You can only climb up the ladder from the rung you are standing on, that is, your foundation. You might be able to see what’s possible from the higher vantage of sight, but your foundation, what’s solid, is where your feet are.

Think of the ladder broken into 3 main stages.

  1. First, what don’t I have. The lowest level reflects your needs. Sleep, nutrition, health and fitness, security of financials can be typical areas of concerns. Those things you know you “should do or should quit doing.”
  2. Second, what might I lose. These middle levels are worries, struggles and pains. Worries about losing what you have, struggles to get out of a rut or overcome bad habits can be areas of concern here.
  3. Third, what can I gain. Top levels are wants, hopes, aspirations and dreams. At this point, you released your motivations so you believe you can go after those dreams.

You cannot effectively get going on wants, hopes, and aspirations, if the lower levels or rungs are not addressed sufficiently. So, identify those needs to address, put plans in place and execute. Once you feel those needs are addressed sufficiently, move on to the next level and tackle the worries, pains and struggles then, and only then, you can most effectively go after your wants, hopes, aspirations and dreams.

Yes, it is reminiscent of Maslow’s hierarchy.

Of course, you can jump ahead. For me, I’ve found building a foundation one step at a time along this ladder has released my motivations. I prioritize better, with more focus by stabilizing my foundation or rung on the ladder where I stand at this point in time.

A very good tool to identify where you stand on the ladder in key areas of your life is the life wheel. The life wheel has sixcommonly described areas radiating outward—professional/personal development, family life, social life, financial responsibility, health & fitness, faith & ethics. For each of these, find where you stand on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being completely under control, going where you want, with no bad habits. One, well, is the opposite. The lower value, the more basic needs are not sufficiently addressed.

Watch your motivation skyrocket as you address the concerns at the lower rungs, building a strong foundation for the next step. It is amazing.

So, “first things first, second things second…”

Remember be patient with yourself and give yourself grace as you tackle these issues.It is a skill and takes time to get good at it, so start now.

Post your successes or struggles about what works and doesn’t work for you. Use the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Share this article if you like it.


“Dominate your life with Focus, Decision and Execution.”