

The result of this is that I am a lot happier and a lot more effective. I focus most of my time on building peaks, rather than filling troughs.

To me, this philosophy applies at every level.

If you are building a company, it is more effective to build it in a way that gets the best out of you, rather than getting the best out of someone else.

If you are building community, it is more effective to be building on its strengths rather than focussing on what isn’t working.

If you are selling products, it is more effective to focus on the ones that are selling well rather than those that aren’t selling.

If you are developing skills, it is more effective to focus on what you are already good at, rather than spending time on things you are bad at.

This is not to say that you should never work on weaknesses, or never spend your time looking at what isn’t working. I am just saying that it is a far more effective use of your time not to do so. It is also far more enjoyable.

Believe it or not, someone out there loves and is good at what you hate to do. If I am not enjoying something, I find someone who will enjoy it, and get them to do it for me.

The way I look at it, if I am doing something I don’t like to do, I am depriving someone of doing something that they love. That can’t be good for either of us.

  • How can you use your strengths and get others to cover for your weaknesses?
  • How do you focus more on what is working, rather than what isn’t working?
  • What do you need to change, so you spend more of your life building peaks rather than filling troughs?


P.S. If you are interested in discovering more about your strengths, use something like Martin Seligman’s personality assessment to give you more idea of where you should be focussing your efforts.

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  1. Most people are their toughest critic. Strive to be the best you. Then you will start to tap into your potential. Find what makes you happy!

    • Tony Trenker says

      Just by being and applying the best of you, there will be no need to strive. I think that’s the point.

      Then get someone else to do the ‘strivy’ bits. Not a word but hay!

  2. mamokhethi says

    Hellow Marc, what an interesting post?
    I have only realised after one of my former lecturers at the university had conducted personality assessment that I am Dominant-Sensitive person. That implies, I have strong administrative skills and leadership as a potential spiritual gift. Then I realised my talent. I have been a chairperson of Children of Mary since 2011, Roman Catholic Church.
    Dispite that, I have realised that I should focus more on what I am best at as now I am busy with events management than being an extention officer. Thanks

  3. Kim Alvarado says

    Great insights! I’ve spent way too much time, in the past, trying to conform to what seemed to be the ‘norm,’ personally and professionally. Your advice on identifying your strengths and then building on them helps elevate my level of self-satisfaction and success!

  4. Tony Trenker says

    How can you use your strengths and get others to cover for your weaknesses? A superb question. I can see this making life more productive and enjoyable! I’m going to do it more, thanks.

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