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Simon says, “Success is a matter of PRIDE.”

Learning about PRIDE came for Simon sometime after the mother of all monkey bridges. It did not come as a revelation or sudden insight but rather as a growing understanding of the process of getting on with getting on.

PRIDE starts with Preparation. To successfully cross life’s monkey bridges, be prepared. This means you read and learn about monkey bridges, talk to people who have crossed them before you, and practice every day as you face life’s challenges and opportunities.

Preparation combines with Responsibility as you begin to master your monkey bridges. The key is to accept them as yours. They are your responsibility, not someone else’s. You cannot expect others to move them out of your way or cross them for you. More to the point, not crossing them or trying to convince people you have when you have not is to fail the challenge, to miss the opportunity, to surrender to the monster.

Imagining is the next element of PRIDE. You are prepared, you have accepted personal responsibility. Now imagine success. You see yourself across the monkey bridge. But remember, for Jim and I, getting across the ravine was not the final success we had in mind. That was only the current barrier to our success. Success was being Eagle Scouts. What is success for you? That is the outcome you must imagine as you stand at the brink of your monkey bridge. That image is the one drawing you forward.

As you imagine success, you must imagine failure too. What would it be like if you do not cross the monkey bridge, if you are not up to the challenge, if you do not succeed? Just as your image of success draws you forward, the image of failure keeps you from falling back.

Add Determination to your developing PRIDE. Crossing your monkey bridge is not an “if you feel like it” kind of thing. It is not something you do when you get time or if something else does not interfere. It is there now and determination is the extra push you must have. It is the “Just do it,” makeing the difference between success and failure.

Eagerness completes your recipe for PRIDE. If it is time to do it, then do it. You are prepared, you have accepted responsibility, you have imagined success and imagined failure, and you are determined to succeed. Now get on with getting on. Just do it, with eagerness, with all the gusto you have in you. Anything less runs the risk of not giving it your best; and not giving each of your monkey bridges your best is the surest way to failure.

Life’s monkey bridges are many and varied, standing as monsters in the path to your success. Your challenge and opportunity is to approach each one with PRIDE and then reach down deep inside for the strength and confidence to just do it; and do it you will, as you pursue your success.

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