The Baal Shem Tov described life as a spiral staircase, constantly deflecting away from your target in order to attain it.

In Yiddish it’s called a “swindling staircase.” Some wise chassidim have pointed out a connection: Life swindles you into believing you are going in circles when really you are traveling higher each day.

This is the way of every true and lasting ascent: Just as you’re making some progress upward, you see yourself falling away and stumbling in the dark.

If you could see the whole picture, how all things resolve in the end, you would see how those periods of darkness and failure are truly steps higher and yet higher.

They must be. Because we did not create life. G‑d did. And for Him, there are no failures—only a constant ascent upward.

See Maamarei Admor HaZaken 5565, vol. 1, pg. 214. Ohr HaTorah (Tzemach Tzedek), NaCh, vol. 2, pg. 884 ff. Read Everything Is Constantly Rising