My son is in 10th grade and starting to think seriously about college. He recently discovered (and became a fan of) an online guide to admissions written by Allen Cheng, a smart guy who co-founded a business selling test prep services.

Cheng’s main point is that top colleges prefer candidates who have one area of focus and accomplishment over those who are more traditionally well-rounded. He urges his readers to “develop a huge spike” by following their passion so that they can “do something that truly stands out in a meaningful way.”

I’m happy to have my son take his advice, not because it may make him more attractive to colleges, but because I’m a believer in the value of spikes. When we allow ourselves to dive into the things we’re most passionate about, we experience our greatest growth, achievement, and satisfaction.

If you’re like me, this topic gets you thinking about the spike moments in your life. Remember what they felt like? Can we find room in our lives for another spike or two?  I hope so. And the great thing is, now we can pursue those spike experiences without having to write the college admissions essay.