Is your ladder against the wrong wall?

A character in a movie I was watching just recently came out with a really powerful line that is relevant to all of our lives.

As a highly successful business man he was at a large conference table full of business people, negotiating a multi-million pound contract that would make him significantly richer than he already was. Because of needing to be at work to negotiate this contract, he had turned down an invitation from his daughter to attend an event that was very important to her.

His mind wasn’t on the negotiation and when one of his colleagues noticed this and enquired as to what was distracting him, the character suddenly got up from the table and made for the door to leave. His colleague was astonished and asked why he was leaving at this crucial point in the business deal.  The character replied “I’ve realised there’s no point in carrying on climbing the ladder if the ladder is against the wrong wall.”

He had realised that he was putting time and energy into the wrong area of his life and decided to change this.

Of course, like any movie he makes the decision look ridiculously simple, swift and straighforward.

In real life it may take months or years to slowly become aware that our ‘ladder’ i.e. our focus and energy is against the wrong ‘wall’ i.e. a certain area of our life. It may take the form of a slow, gnawing dissatisfaction that something isn’t quite right; or we may notice that we are depressed or anxious but don’t understand why; or it may show itself in a string of unsatisfactory or failed relationships.

How can counselling help you move your ladder to the right wall?

Firstly, counselling can help you find out what wall you are aiming for – what is most important to you as an individual and will bring you fulfilment; counselling helps you know your real self.  Your ‘wall’ – what motivates you and gives you meaning – may be career / family / money / hobbies / health or some combination of these.

Secondly, counselling can help you to make a practical plan to move your ladder to the right wall. We don’t live in movies where we can simply up and out of an unhappy or unsatisfying situation – it often takes careful thought and planning.  Counselling can help you reach a thorough understanding of what is possible and what you can realistically achieve – and help you see what you can control and what is outside your control.

Finally, counselling will also help you manage the anxiety that usually accompanies making change and living through uncertainty – while you move your ladder to a different wall; it will strengthen you for your journey so you can reach your destination.

For a confidential and informal chat about how I can help you successfully change life direction, give me a call on 07957 234 950 or drop me a line at

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