I just read this earlier today in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris and needed to share it…
“There are five monkeys in a room, and there is a basket of bananas at the top of a ladder. The monkeys, of course, want to climb the ladder to get the bananas, but time one tries, they are all sprayed with cold water. After a few times of being sprayed by cold water, the monkeys learn to not climb up the ladder to get the bananas… [The experimenters then] take on monkey out and put a new monkey in, and the new monkey sees a banana. He thinks, ‘Hey, I am going to grab a banana,’ but when he tries to go up the ladder, the other monkeys grab him and pull him back… [The experimenters eventually] systematically pull every monkey out, and now have five new monkeys. Any time a new monkey comes in and tries to climb the ladder, they grab the monkey and pull it back, but none of the five have ever been sprayed by cold water.”
How messed up is that?! We may think humans wouldn’t fall into that trap since we are intellectually superior. Yet how many ways do you see that play out in one form or another in our world? We may not physically pull people back, but man, does it happen mentally all the time.
How often do you hear people with zero experience say “Don’t do that it’s risky!” or say “Oh you can’t do that because X, Y, Z.”? They are just the monkey that was brought in the room and pulled back by others… now they’re pulling you back.
Other times it’s not a pulling back but a pushing in a certain direction. Go to school for this. Get a job like that. Buy a big house in the suburbs. Work for 40 years.
Sometimes this is self imposed too. Perhaps you’ve heard enough negative that now you believe it. You end up being your own monkey holding yourself back. Or maybe you’ve been pushed in a direction and accepted that path.
“This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.”
― Chuck Palahniuk,
Challenge every assumption. Challenge every statement made to pull you back. Break the cycle. Take charge of your life.