Up the ladder and down the snake, that's how I remember playing the game. Quite frankly though, I never really understood why. I obviously did understand why you had to get away from a snake's venom filled tongue. That, I understood. What I didn't understand was why you were only allowed to go up the ladder but never down. Until now.
Now I do. Now I realise that the view is better, much much better, the further up you go. You don't necessarily have to be at the top, but it certainly beats anything you ever tried to scrape at the bottom. Every now and then, you have to remember to look down though, as it will keep you grounded. Taking a peak at how it all used to be might even give you that little nudge that's been missing all along.
Sometimes though, what awaits you at the top, scares you. In that case, you might want to go down a couple of steps. Not a lot, just enough to earn you the time advantage. I know, you probably think that going back, down, is never really a good idea, especially when there is the choice to go forward. Right. But maybe, just maybe, back is the only accessible way to forward. Maybe, one step back and two steps forward is better than no steps at all.
Besides, this is your ladder, and there are no real snakes around. Except for the ones you single handedly captivated in your head. No, you don't have to go all the way up at one go. That rule does not apply here. Because this is your ladder. And this is no game.