For obvious safety reasons, stepladders can be dangerous. With each subsequent level up, each step is a little more precarious than the last. Therefore, don't go too far, right? Heed the warning at the very top of most stepladders clearly marked "this is not a step."
There's a terrific irony in that but at the same time it's quite a truth too. As in life, sometimes what feels like the final step or what looks like the final step is indeed, not a step at all. And there you are, stuck. Either jump or make a shaky return to the floor.
And yet steps shouldn't be this difficult, should they? After all, steps are the very things that make life manageable. Need a cake? Follow these steps. Need a career? Follow these steps. Addicted? Follow 12 steps.
But as we all know, some steps are more complicated. And some, after taken, rouse regret. And some other steps may not have been taken intentionally, and then what?
Some say no matter because the first step was the most important anyway. Without that first step, where would any of us be? It's a good point, and yet I’m interested in the next steps too because just maybe it’s steps we face when we realize we've gone the wrong way that are the most important. And then it’s that next step that makes all the difference. After all, stepping off is still a step.
Still, stepping off may solve little. Maybe instead, it’s the reaching up and replacing of that darkened lightbulb instead. Illuminate so that others may see where and where not to step. Maybe that's the point of being on a stepladder in the first place. Why? Because I've learned just as much, maybe even more, from others’ missteps than their successes.
Share your failures friends. I guarantee someone needs to hear them. Shed that light so others can see where and where not to step. Be the mentor you wish you’d had.