The Ascending Spiral

Seven years from now you’ll be more disappointed by those things that you didn’t do than those you did.

Your life, you see, is not linear; it is cyclical. There is some truth to the song: “The Circle of Life.” Life is not meant to be an endless round, but an ascending spiral, so that the cycles don’t repeat themselves. You will come full circle every so often, but if you play your cards right you’ll be at the same spot, albeit at a higher elevation. The things that slowed or stopped you, irked or dismayed you in times past, will seem insignificant. You’ll have grown in stature and in grace.

That said, not doing things you know you should do is like dropping anchor while moving along the spiral. Instead of ascending you’ll come back around to exactly the same point in the cycle you were at previously (i.e. history repeats itself). This is complicated by the fact that each time you do not pass go the weeds of chagrin crowd out another acre of fertile possibilities and choke out another level of your self-confidence.

This is not to be confused with giving it your all and coming up short. When you genuinely try your hardest and fail you will not be the same person you were when your second, third, fourth, etc. pass comes along. Trying and failing can be just as generative as succeeding with flying colors.

Only the vain fear failure. There is absolutely no reason to live a life of repetitive disappointment. Where you are now will look familiar to you in the future, but you have a say as to how high up the ascending spiral you will be when you come back around the cycle.

So rise up, dear readers! Jump into your life with both feet and by all means, let go of the dock! Vain regrets about the past are meaningless. Save your disappointment for something meaningful.

7 thoughts on “The Ascending Spiral

  1. Zach

    I always wonder if the “circle of life” song discourages people. When they see echoes of the past and have actually made progress but they think they ended up back where they started. It’s not a bad thing to see echoes of the past, and in fact it’s inevitable. We all reap what we sow, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be a different person the next time whatever harvest we’ve planted comes around.


  2. Steve V

    Having been born at this time of year and entering a new 7 year cycle in terms of birth years your words are indeed timely. To grow in grace and stature is something very inspiring to the human soul. I take your words to heart today that I may aspire in the ascending spirals of life playing my part in the creation of a transcendent nation your words have so eloquently articulated over the course of your blog.


  3. Joy

    Thanks for a great post today Gregg, so apropos (as Coco said) to what I needed to hear. Specially enjoyed “Only the vain fear failure”, the worst type of failure is not living, not listening to that gnawing call from within that encourages us to give of our best, to be who we were created to be. It is very sobering and humbling as well, to see that a seven year cycle has passed and opportunities have been missed. Thankfully each day does offer a new opportunity, but if I repeatedly refuse to accept the opportunities presented, eventually I will stop been able to hear the call. Thank you as always for the nudge!


  4. Vincent

    If there is a sense of going round and round without getting anywhere, it is a sure sign that an updraft is needed! Life is sure to be cyclical, but circular it need not be. Great post!


  5. Kierney

    Time is going to pass whether we jump into our life or not, so why not jump! I can’t think of anything worse than reviewing your life and wondering why you didn’t take those chances, learn more, help more, try more!


  6. Coco

    I’ll bet every reader is thinking this is perfect timing for me to hear this! Every morning is the right day to reenergize your life or rededicate yourself to your endeavors. These next 12 months are going to go by anyway, whether I take the ground I’m supposed to or not. It’s not a race but it is an opportunity. Thanks Gregg for your encouraging words.


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