Some of the most impressive people I know and admire have non-linear trajectories. Externally, they may seem as if they’re not making any progress or they’re taking a step back.
But their trajectory is non-linear and unpredictable. They aren’t climbing a ladder, they’re trying to build a rocketship. They may look silly at first, and it takes patience and hard work, but if they succeed they can reach heights unreachable by those climbing the ladder.