Summit Thoughts

Are you climbing the right ladder?

Are you climbing the right ladder?

People of my demographic group are reaching what most would consider the mid-life point. I personally had to go through a transition myself and this was triggered by a family issue that opened up a lot of other things that were consciously buried for decades in the name of survival. It was a year of re-evaluation and questioning of my achievements, failures, relationships, values, priorities, etc. It was really tough because I also learned to forgive and be gentle with myself whilst facing the cold and hard truths and facts about my personal business called LIFE.

I have gone through the re-assessment phase and now I have the pleasure of doing the fun part of re-layering the foundations for my life’s second half or second act. In the process of re-assessment, I read lots of things but one quote resonated with me: “It is better to find one’s self at the bottom of the right ladder than being on the top of the wrong ladder at the end of one’s life.” I spent a few weeks thinking about this and asking whether I have been climbing the wrong ladder all along. I do not have the complete answer yet but things are being revealed and I am grateful for all the beauty that I can see and the magical life I have had so far despite what I had to go through.

Some people close to some of my colleagues and friends were also confronted with sudden deaths of loved ones. People who had no history of heart problems suddenly died of heart attack whilst going about their normal lives. It shook me to the core and made me re-assess my life more.

My re-assessment enabled me to realise that climbing the ladder has not been my approach in life. I have always chipped away at the mountain creating a winding path to the top so that I can experience a “richer” life. In the process of doing so, I can enjoy the view and even create viewing platforms to help others see the beauty of life. A few bosses in the past have criticised me for not being as ambitious and driven as my peers and I was slightly offended by what they said. I have come to realise though that my approach is not about climbing the ladder and getting to the top the fastest. My life approach is to create a balanced and sustainable way to the summit and helping people along the journey.

What is the purpose of being the fastest to reach the top only to find the summit lonely or having only a few moments to enjoy it because one dies of exhaustion? My core approach in life is about building the winding path to the top complete with viewing decks so that I can continuously enjoy the beauty around me and continuously take stock of LIFE. In the process, people close to me can join me at their pace and we can all enjoy the views.

My personal definition of the summit is not the top of the mountain but the highest point I can reach based on what I consider important. I would prefer to reach 80% of the mountain at the end of my life whilst enjoying the journey and sharing the experience with people I consider important than reaching the summit alone and dying early. Doing so also enables me to enjoy the full view from different wonderful perspectives.

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Discussion

  1. Paola  April 27, 2015

    I am not even sure that “climbing the mountain” is the only answer either. Any meaningful, purposeful journey we take is a valid path in life. As you say, enjoying it not just for yourself but with others is also key. Great article! thanks for sharing.

    (reply)
    • irggac  April 27, 2015

      Thanks for your comment Paola. I do agree with you that climbing the mountain is not the only answer either. The reason why I used the analogy of the mountain is people can choose to stay at the base of the mountain and build villages or do things. They may even be the people that the climbers can come to for refreshment and advice. People have different roles to play on earth and we are all interconnected.

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