Our work with thousands of people convinced us that our thoughts or thinking is the most important factor in determining our success or lack of it.
Most of us have found out the hard way that our thinking and thoughts :
Can limit or enhance our ability to get more of what we want or less of what we don’t want.
Can determine if we can be happy with our life as it is now or whether we need to chase ‘more, bigger, better, different for ever.
Can determine how easily we can sit in silence, in contemplation or in meditation.
Are not something most of us are aware we can manage or lead.
All of us have thoughts and when we take some time and distance to stop and look at their nature we see patterns of individual thoughts which make up the though streams that populate our internal space.
Supportive, positive, loving thoughts generate peace and contentment – most of our delegates seemed overrun by thought that were less positive, less supportive and less helpful.
We all have experience of this internal phenomena. very few of us have been told how to use it or what it is all for.
Most popular explanations make little sense either from an evolutionary perspective or in terms of sustainable long term change.
Traditional thinking brands the architect of these thoughts and thought streams as the ‘Monkey’ .
A ‘chattering fool’ that sits inside us disturbing our focus by throwing random “should woulda coulda” and ‘told you so content’ and confusing us by offering alternative ideas and options even after we have chosen our path.
Based on our own personal experiences it’s relatively easy to just accept this traditional diagnosis and the associated thinking that concludes that our Monkeys are something we should ignore or rise above and think no more about it.
Whilst it’s hard to meditate or focus when your thought streams are in full flow, it is still hard for some of us to accept or really believe ‘all thoughts are bad’.
Many of us have had considerable success with concepts like manifesting, goal setting and the power of expectation or positive thinking.
For many of us it is our thinking that has delivered the success we have and the idea of treating our thoughts and the asscociated Monkey, as a nuisance, is hard to accept and even harder to achieve in practice.
The story goes that the Monkey causes Distraction and interruption as some sort of cruel sport or fun pastime. They do it to us for no reason and yet often seem top peak their activity when we need all our power to deliver something that’s important to us.
Many of our sales programmes included a presentation element and many clever and talented delegates were reduced to a gibbering wreck by the internal thought flows that happened ‘to them’ as they stood up to speak.
For most of us it’s easy to experience the noise in our heads and simply agree much of it is unhelpful interruption and from there it’s but a small step to see the situation as a problem orchestrated by an unnecessary, unhelpful and chattering Monkey. The doesn’t help us much!
The resulting fixes stemming from these type of conclusions don’t seem to give quick or effective results. If anything the opposite is true and they provide a long, exacting and hard path to a peaceful head and/or a strong internal focus. Positive thinking or self talk requires constant attention, as does ‘ignoring’ the internal noise to remain focussed on our chosen path.
In our business world, we were paid on results. This meant we needed to be pragmatists, interested only in results and not precious about this or that theory approach or solution.
In our world success usually involved two things:
Firstly other people or entities in partnership or win win arrangements that made sense to all.
Secondly new assessments of what was really going on and as result new ideas about what the real fix might look like
Suppose we applied this to the Monkey situation ?
We can see that the traditional routes to meditation success often provide long difficult paths which can be near impossible to achieve for normal integrated people in our modern world.
We can also see that whilst the traditional assessment of the Monkey meets our experience – is it really likely that we as the ‘pinnacle of evolution’ would contain a flaw as big as this?
We started to wonder if the problem was all a misunderstanding – if our Monkeys had had a bad rap and all was not what we had thought?
What if there was a better explanation that would yield faster and more sustainable results?
Suppose our hard working Monkeys have been trying to help us?
Suppose we just don’t understand how to work with them?
What if it was possible to use a different approach, create a partnership with your Monkey ?
What if our Monkey was an under-utilised asset we could turn to our advantage?
Comments from readers :
“I just feel different, better, more in charge, more ‘aligned’. ”
“Who’d have known you could do this”
“Like you said in the book, my Monkey has now become my cheerleader and a great resource”
“I hoped that my scores would change and yes they did. I now have a clarity and focus I never experienced before.”
“I hope your book is helping others in the same way it helped me. ”
“For a better practice people need to let go of more traditional views of dealing with thoughts and with the Monkey. This is not engagement as we know it. The exercises in the book helped me to understand what is required and what I needed to do to set up this new way of working and achieve the changes I experienced.”
“A little effort targeted in the right way will reengineer your relationship with your Monkey to provide a quieter more peaceful inner environment that will allow you to excel in ways you never thought possible”.