What ladder am I climbing?

We’ve always been asked what we want to be when we grow up. My friends and I have recently been more focused on who we want to be when we grow up.

These questions have challenged a balance between where and who we are: being fully present and appreciating our situation, and where and who we want to be: evaluating how we could be better, making a plan and taking action.

It takes work to be present and purposeful! But is there any other way to truly live? We have one life. We can accept the way we are and float through, always wondering “what if?” Or we can wake up each day and do the best thing we can think of to be a better version of ourself. One small step.

Slow and small progress builds. Yesterday, I was listening to John O’Leary’s podcast (one of my favorites!) and he was speaking with Charles Rosen, founder of Ironbound Hard Cider and his crew chief James Williams. The whole story is inspirational, but the part I enjoyed most was listening to James’s story. He grew up on the streets of New Jersey and served several prison terms into his 30’s when he decided to change his trajectory.

He started simply by changing the ladder he was climbing. Small step. He was no longer going to climb the “streets” ladder or the “prison” ladder. Instead, he was going to climb the “work” ladder. He showed up and gave 100%. Small step. After several of those small steps, he is now the crew chief of the farm, and has been able to tell his story to thousands of people through this podcast. Listen here.

Whatever you are facing today, take responsibility to take a small step. Then take another. Pray. Re-evaluate and change your path as needed. Ask for help when you need it. You are the only one who can get you where you want to go. Things will get in the way, and they may slow you down, but they don’t have to stop you. Let James be your inspiration.

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