Ladder Climbing 101: Four stages of Ladder Climbing

  • Choose the right ladder.
  • Setting the ladder.
  • Climb your ladder.
  • View from the top. Sit, Stand, or Move on from the top.

Choosing the right Ladder:

Choosing the right ladder depends on the view that you expect to see when you reach the top. It might be to see what is on the top shelf in the cupboard or what is in the gutter on the roof. Choosing the right success ladder requires the same thought. Will your success ladder accomplish your vision? What do you want to see when you reach the top?

I have seen vans with ladders stacked ten high on the roof. Sometime they are so high that they look like the van will tip over on its side. Each ladder has a specific use for the painter. He brings them all to the job, then chooses the right ladder for the right job. The painter has a vision. It’s a completed paint job. Which ladder shall I choose to finish the job?

Our life success ladder comes in many sizes. It simply depends on how high we want to climb. Some people are comfortable with a very small ladder. There are only few rungs to climb. The top is easy to see and if they fall off the ladder, they won’t get hurt.

Other people have many rungs on their ladder. It hard to see the top but they know that when they reach the top rung, they will be where they want to be. They have a vision. Yes, it is more work, harder to climb, and takes longer but that’s the success that they choose. It’s their view from the top.

In order to reach our goals…our success, we have to decide how many rungs are necessary in our ladder. Then we must climb each rung of the ladder until we reach the top. We must climb each rung, one at a time. If we miss a rung or slip off the rung, we hold on to the ladder, re-establish our footing and continue. Success is at the top of everyone’s ladder. We decide which ladder to climb.

Setting the ladder:

Have you ever heard of someone falling off a ladder? They set the ladder to reach their goal, but the support at the bottom or at the top was not secure. The ladder shifts and they fall off the ladder. My dad told me to always have someone at the foot of the ladder to keep it steady.

A ladder needs support, something to keep it steady. Our success ladder needs support of family, friends, coaches and mentors. We can’t pick family but we can choose who we want to support our ladder. Friends can be supportive or a distraction. Do they support your goals or their own goals? Coaches and mentors, by definition, will share your goals. When you look down from your ladder, who do you want to see keeping you steady and on track? Set your success ladder in a supportive environment. Watch out for people who can shake your ladder.

The success ladder must be on a sound foundation. Learn what it takes to achieve your goals. The success ladder represents all the stops along the journey, but the foundation, setting the ladder, represents where you begin your journey. It’s your starting point. It is where you are today. Are you ready to set your success ladder? Or, do you need to pack a few more bags before you leave?

Climbing your ladder:

Climbing your success ladder requires focus, patience, tenacity, persistence, and stamina. You have determined the type of ladder that you need. You have placed it in the best position for success. Now you just have to climb your ladder.
When the fireman climbs his ladder, he focuses on his mission. He must get to the top. If he keeps his head down, he can’t see where he is going. That is when he can miss or slip off a rung and fall from the ladder. Climbing the success ladder requires focus. If you keep looking back at where you have been, you can’t see where you are going. It’s like driving your car while looking into the rear view mirror. Stay focused on the top of the ladder.

Patience compliments focus. You can’t run up a ladder. The success ladder requires one step at a time. Each rung is a success in itself. Success is a journey, one step at a time. You can’t be a surgeon until you know anatomy. You can’t paint a house until you know how to work a paintbrush. It’s best to learn how to use a spoon before you order soup. One step at a time.

Tenacity prevents people from knocking you off your success ladder. Persistence keeps you moving when they try. The higher you climb the success ladder, the farther away you are from the support group. The farther the mountain climber is from his base camp, the closer he is to the top of the mountain. Persistence provides the fuel to climb and focus provides the reason to climb.

The view from the top: Hold on to your ladder.

Hold on to your success ladder. The higher you go the shakier it gets. The mountain climber is most tired one step from the top. Stamina, his preparation, will let him take that final step at the top. It was just one more rung on his success ladder.

Some people, while climbing their ladder, stop to look around and some even look down. They lose focus and some times even lose their balance. Falling off the ladder can be painful. One can lose confidence in their ladder and may even refuse to climb again.

Other people see looking down as a bad idea. If they do fall, they simply get up and climb again. They place their ladder where they want to go and they know they have to climb each rung to get to the top.

If you continue to focus on the top of the ladder, if you maintain your grip on the ladder, and take one step at a time, you will reach the top regardless of how tall the ladder.

You can do it.

Looking back reminds us of our past. It can’t be changed. Looking forward is the portrait of your future. The ladders that you have already climbed got you to where you are today. The exciting news is that there are an infinite number of ladders out there waiting to be used. You pick your ladder. The taller the ladder, there are more rungs to climb. The more rungs that you climb will determine the size of your reward. You get to pick, place and climb any ladder that you choose. And every ladder that you climb all the way to the top will reward you with success. You decide. You climb. You can do it!