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The Life Ladder – Getting Through Life One Rung At A Time

29th Apr 2014

QUOTE: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

George Washington Carver

We’re all on the life ladder, it has many rungs and can stretch as far as the moon, the sun or even the Milky Way. But which rungs are more important? What happens when you skip some of the rungs? Skipping rungs is a 50/50 game; you could leap and succeed or you can crash and fall. You should take life one step at a time, that way you can experience all that life has to offer and you’re not likely to fall very far even if one of the rungs of the ladder snaps or breaks. Below are the main 5 rungs you need to step on with the challenges that come with each of them. Not everyone will get there, but I think these are goals we all have in mind or want to reach during our lifetime.

School, College & University

Your first hurdle will come when you are in school when you are old enough to understand the world, between around 10 and 13 years old. This hurdle may or may not be bullying of varying degrees. Some people go through school completely unharmed but an alarming number of children will become the subjects of bullying. If it is just words being thrown around then you can learn to ignore it, all they want is a reaction so don’t give them the satisfaction. However if it is more serious and you’re being physically harmed then you need to talk to someone, whether that be a member of staff or a helpline.

The second hurdle here comes mainly with college, but does include school. That hurdle is studying hard and getting great qualifications. When you’re in school you don’t tend to think about the future because you’re just having fun, but getting fantastic GCSE’s is going to set you up very well when it comes to going to college. In college you will need a certain number of passes to even get in, which means you could face a humiliating rejection. Work hard and get yourself a place in a college, you don’t have to go to university but going to college straight after school means your education will be funded by the government. It is a free education and free qualifications, why would you pass that up?

The last hurdle here is going to university, which is an extremely large step indeed. You need to do extremely well in college to be able to work your way into university and it all comes at a cost. University courses cost thousands of pounds, so you need to be sure by this point exactly what you want from life and how university will help you succeed. If you fail your first year then don’t give up. There has been a huge rise in the number of students dropping out and not finishing their course through lack of patience or motivation.

Jobs

Your job will depend on the last few rungs, if you’ve been through university then the chances are you’ll want a job that reflects your shiny new qualifications. It will be hard and you’ll be up against strong competition, so you’ll need to perfect your interview techniques to ensure you’re doing all you can to get the job. Once the job is yours it will hopefully be the start of your career.

If you didn’t go to university but you went to college then you may consider jobs that are in the same sector but are not specific to your qualifications. Say for example you did A levels in health, then you may want to look at jobs such as being a carer or working in a home. Don’t let your qualifications go to waste, utilize them as best you can.

For those who only have school qualifications you may end up with more of a struggle, but you’re not stuck at the deep end. You can invest in some online course with the Open University so you can gain specific qualifications or you can work in a shop etc. Just remember not to let it get you down, it will be hard but there is always help available to you. Also remember that you’re never the only person to go through it, there are hundreds of unemployed people who are in the exact same boat.

Relationships

This part of the ladder is a little shaky as there are many aspects to consider. Finding the right partner is extremely hard and you may find yourself become stressed or emotional. Always remember that there are billions on people in the world, one of those is likely to be a perfect match for you and you just need to have patience.

Once you have found someone then you need to make sure you don’t scare them away or give them the wrong impression. The saying “just be yourself” may sound a little cliché but it really does ring true. If you want to spend the rest of your life with this person then they need to know the real you from the get go. Don’t panic, stay calm, be yourself and try to have fun.

If they’re not for you then simply tell them and move on, if they are for you but they decide to leave then try to keep your chin up. Heartbreak sucks for anyone, it is a pain that cannot be described but you cannot let yourself become a shell of a human being. The best way to get over it is to keep on trucking, keep yourself busy and do things you enjoy.

If you don’t find someone then you need to learn to be happy in your own company. Being alone is not uncommon and the longer you are left waiting for Mr or Mrs right the smaller your chances of finding them may be. If you’re happy in yourself then you’ll live a happy life regardless of your love life.

Moving out & Settling Down – marriage and kids

This is the scary part of the ladder and it sits quite high up on the list and had rungs all over the place. Moving out can come after college or it can come quite a few years later and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be with someone at that time. Moving out into a place on your own is extremely daunting, but it can be done with a little positive thinking.

If you’re moving out into a home with another half then you need to stop and think about whether you both know each other well enough to make such a commitment. Living together can be very difficult and there may be times where you argue over silly things like the washing up or walking the dog. Just remember that bickering and small arguments are perfectly natural and should blow over as quickly as they start.

After you’ve been together for a while then you may want to start thinking about having your very own family. This will take up a lot of your ladder as you’ll have to think about not only raising them but also helping them through everything you’ve been through up until this point. They may have kids of their own one day and hopefully you’ll be around to help them and enjoy their company. A family is for life, you have to be 100% that it is a step you wish to take as you’ll be paying for the child whether you’re in their lives or not.

Retirement

When it comes to the end of the ladder the rungs tend to be a little thinner and less stable. The older you are the older the wood of the later, so be careful when you take steps. Once you’ve had your kids and they have moved out and had their own family you will soon find yourself landing into retirement. This should be the best times of your life as you have no job to get up for, no little ones to look after and hopefully a lovely pension to use.

This is a time where you can be yourself without having all the worry or woes that younger generations have. Do what you like as your days may be numbered, make sure that you are not just content but you are happy. You can also spend this time planning the last rungs of the ladder, making it easier on your family when it comes time to take your leap of faith. Make sure that you use your final moments remembering all the good times and brilliant decisions you made. If you die happy then you have died having lived a full and fulfilling life.

For a more in depth perspective on life and what it has to offer just visit http://www.klearminds.com where you can talk to professional counsellors and psychotherapists.

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