Monday, December 11th, 2017

There is no top of the ladder

November 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Mental Side

A lot of people out there would like to climb the “ladder of success.”  Here’s a little secret … There is no ladder.

A ladder implies vertical movement.  Up or down.  That’s not how the game works.  Although the levels of the game do appear to be like a ladder, a player’s progress (and many coaches as well) never takes just a vertical path.  It usually is more like this …

rollercoaster_structural_01

The game presents a lot of ups and downs but it also forces a lot of sideways movement as well.  Just like a roller coaster.  Life kind of works like that too.  When people think of success as a ladder, they will interpret every move downward as a failure.  Setbacks in baseball and in life are not failures.  They are opportunities to grow and get better.  In fact, nobody gets upset when the roller coaster goes down.  That’s when they cheer the most!  Looking at setbacks in the game the same way can do wonders for your “reboundability.”

Another reason I don’t like the ladder analogy is that a ladder implies an endpoint.  Too many people think that all will be ok if they could just reach the top.  It’s as if they can finally stop and relax when they get there.  That’s like a player reaching the major leagues and saying “I’m here.  I reached the top so there is no reason to keep working.  I’m good right here.”  Of course, their career will come to an abrupt stop if that is their thinking.

The players in the game who last and consistently excel (Derek Jeter comes to mind) never believe in any endpoint.  Everyday is a chance to get better and move forward.  Some days they will.  Other days the game will knock them backward.  Other times it will push them to the side and in every other direction possible.

Stop believing in the ladder.  Do your best to keep moving forward in every aspect of the game.  When you get knocked around, just get back up and keep going.

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