75 Ladder Quotes

Martha Martins
Sep 26, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 18, 2022
Ladders are an everyday utility item but they signify much more in terms of philosophy as it symbolizes our path to success.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.9 Min

Ladders are a part of our everyday lives but we use the word to denote a lot of things philosophically or careerwise.

When we talk about life and career, we often use the phrase ladder of success, which means the way we grab onto or miss opportunities in our life.

Ladders are often metaphorically used to suggest our achievements in life, such as the saying climbing the ladder of success, a phrase we generally use in the workplace to show what progress we have made in our careers.

However, philosophers have long used this word to signify our life and the way we lead it. In the metaphorical ladder of life, the ladder is our life or the journey we make from birth while the rungs are the various phases in our life that we pass through.

The bottom represents our birth and the top in a way reflects our exit.

Hence, ladders have been an important way of expressing our thoughts and an essential metaphor in our lexicon. For centuries, quotes and sayings on ladders have been used to elaborate on important things in life. Even Greek philosopher Plato has used ladders as a metaphor to talk about love and knowledge.

If you want to gain knowledge about life through a few ladder quotes then look no further, as we have below some of the best quotes about ladders and the way they signify our life.

Moving Up The Ladder Quotes

There are innumerable ladder quotes regarding success and moving ahead in life. Here we have collected a few of them.

"You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure."

-Zig Ziglar.

"The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity."

-Ayn Rand.

"If God built me a ladder to heaven, I would climb it and elbow drop the world"

-Mick Foley.

"The middle-class ladder has rungs that no longer exist for many trying to climb higher. Instead, for too many, in too many places, their chore is simply trying to hang on."

-Mike Barnicle.

"Fate is a ladder on which you cannot afford to miss a single rung. To skip out on even one step would mean you'll never make it to the top."

-Banana Yoshimoto.

"The Law of God was never a ladder for unsaved people to climb up to heaven. It was always a pattern of life for God's people who had been saved from judgment by the blood of the Lamb."

-Colin S. Smith.

"People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall."

-Thomas Merton.

"If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster."

-Stephen Covey.

"Imagine if your kids had to carry a ladder to climb an apartheid wall to get to school every day."

-Omar Suleiman.

"Remember, the ladder won't get you up unless you go up!"

-Mehmet Murat Ildan.

"You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb a little himself."

-Andrew Carnegie.

"May you build a ladder to the stars...And climb on every rung...May you stay forever young"

-'Forever Young', Bob Dylan, 1974.

"Academia implores you to unlearn then relearn as you climb the ladder of knowledge, creating a thin line between the truth and evidence."

-Sanita Belgrave.

"If you don't care about what people think, you already passed the first step of success."

-Paulo Coelho.

"The business of a general is to kick away the ladder behind soldiers when they have climbed up a height."

-Sun Tzu.

"In this industry, there are only two ways up the ladder. Rung by rung or claw your way to the top. It's sure been tough on my nails."

-Jack Nicholson.

Inspirational Ladder Quotes

Some ladder quotes by philosophers or authors inspire us to be better and do better. To be inspired by them, read on.

"It enables one to ascend or descend, my lord,’ answered Kortes’s grave voice, without the least touch of irony."

-'Phroso', Anthony Hope, 1897.

"When you take out individual initiative, individual responsibility, and the hope that every individual is born with, to better their lives, to climb the economic ladder, to pursue happiness, that is, in fact, a neoslavery."

-Niger Innis.

"It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power, each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own."

-Herbert Hoover.

"Life is a staircase where we can only recall about steps backward but we only have to reach forward."

-Srinivas Mishra.

"The biggest challenge in New Orleans has been to find workers who can climb a ladder after lunch."

-Harry Anderson.

"When you got a dream, you don't just climb halfway up the ladder, you climb all the way to the top."

-Cher Loyd.

"Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount."

-Clare Boothe Luce.

"Four Lessons on Life 1. Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. 2. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy.

3. Don't complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped to get you higher. 4. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm."

-Warren W. Wiersbe.

"The rich are thus not just more powerful than the poor, they also have moral authority over the poor and with it the moral responsibility to tell the poor how to live: build self-discipline, work hard, climb the economic ladder, and so become self-reliant."

-George Lakoff.

"I must work hard - not to climb the ladder, but to do important work."

-Satya Nadella, 'Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone'.

"I'm not saying he's stingy. But sometimes when you're too careful it just turns into a different kind of carelessness. It's not that either. He's from a generation that never expected to get midway up the ladder so when he got there, he was too stunned to dare to climb higher."

-Marlon James.

"In Indian society, every institution – prayer, education, family, beauty, chastity, and career – was a rung of the ladder of life, which had to be climbed to reach the top rung, marriage."

-'One and a Half Wife', Meghna Pant, 2012.

"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."


"If you fall into a pit, you need a ladder, not a hoe. You must climb up and not dig up. Leaders discover the right way out of limitations."

-Israelmore Ayivor, 'Leaders' Ladder', 2015.

"Go higher and higher, until it becomes impossible to bring you down, I wanna use a microscope to locate you, don't even dream of coming down."

-Michael Bassey Johnson.

"In today's time, no other 'charity' is acceptable or practical than the 'wisdom' that can transform the human life... Meaning the knowledge which can teach a man to climb the ladder of success."

-Deep Trivedi.

"No man can climb the ladder of success without first placing his foot on the bottom rung."

-James Cash Penney.

"Every positive change - every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness - involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation. I have never found an exception."

-Dan Millman.

"A hand up is worthier than one's own fist grasping a higher rung of the ladder."

-Doris Grumbach.

"I went up to the top of the career ladder and I came down again, I am past all that."

-Iain Duncan Smith.

Funny Ladder Quotes

Some ladder quotes are funny and make us laugh. Read a few of them below.

"I'm very superstitious... I never shout at magpies, walk under ladders or put my shoes on the table."

-Norman Cook.

"A handkerchief can never be put in another pocket after it has been in one pocket. I don't walk under ladders. I have items of clothing that are lucky for me. That rotates, but I am luck-oriented."

-Rachel Maddow.

"You can't get on my level. you gon' need a space shuttle or a ladder; that's forever."

-'3 Peat', Lil Wayne, 2008.

"Tamaru formed some short creases near his mouth that were faintly reminiscent of a smile. There has to be an end somewhere. It's just that nothing's labeled 'This is the end.' Is the top rung of a ladder labeled 'This is the last ring. Please don't step higher than this'?"

-'1Q84', Haruki Murakami, 2011.

"Why climb the corporate ladder when you can build an elevator in your own building?"

-Joshua E. Leyenhorst.

“As I leave my competition respirator style, climb the ladder to success escalator style."

-Notorious B.I.G, 7 November, 2020, @thenotoriousbig.

"It is easier to fall off of a ladder than to climb one."

-Matshona Dhliwayo.

"If I have to climb to heaven on a ladder, I shall decline the invitation."

-Mercedes McCambridge.

"It is hard to come down the social ladder without tumbling off."

-Samuel Butler.

"You don't know a ladder has splinters until you slide down it."

-Bum Phillips.

Metaphorical Ladder Quotes

Ladders have been used as metaphors to teach us about life. Here are some of the best metaphorical ladder quotes.

"Will, what do you see when you look at that?

A fence. Yeah, a fence. Used to contain something, keep it trapped. A prison, perhaps. But when I look at it like THIS... to me it looks like a ladder. Which is the opposite of a fence. A ladder means escape, freedom."

-'Will & Whit', Laura Lee Gulledge, 2013.

"Jesus let the disciples know that they were striving in the wrong direction. They were trying to climb up a ladder that they instead should be climbing down."

-Jennifer L. Lane.

"Climb up the ladder one step at a time, moving gracefully to the rhythm of your own heart."

-'On The Side of Time, Amazed', Joanne Crisner Alcayag.

"Success isn't one straight line - it's a ladder, and there's always another rung above you to reach out for. Like anything else, there are ups and downs."

-Joan Jett.

Are they not bubbles? Is not ambition but an endless ladder by which no height is ever climbed till the last unreachable rung is mounted? For height leads on to height, and there is no resting-place among them, and rung doth grow upon rung, and there is no limit to the number."

-'She: A History of Adventure', H. Rider Haggard, 1886.

"The ladder of success isn't a ladder. It's a series of steps with leaps interspersed along the way."

-Seth Godin.

"Humankind's ladder to God is a ladder of deeds."

-Sholem Asch.

"The further you get up the corporate ladder, the farther you get from the actual filmmaking process."

-Marc Platt.

"A hand up is worthier than one's own fist grasping a higher rung of the ladder."

-Doris Grumbach.

"Education is not only a ladder of opportunity, but it is also an investment in our future."

-Ed Markey.

"The real problem is, people, think life is a ladder, and it's really a wheel."

-Charles De Lint.

"For every snake, there is a ladder; for every ladder, a snake."

-'Midnight's Children', Salman Rushdie, 1981.

Ladder Quotes About Career

Here are some of the best ladder quotes about having a successful career.

The phrase ladder of success is often repeated in our work life.

"Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets."

-Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"Education is not only a ladder of opportunity, but it is also an investment in our future."

-Ed Markey.

"I describe my career path as a zigzag, not a ladder."

-Denise Morrison.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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