Growing up as a boy scout we would engage in many adventurous activities. There was a lot that I did on my path to obtaining my Eagle Scout award and much after, but one certain time I recall was when we were tasked to make a rope bridge, or what we called a monkey bridge, over a ravine. We did so by lashing two large poles together on each side to create the side supports and then we ran a large gauge rope across the middle with two up the top edges for handles. Then along the sides we strung smaller rope to keep the base and handles somewhat connected. It looked much like the illustration below.

Rope Monkey bridge

This exercise taught me a lot about the importance of support, structure, balance and the need for good knots and lashings. I then ended up teaching the pioneer merit badge at scout camp a following summer and repeated this exercise over and over with young scouts. As I think back to this bridge building activity it also illustrates how we can assemble the items necessary to get from one part of land across to another over a great chasm, canyon or ravine.

This holds true in a metaphorical sense in life as well. Often we are faced with great challenges and we have a variety of choices, we can either just not face the challenge and stay put on our current land, we can dive into the depths and maybe get there at some point in the future with a lot of extra work and leaving nothing behind for the future, or we can create a path for us and many future generations to take to get to where we are going as well. The illustration of the bridge is obviously the latter. I have chosen among all three at various times in my life, but feel the greatest fulfillment when I build the bridge. It is great to get from challenge to challenge, but even better to leave a path and an easier way for many that follow.

In starting a business there are many challenges that I faced. I am grateful for those that built bridges for me that I could make it across to the success and reality of what we have been able to create. Once a bridge has been built for me it is so much easier to build bridges for others. I love writing on my blog, collaborating with other companies and individuals and teaching others that they may find a way to succeed as well. Just as I learned from my scout master to build a monkey bridge I have learned to build bridges in life and continue to learn as I step from one type of bridge to another. Then, once I had learned to build the monkey bridge I was able to teach other scouts.

Go build your bridge and if you don’t know how, then find someone to teach you. Once you learn then be sure to teach others.

crossing a rope bridge

I footnotes