Failures and afflictions are not happy thoughts for any of us, but, ironically, we often find that they are great blessings because they tend to push us on around the pride cycle toward six o’clock humility. Our journey from four o’clock failure to six o’clock humility can be strangely exhilarating. We begin to lose our pretensions. We are no longer trying to impress those around us. We begin to see things more clearly and more honestly. We are more comfortable with criticism and can smile at our own mistakes and weaknesses.
Wilford W. Anderson, "The Pride Cycle", BYU Speeches, November 7, 2017
The pride cycle is an absolute that we see all around us. Up until 4 o'clock, everything is going great....because of me and my efforts (rhetorically). Not because of the Lord and others. Then, we fall or get hit with something at 4 o'clock. So we struggle. By 6 o'clock, humility is developed and we turn more to rely on the Lord for everything. Then by 10 o'clock things start shifting again. Ever since 6 o'clock we have been receiving compliments and accolades on how we're doing and on who we have become. Around 10 o'clock, we come to expect those compliments and as we start to pat ourselves on the back again, the cycle is back around to after 12 o'clock and everything we do or accomplish is because of my efforts (again, rhetorically). And, it continues.
We see that happening everywhere, all around us. We see it in other people. We read it about the Nephites. Everywhere. But do we see that very same cycle in our own lives? Are we self aware enough to notice?
I do, I can see it. I can now anyway. I couldn't, or didn't want to, before. I like to think that now I'm around 5 o'clock. I was hit with something and I fell. Now, my humility is growing, although I know I have a lot to overcome in terms of pride. The mere fact that I'm telling you my humility is developing means I still have pride to overcome. 😳
I'm just scared, my biggest fear right now, is that when I get to 10 o'clock, I'll revert back to being more self centered. That's how the cycle goes....unless you break it.
For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him. - D&C 3:4