We spend most of our time climbing ladders – a career ladder, a fitness ladder, a finance ladder, etc. There is no end to these ladders. There is always hard and gritty work to be done for long term good. And, that involves diligent work. There are 3 truths about ladder climbing that I’ve found helpful –
1. There is no happiness ladder. While it is true that postponing short term gratification results in long term joy, viewing life as an exercise in postponing short term gratification is a drag. The challenge with happiness is that we have to live it through the journey.
2. There were likely times when you almost slipped but were held tightly by people who stopped climbing their ladders to help you. These folk are precious. Treasure them and try to climb alongside them for as long as possible. And, even when you aren’t alongside, stay in touch. The art of ladder climbing hasn’t changed much with time and there’s a lot you can learn from experience.
3. Wherever you are, you can always stop, take a few seconds, and enjoy the view. Sure, the view gets better at the top. But, the place you are in now is the place you are at after putting all of your life experience at work. It is likely the highest you’ve ever been and is likely the efforts of you having come a long way. Take the time to enjoy the view and be grateful for having made it so far – you definitely didn’t do it alone.
That takes us right back to point 1. It isn’t happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy.