The hardest thing about getting to the top of a ladder is getting past all the people who say that it can’t be done.

That’s what Mike (aka The Spin Swami) said midway through a 68.7 mile bike ride.  His words were meant to encourage all of us pedaling in the pack that day to believe in ourselves and to go the distance.

As I was pedaling, I actually created a mental picture of a ladder. It had a pretty high reach.  For me, finishing that four-hour ride strong was at the top of the ladder.  There were points along the way where I needed to push past self-doubt and sore feet. Finishing (not giving up) was my focus.  With the right focus, we can accomplish anything.

What you want to be, do and achieve are all things that sit at the top of your own personal ladder.  It’s up to you to reach those goals.  That means, you’ve got to do the work.

As you climb, be aware that there will always be obstacles, or things in the way of you rising to the next level.  Sometimes those obstacles come in the form of self-doubt or physical discomfort.  Sometimes those obstacles come in the form of people.

Let’s talk about the people on your ladder.  Choosing the right friends matters.  A good friend can lift you to your highest potential.  But, if someone in your life is bringing you down in any way, they are not showing themselves to be a good friend.  That’s easy enough to understand.  Still, many people find it difficult to separate themselves from individuals that continue to pull them down.

People in this situation need to think better of themselves and start believing that they deserve better…because they do.

In the past, I have had people pull me down.  I can look back on those times now as learning experiences.  One of the most important lessons I learned is to always surround yourself with people who build you up, support you, and make you want to be better.  I am fortunate to have those kinds of people in my life today, people who I can truly call my friends.  Things are much different now.

Anytime you set out to reach a goal, you can expect some obstacle to appear.  But an obstacle suddenly appearing does not mean that your chances of getting where you want to be are impossible.  Your determination and belief in yourself will make the difference in whether you climb higher on that ladder or get pulled down.

You are too important to fail.  Great things are ahead of you because you really are unlimited.  The next time you see an obstacle in your way, remember the ladder lesson and keep climbing.

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