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When Climbing The Ladder, Look Up

Have you ever arrived somewhere, and it wasn’t quite what you expected?   

Perhaps you went on vacation to a popular destination, and found that it wasn’t quite as beautiful as the pictures?  Or maybe you visited a famed restaurant, only to find that the popular cuisine wasn’t something you would describe as ‘cuisine’ at all? Or maybe you moved to “The Home of The Alamo” expecting to see a mammoth-sized structure and found that it’s only 33 feet tall.  😊  

Despite my Alamo example (the Alamo is actually quite impressive), some things aren’t always as glamorous as they appear once you get up close.  This can be quite a disappointment, especially if it's... your career or your business. 

“Climbing the ladder” takes a lot of effort and energy.  Whether you are building your career or building your own company, it truly does come with real sacrifice.  Those sacrifices usually come in the form of time spent, but also can come in other forms such as financial or even emotional well-being.  It’s crucial when you are making those investments that they lead you to where you really want to be.  It is devastating to sacrifice so much only to realize that the destination wasn’t worth it.  That’s why it’s important to “look up”. 

So how do you “look up” when you are climbing the ladder in this sense?  You look at the results others have achieved that went before you.  Some of the questions you should ask include: 

  • Most importantly, do they seem happy?  And is it real? 

  • Do they seem to be at peace? 

  • Did the climb, or the destination, have any negative effects on their family? 

  • Did it provide the financial rewards they expected? 

  • Are they in more control of their time now, or less? 

  • And once again... are they happy? 

There are many other questions you could ask, but these cover some of the most important areas.  Frequently we embark on a journey to success because we believe there is a pot of gold at the end, but we haven’t done any research to confirm that it exists.  Unfortunately, sometimes people will tell us something is better than it really is simply because they don’t want to admit that they themselves shouldn’t have sacrificed so much.  Not all that glitters is gold. 

The point of this post is that you need to make sure that what you are working towards truly is a benefit of the sacrifices you are making. To be clear, diligent effort towards a meaningful goal is a worthwhile endeavor. In fact, we need more of that in our world today.  However, it’s important to ensure that the destination you are headed towards is what you intended in the first place.  Otherwise, you may find that the effort was wasted in the pursuit of something that, when accomplished, wasn’t as much of a prize as you thought. Take the time to “look up”. 

Until next time, I wish you the best in all your efforts. 

Mark Goldman 



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