Hands up those of you whose life seems like a continuous game of snakes and ladders ! I feel like i should be an absolute champion at that game. Throw the dice, 6 moves, yay a giant ladder that takes me right to the top, well almost. Another throw of the dice oh crap ! a nasty old snake sending me right back to where i started. Right now it kinda feels hopeful. I seem to be landing on a few ladders, but in the back of my mind i can’t help feeling, on the next throw i’ll land on yet another trap and back i go.
For most of us, if not all of us, this is our whole lives. From before the cradle to the grave. It's all relative though. Don’t think the person with the great job, seemingly perfect life has all ladders. Sometimes the old saying is true that the more you have the more you lose. Too many stories of people who had everything to live for, decide that they have nothing to live for and tragically take matters into their own hands. So it's not about the ladders. For some of us the snake sliding us back down to sometimes below zero is just too much. But we all experience it differently. Zero for some is a minus 100. Some peoples zero is other peoples day to day.
Im sure you read somewhere that those that have nothing are the happiest. Others say a full heart and a thankful forward focused life is the key to even out those ups and downs.
So should we just not bother even climbing ? Why do we climb if there is a risk that we could slide all the way back.
The point is, failure should never be seen as … well failure. It's learning, not failing. For most of us climbing that ladder is a fundamental part of our need to evolve and grow. In my own life at my darkest moments, despite how crushed i was, there was a chink of light. Just a tiny almost imperceptible pin light, that provided at least some nutrients that helped me to regrow, heal and eventually start back on the ladder. Some of my slides downwards have been huge.
Ultimately I’ve learned to try and accept the game and play for personal joy rather than things. Invest in what brings me joy rather than a bigger pay check. Ultimately the bigger pay check follows. It's not magic or a technique.
Following my joy is the best way to be joyful (sounds simple i know) If I'm joyful, people like me, i see opportunities quicker, respond to laughter engage my friends and family. its a ladder that we make a commitment to climb. Living in my own joy, doing what makes me happy helps me draw positive people and environments. It seems initially selfish but as its lived it becomes utterly selfless and self fulfilling. We have a choice to spin the dice, the choice to stay at the bottom of a ladder or risk sliding down the snake. Some of us have been stuck on the first rung of the ladder for half a lifetime. Some of us have slide down the snake so many times we just stop as it feels exhausting. If we're trying too hard, its not our joy we are seeking, its someone else’s. To be good at this game we have to play for joy, our joy.
Let's start a new day today. Let's decide to follow our joy, invest in our passion look for the first rung.