Successfully Climb the Ladder of Life
Keep moving up the ladder of life
The beauty of life is experience — to be doing and learning new things.
You crawl before you walk as a child. You continue that process in many ways throughout adulthood, as you learn new skills, and climb the ladder of life.
At some point, everyone feels stagnant and risks burnout due to pushing too hard. The ladder of life feels too long. Your legs hurt, and you worry you may slip and fall. How do you continue to elevate yourself? Here are seven ways to keep climbing up life’s ladder, one rung at a time:
1. Immerse yourself in another culture
Do you have dreams of traveling? Have you been fortunate to travel the states or go overseas? Culture is found around the world, but it’s also within your own city.
You don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in a new culture. Take Latin dancing lessons, and learn salsa and bachata. Find a truly traditional German, Mexican or Asian restaurant and taste the food. Try the recipes yourself or with the help of a friend. Learn a new language, and practice with others.
Every neighborhood and every shop has its own culture or personality. Encourage yourself to take a walk within it to expand your horizons.
2. Dedicate yourself to a passion
For many, there are particular boxes for career, family and other areas of life. When you dedicate yourself to so much, you become spread too thin.
What about you? Family and career are amazing parts of life to dedicate yourself to, but you need something outside of that to ground you and help trigger inspiration in those other areas of your life.
Passion isn’t searched for—It’s found through availability and participation in new things. Open yourself to experience. Forget hobbies: dedicate yourself to a passion when you feel the spark, and love it with your full heart, no matter how often you give it time or for how long. Your true dedication to passion is experience.
3. Challenge and transform your anxiety
Do you look around yourself and become anxious? The ladder of life is a metaphor for your potential, as well as your journey. Sometimes, you look up and fear how far you have yet to go. Sometimes, you look down and get scared of the heights.
A particular experience or trauma in your life may haunt you, as it’s brought with you into the present through memory. Challenge your anxiety by pausing and centering. Remember to breathe, by taking in four deep breaths, exhaling slowly. Learn tips and tricks to alleviate your anxiety. Then, reassess.
What is your anxiety saying? Is it an old fear that’s been adapted to try to keep you safe in the present? Do you need protecting? What if your anxiety surrounding the future is simply fear of your own potential?
Don’t get caught up in a hamster wheel of questions. Think of anxiety as a trigger for excitement, and let yourself be animated to transform one step a time. Often, all you have to do is to focus on your breath to calm your mind and body. Small steps, big breaths.
4. Revisit old dreams
During the course of life, it’s natural to look back. Sometimes, you get caught up in dwelling on something painful or bittersweet. Too much dwelling leads to a downward spiral of self-pity that leaks into other areas of your life, and you’re stuck on one of the ladder rungs.
Old dreams and memories have lessons, yes, but they also offer opportunities. Seeds last for generations and may be replanted. So can dreams. You’re coming back to these memories for a reason. Find the root, and let it be. Then, find the seed. Keep it.
Revision your old dreams. Literally, keep a dream journal by your body.
Make a vision board. Your old dreams have relevance today.
5. Practice a recreation sport
Find a recreational sports team in your area or visit your local family YMCA/YWCA. There are leagues for field hockey, basketball, and cricket.
Remember that there are fierce competitions for Latin dancing, horseback riding, and archery, too. Sports don’t just involve balls.
Practicing a sport improves and maintain your physical health throughout life, but it also impacts your mental health with such benefits as better concentration, improved mood, restful sleep, and increased self-confidence.
6. Develop a healthy sleep pattern
If it’s been years of ineffective sleeping patterns, it’s time to make a shift because your sleep needs affect every area of your life. It’s a matter of keeping a regular pattern of sleep, however that works for you, in a 24-hour period.
You can reset your sleep cycle. Creating a bedtime ritual helps, such as reading a book or dimming the lights. Try to limit technology an hour before bed. Those bright TV and cell phone screens will keep you up.
Some people feel they aren’t built to sleep in a whole eight hour blocks, and that’s okay. Did you know that DaVinci used to sleep in periods of four hours and that kept him awake and creative?
It’s nicknamed “the sleep of genius” but is scientifically termed polyphasic sleep, in which you sleep an average of 4-5 hours and may have other bursts of napping throughout the day. It’s healthy when managed properly, and that’s unique to how you function.
7. Give to others—specifically the little things
When you feel less than happy or uninspired, one of the best things to do is to give to others. Some individuals regularly volunteer for food banks or in other areas of the community.
Yet, the small acts are important, too. These are the acts that catch you in the middle of the day by surprise, such as holding open the door for someone, buying someone’s coffee or helping to change a flat tire.
Small acts of kindness not only help others but are proven to keep you healthy, especially by reducing stress levels. Remember, the little things matter, too.
It’s natural to get tired after climbing so far, as it is natural to look up and back with both fear and excitement. You keep yourself motivated by being an active participant in your own life.
You don’t have to have much to be happy or be truly successful.
The little things keep you going. Dedicate yourself to passion and experience, to embrace every moment as it comes.