For those of you familiar with the t.v series Game of Thrones, you may recognise the line above. These are the captivating words from that tremendous scene between Varys and Lord Baelish. Within the dialogue, the line ‘Chaos is a ladder‘ is immortalised by Baelish -played by the talented Aiden Gillen. The scene itself is brilliantly written and conjurs up a perfect metaphor for determination; it’s about clinging on to the ladder for dear life, and challenging yourself to keep climbing.
If you haven’t seen it or you’re not a fan of G.O.T. I encourage you to watch that scene from season three. If nothing else it’s a great bit of storytelling, using conflicting visions from two men shaping their own destiny.
Now we come to the photo of the frame, and the tweet within it. This is a photo of a tweet I had framed which now hangs on a wall in my office. You know now where the quote comes from, but the tweet was actually from Tom Brady – former quater back of the New England Patriots (and huge golf fan.). Tom was watching the Masters in 2019 where a certain Tiger Woods sank a one foot put to win his fifteenth major and fourth green jacket.
Tigers win that day heralded one of sports greatest comebacks. Even if you don’t like golf, there’s no way you could miss the narrative of that victory.
They say truth is stranger than fiction, and as Sir Nick Faldo said of that moment; it was the greatest scene ever in the history of golf. Tigers win was all about overcoming adversity, overcoming self-doubt and confidence issues that had blighted him for years. His previous major win was over a decade ago, way back in 2008. Regardless of some of his issues being self-inflected, you have to admire the courage of a person who was willing to get back in the spotlight, make himself vulnerable and transition back into a winner.
Que the very apt and witty response from Tom Brady, using the Little Finger quote from Game of Thrones to maximum effect. Now there’s a guy who knows a thing or two about comebacks! Although this might look like I’m referencing modern pop culture and sports trivia of modern times – I wanted to frame Tom’s tweet because it reminded me of my own story. One where I could remind myself how far I’ve climbed, and how hard it was to cling to the ladder. Sometimes, just like Tiger, the best inspiration comes through the challenge of facing your own struggles. A year on from those jubilant celebrations at Augusta and we’re all facing challenges of a different kind. Lockdown is presenting us with so many difficult moments it becomes hard to know what to list first. We don’t know where we’ll be in another years time – but maybe we can try and see the opportunity thats in front of us right now. Even if thats to prove to others you can remain strong; Or prove to yourself you can keep going and be successful despite the fall out from the pandemic.
Only you know what the ladder to that success looks like. Believe it’s there, even if you can’t see it right now. Trust yourself while chaos reigns all around, and you’ll find something you didn’t know was right in front of you. Chaos is a ladder and the climb is tough; But not only will it be worth getting to the top, you will look back at that climb as one of your biggest achievements in life. Enjoy the view.