A Winding Staircase

Michael Ken
3 min readAug 3, 2020

We all want a better life, but frequently, life can feel like a merry-go-round that spins faster and faster but goes nowhere. Many people experience this frenzy when facing hardship and change. Whether it is in one’s business or personal life, it is easy to become fixated on the walls spinning around us.

Walking In Circles

There is a vicious cycle we all experience. When walking in circles, we repeatedly see all four sides of the room. Every person who tries to change and improve their situation will experience the cyclic passing of these four walls.

The Four Walls

One wall is the experience of a severe setback in our endeavor; the next wall is the adverse reaction to that setback, which often deflates our motivation. Then comes the third wall where, having been discouraged, we become afraid to make any changes or take any more steps. The fourth wall is a reckoning where, either out of courage or fear, we muster the willpower to start moving forward again. This circle takes us back to the first wall, where we once again experience a painful setback.

This cycle can be disheartening; it can take the wind right out of our sails. Life on this merry-go-round isn’t merry at all. It feels like a hard lesson that life is a journey through suffering. It gives one the feeling that with every step forward, we are merely approaching our next failure.

A Winding Staircase

We face north, then east, south, west, and back to the north, repeating the process over and over again. We fall, we feel pain, we become scared to take another step, we try again; we fall again. Even though we might feel like this path is not moving us closer towards our goals, the perception of running in circles can be a type of illusion.

What might not be apparent is that the path to progress is not just walking circles in a room but moving up a winding staircase.

Each step we take forward is a step up that takes us higher. Each time we come back to the same demanding wall, we will face that challenge from a different perspective and at a different level of expertise than the last time we found ourselves in that predicament. The cycles will…

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Michael Ken

My journal about life in the woods. Visit intothewoods.blog to see my complete journal, photographs, and articles.