You gave your life to become the person you are right now . . .

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Quote of the Week

A perspective for you to think about, meditate on, journal on, take action on

You gave your life to become the person you are right now.  Was it worth it?  –Richard Bach, from One

Do you like who you are?  Do you feel good about how you treat others and what you spend your time and energy on?   If you died tomorrow, would you have any serious regrets about who and how you’ve been?

If you don’t like the person you are right now, what changes do you want/need to make?  Do you love yourself enough to  the make the changes?  Do you think you’re worthy of being who you want to be?  What are you actually willing to do?  What are you willing (and not willing) to sacrifice?

A related quote comes from Thomas Merton: “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”  It doesn’t matter whether the wall (your goal) is to be the revered CEO of a global conglomerate, the most enlightened yogi at the ashram, the least materialistic hippie in town, the coolest rock star on the block, President of the United States, or anything in between.  Depending on what you sacrifice along the way, any wall can turn out to be the wrong one; or maybe the wall is fine, but the ladder you’ve climbed—or how you’ve traversed it—are problematic.  The wall, the ladder, how you climb the ladder—they all contribute to making you the person you are right now.  Do you like the wall you’re climbing?  The ladder you’re using?  How you’ve climbed the ladder?  Do you like the person you are right now?  If not, what are you going to do about it?

 

Photo courtesy of Gratisography

Alexandra Marchosky
Alexandra Marchosky
I coach individuals and organizations to do and be better by more fully living their values.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Michelle
    Reply

    Here is another metaphor or perspective to consider from this excerpt from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In:
    “Lori often quotes Pattie Sellers, who conceived a much better metaphor: ‘Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.’ As Lori describes it, ladders are limiting-people can move up or down, on or off. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. There’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym. The jungle gym model benefits everyone, but especially women who might be starting careers, switching careers, getting blocked by external barriers, or reentering the workforce after taking time off. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfillment. Plus, a jungle gym provides great views for many people, not just those at the top. On a ladder, most climbers are stuck staring at the butt of the person above.”

    • Alexandra Marchosky
      Reply

      Thanks, Michelle! I really like the jungle gym metaphor! I’d also add that there are plenty of ways to have fun on a jungle gym that don’t involve getting to the top. After all, I know many people, starting with myself, who don’t dream of being the top dog. Some of us are great at being behind-the-scenes support and infrastructure and prefer that work. Others don’t want to make the time and energy commitments required to be The Chief; they prefer to have more time and energy for other parts of their lives and so prefer to excel in a different role. I.e., they prefer to climb around (rather than up) the jungle gym as fast as possible, help others figure out how to get on and start climbing, or to hang upside down for a while.

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