In life, there are many walls to climb, many obstacles to overcome, and many ladders to climb. The love ladder, the career ladder, the housing ladder, the legacy ladder, the education ladder, and the list goes on and on.
Question is… what wall is your ladder leaning on? Is it the right ladder?
Which Goals Should Be Pursued
There is nothing more sad than spending a life of work only to find out it’s the wrong kind of work. OK, there are more sad things in life, but this one is pretty sad. This is where a lot of regret seems to come into play.
Someone told the story of a man who hung his hat on the career ladder. He chased, worked, and invested heavily into climbing the corporate ladder. When he got to the top, he found out it was the wrong business.
He hated what he did. He hated what he had done. He hated what he had lost to climb up to the top. With everything else crumbling around him, he had to contemplate starting everything over or staying put a few more years to retire with a full pension.
Really hard choices. Really tough situation. Worse, it’s not always easy to see which wall to lean on and which ladders to climb.
The cliche… follow your heart… isn’t completely accurate
In following your heart, one has to assume your heart has the processing power of your brain and can make judgments like your mind can. We all know that’s not exactly how it works.
The heart grows fonder of what it focuses on. We fall in love with what is close and what we know. You’re not going to fall in love with someone you’ve never met and know nothing about.
This is where trying many different things and talking to many different people comes in handy. You’re exposed to ideas and concepts you’d otherwise miss.
This is true also for goals we set in life. We’re social creatures and therefore thrive when we’re connected to at least one other person.
In the process discovery, our hearts will speak up and let us know if the ‘thing’ or ‘experience’ works for us. Of course, this implies we gave the goal sufficient enough time to gain perspective and experience.
Without getting on a ladder and testing out the views, we have no idea if we’re going to like what is further up the ladder.
There is one other point many miss. It’s OK to change ladders mid climb. Career folks know this well. We have to give up some paths and move to others in order to get to our destinations better.
What I love about firefighter ladders, they don’t all lean against a wall. Some lean against other ladders and others are the connections between ladders and some are just horizontally flat over ice to move someone horizontally… laterally… to safety.
So, keep a close eye on the ladders you’re using when working on your goals this year.
So… really… which goals should I be pursuing?
If a goal is sucking the life out of you, that’s the first sign that one needs to reexamine the goal. It could be the approach is wrong, it could be the timing is wrong, it could be the size of the goal is wrong, it could be many things.
Before we dash and nix any goals, we have to look into them and tease apart the lessons. However, if a goal just feels wrong, and your soul aches because of it, then it may not be the one for you.
There was a time when I was speaking with a mentor who informed me that I should have the goal of becoming “X”. This was not the first time I was told that I would make a great “X”. We talked and tried to map out a realistic plan to reach the profession of “X”. I even took the prep exams and performed very well. I tried to schedule the official exam and get letters of recommendations, but couldn’t.
Every time I kept getting close to launching the career path “X” I had a panic attack. I never ever had those before or since. But this one, big time panic attack. My soul was talking to me. I had given the goal a fair and realistic push. But my heart spoke and said no.
Could I have been a great “X” professional, definitely. But it wasn’t for me.
When I tackled the goal of becoming a writer, I felt the same degree of nerves shake my core, but the difference was it felt like excitement. Could it really be possible to move and transition over from photography on the side to writer on the side? There was no clear “yes” but there was no clear “no” either.
Many years later, my mentor still thinks I’m wasting my time, but man do I feel alive! Writing has helped me improve my focus and energy on my career path. Things are looking up. The creative on the side business is giving way to being creative as my main business.
Not all goals are created equal. But all goals should be given an honest chance and the heart should be involved in the decision making process.
Between advice from friends and family, professionals, and other sources of research, I learned of many ladders available to me. It was not easy. Wish it took less time. However, it’s the journey. I’m now enjoying where I am and excited about where I can be.
I stopped worrying about protecting the one ladder I knew and started embracing the movements between ladders and now I’m higher than I could have imagined on a wall that’s very different than any I had originally planned to climb as a child.
That’s the beauty of the journey, we can and are allowed to change our minds. Even when responsibilities mount and rise to make it harder to move. Movement is still possible.
Where will this all lead? Not sure, but I don’t have to see the top of the staircase to know there is a top to reach (paraphrasing MLK’s quote).
The month will soon wrap up. Many are starting to give up on their goals. That’s OK. Yours may still be going strong. But if it is not, then, time to examine the lessons and figure out if you’re on the right ladder.
Then, once you’re sure what ladder you’re on, climb. Keep rising and work towards your success.
For your reading pleasure, a sampled list of other Motivational Monday post will be added below. Just click on the title or image to get to the post of interest.
Appreciate any sharing of these posts you’re inclined to do. Helps spread the word.
- One way to make goals stick - To succeed, one needs habits of success. Sometimes, to get those... one needs to use what one has..... anchoring habits. It's not about will power... it' s about using what works to get better performance. Not convinced? Check out the power of anchoring habits on this blog post then.
- Work in Silence - We brag too early about what we will do (some of us) The nay-sayers are able to snuff out our momentum because they know too much too soon. Work in silence... get the goals crushed... let the results speak for themselves.
- Social Average of Success - One can influence many but it is easier for many to influence one. Who did you select to influence you? What's your average looking like? Post influence by a Jim Rohn quote
- Keep Moving - Some are quick to give up on dreams when the going gets tough. Staying in your lane means... staying the course until success. Motivation Monday. Keep Moving
- Kick-Off: A New Year - Time to get Motivation Monday anchored and moving in the new year. The use of anchors (existing habits) to secure new resolutions for success
- Should I start new resolutions or keep the ones from last year - When one doesn't make new year's resolutions... but has many goals... Building momentum is the key. Taking the best of last year and pushing it forward this year And adding bigger better plans. A new way of focusing the lens.
- Which goals should be pursued - We often think of life as a linear path. Often, we need to shift. Just like career paths change, life paths changes too. Today, we examine which ladders to climb to end up on top of the right walls.
- Before the hype of the new year ends… - This the time when people start falling off their goals for the year. This the time this site doubles down on reaching it's goals, plans, dreams. Tenacity is key when working on year long objectives.
To conclude this post, below will be a list of the various Motivation Monday projects… sorted by years… for those who would like to binge read any of the posts they might have missed in the past.
Thanks for the time you took to visit and appreciate this blog.
The segment called Motivational Monday is aggregated by years. This is the 2017 collection
Working to have better more consistent posts of the motivational variety to kick off weeks
The collection lives here
One day… a collection will be complete enough to be published… until then.. the collection grows
The home of all Motivational Monday posts for 2019
Starting off early… with the goal of filling this page each week with a new post