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As you go forth now to apply what you have learned every day in every
way, Simon has one last story for you. Perhaps it will bring a smile and maybe
even a gentle thought about those little things enriching your life along your
path to excellence.

I’m sitting here watching our puppy bark at his reflection in the
window in the door to the back yard. His goal is to get outside but he has a
problem. There is a guard dog on the other side of the window, staying right
with him, bark for bark, preventing his exit. He first runs up to the other
dog, tries to get past him, then backs away to analyze and evaluate. They go
back-and-forth like this for a few minutes until pup is distracted by some
unseen and unheard temptation in the kitchen.

Dumb, dumb dog. That is certainly not anything you would ever find me
doing: barking at my shadow in the window. I’m sure you never behave like that
either. After all, we are mature, responsible adults who can distinguish
reality from our reflections in the window. The things frightening us are
definitely there and justify our fear. The barriers to our success are
substantial and not products of our imaginations or in anyway self-made.

There is that puppy again. What is he up to this time? He is running
around in circles, jumping up and changing directions, yipping at only he knows
what, and having himself a right good time. He is having way too much fun. That
pup makes three minutes of silliness seem like a day at the circus. There is no
point to it. He is just running around like a. . . well, like a puppy.

There comes that pup again. What is he up to this time? He has been in
the bathroom and now he is in the living room, proudly pulling the TP along
behind him. Do I get upset with him, laugh at his antics, or just sit back and
appreciate his cleverness? How did he manage to pull the TP out of the
bathroom, down the steps, around three corners, and into the living room in one
piece? Maybe I try it just to see if I am at least as clever as a pup; but
alas, someone might see me. After all, I’m a responsible, mature adult who has
his image to consider.

Wonder when we lost our puppy’s view of the world? Maybe the pup knew
it was his reflection in the window or maybe not. It likely does not matter either
way. He is now playing the same game with me. Run up very close, bark, and then
scoot back, just out of reach. Do it again, and then again. Woops, there he
goes. He is off to other more interesting activities. No, he wasn’t distracted
after all. He simply tired of the game. For him, every situation has the
potential for fun be it seeing his reflection in the window, taking time to run
around in circles, or indulging in the great TP pull.

Look at him, lying in my favorite chair where he is not supposed to
be, just resting it seems. I’ll bet he is not there because he is tired,
though. He is conserving his energy for his next escapade.

That pup may have something to teach us, not that he cares whether we
learn the lesson or not. He is only being a pup, doing puppy stuff. Still, the
lesson is there. If we are open to it, we learn the lessons of puppy power.

•Puppy power is recognizing our reflection
in the window and giving it a good bark, knowing if we shake it off and walk
away, it will walk away too.

•Puppy power is stopping for three minutes
of pure fun, time to run around in circles and jump for joy.

•Puppy power is finding out if we really
can pull the TP through the house in one continuous pull.

•Puppy power is stopping to rest, not
because we are tired but so we will have the energy we will need for our next

I’ll be dog gone if that’s not one smart pup. Hot dog! my friend;
here’s to puppy power. Your old friend Simon says, “You likely cannot
achieve success without it.”

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