About a year ago I participated in an outdoor ropes course as part of a team-building event with my firm.

On the last course, we were led to a spot in the woods, blindfolded, then led the rest of the way to a rope maze. We were instructed to place both hands on the rope about chest-high in front of us, and follow it to the end without letting go to reach the end of the maze, and to raise our hand if we needed help.

Being the strong-willed individualist I am, I complied, feeling with certainty that I would reach the end before anyone else.

As people around me began to obviously (audibly) exiting the maze, I became more and more frustrated at myself and worked faster around the maze.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, I heard what seemed like everyone yelling (and laughing), “Just raise your hand!” I swallowed my pride and raised my hand.

“Do you need help?” the instructor quipped.

“Yes,” I relented.

In a merciful gesture, the instructor removed the blindfold.

I stared into the “maze” before me.

I had been going in circles the whole time, and I was the last person to realize it.

The entire point of the course was to ask for help.

I learned a lot that day, not the least of which was asking for help even when it seems like you may have something licked. It can save you a lot of time and embarrassment in the long run.