Our Books

What stops you and how to fix it – Joe’s Cliff. 

Thousands of delegates and over 20 years running development programmes for people who wanted or needed to be more successful, led to some clear conclusions and methodologies which has been captured for these books.

Designing and running the courses enabled us to work out how to explain them. We hope you like them and they add value to your quest for the life you really want.

This post gives some background on our books and why we wrote them.



The following conclusions or concepts have driven our efforts:

1. Your success and performance is dictated by what goes on inside you

2. Inside activity is dictated by your ‘model of how the world works’ and your Monkey, the architect of your thoughts.

3.Your Model:

  • is made up of a number of elements that we can view as continuums of underlying beliefs.
  • Where your belief points lie on the continuums for each element determine the exact nature of your model.
  • These belief points are both inherited from family and community and shaped by personal experiences. Our models develop mostly unconsciously over time.
  •  You typically or naturally act and think within the constraints of your existing belief points.
  • This happens unconsciously.
  • It happens when you are stressed or there is pressure on.
  • Historically, your model has worked like this to help you survive.
  • The lowest denominator of this is the fight or flight option.
  • To create a different life, you will have to act inconsistently with some of your belief points.

4. Your Monkey:

  • Tries to help
  • Thinks it knows best
  • Uses your model to see what’s right
  • Works to keep your model intact
  • Exists to protect you and the status quo.

5. You:

  • Must be the leader, the captain of your ship.
  • Must ensure the crew (Monkey) knows where you are going
  • Must rise above any past problems to focus on present and future
  • Must ensure your model is fit for purpose
  • Must learn – explore and embrace new ideas and new methodologies if what you are doing is not working.

Our conclusion: 

Tuning your Model and learning to work with your Monkey is the fastest way to get effective permanent change and build the life you want.



Good stories, like dreams, may have twists and turns that surprise us and can give us the chance to see things from a new perspective.

Good stories can let us reconsider what we think is normal, challenging gently our view of how things are and just as importantly, how they work.

Our ‘Short’ stories are a collection of such stories that does just that.

We all seem to operate with a notion of how things are and how it all works. For example, we believe with a certainty that gravity is ‘real’ and so if we drop something, we expect it to fall to earth.

If we eat less and move more, we also expect to lose body weight although we may have less certainty than with the gravity idea. We may also think if we are nice to the partner then they will be nice to us but this doesn’t always follow.

Some of these things we expect always happen. Some happen most of the time and some don’t really happen at all. Our expectations of the link between cause and effect, stimulus and response determine the choices we make and the results and our subsequent reactions to our results. Making sure your expectations are valid makes everything simpler and less emotional.

Each of us has a collection of these expectations, ideas about how things work, that we use consciously or unconsciously to live by.

Some call this our  ‘Model of the World ‘. We all hold one whether we know it or not and it tells us how the world works and just as importantly, how we can survive and thrive. It’s like internal wiring or programming that helps us make sense of what we experience and guides us on how to act.

For some this is a highly developed and tested model that routinely delivers results, for others it is a vague sense of how or why things are the way they are. There are a number of key elements that are included in an effective model. These elements and the results they generate affect how we feel, how we perform and are instrumental in driving the choices we make, the actions we take and the challenges we accept as reasonable.

Evolution has taught us to devolve some of our choices and thoughts to our unconscious systems and what we found was that some of this delegation had left us at the mercy of old thinking, old tactics and old strategy. Ideas and approaches that may have suited our caveman ancestors or  even our parents but no longer worked in the modern world we now find ourselves in.

Things you may accept and act on unconsciously hold you back in your modern world.

Tracking these down and replacing them with ew thinking that reflects who you really are now and what you are capable of makes change and success easier. All our books are designed to help you do this.

At a base level, if we believe ‘good things happen to people who act’ or ‘all things are possible’ then we tend to dream bigger and do more than those who don’t think the world works like this.

Some of us like stories when they reflect the elements we have accepted within our models. They make us feel comfortable, safe and secure in our own world and yet, perhaps the value of a really good story, is to provide the opportunity to uncover some of our elements that might not be working for us, and empower us, to challenge or test them.

Each story and book in our collection does this.

The Misaligned Monkey

The architect of our thoughts is seen by some as the chattering monkey. That nagging, disruptive voice that interrupts and distracts often at the most inconvenient times –

What if this is not a necessary evil but an asset we have just not yet learnt how to use?

What if this noisy nuisance could become our partner in success?

What if the press and our experiences to date have give us the wrong impression?

What if this could be turned round to create a successful partnership?


It’s not so easy overturning the views of invested people.

Theres a reason Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale used an innocent child to point out the fact that the Emperor had no clothes on.

In ‘A short history of nearly everything’ Bill Bryson points out that every fifty years or so much of what we know proves to be wrong.

Some of the truths we all accept and work by are so ingrained it can take an effort to relook at them critically. This is especially true of those that have been about so long that we have almost forgotten they are only one option. There’s one that has strangely stood the test of time even though it doesn’t seem to have any practical value. We are talking about that voice in our head, the apparently distracting thought stream that many know as the Monkey.

Depending on your beliefs, our position at the pinnacle of evolution or the result of Gods design how could this Monkey phenomena be anything other than useful?

So how did we ever get to believe that this voice in our head was a chattering fool to be ignored at all costs?

There can be no doubt that the Monkey chatter causes us to be distracted and lose focus slowing our achievement of what it is we think we want to do but does this really mean our Monkey brains are of no value and just a nuisance?

Surely its more likely that the ancient methods we still use to approach the situation are largely ineffective or worse still generate the problem we have when we try to concentrate?

This book dares to say what many of us have been feeling –

Suppose this is all a hideous mistake? Suppose the Monkey is a victim of a bad press and has had been misunderstood misrepresented and misaligned for thousands of years?

Suppose that the way we traditionally think about this has limited our approach and guaranteed that the Monkey responds in a way that supports the bad press?

Suppose it’s a self-fulfilling loop but there is a way to break out of it?

Suppose your Monkey is in fact the best thing since we developed an opposable thumb?

Suppose that until now we have just not yet understood how to make use of this valuable asset effectively?

“A book full of interesting ideas, tools and techniques that offers you the chance to revolutionise what goes in inside your head”.

The Misaligned Monkey

Amazon Book shelf

There is a bigger project than we have space for here which involves two things:

The reengineering of the relationship you have with your Monkey frees you and your Monkey to go on to work together on your model, that wiring or internal programming that informs their initial stance and controls much of the subconscious decision making you experience.

The dynamic duo of Monkey and model can operate like an inbuilt defence mechanism designed to resist any changes you make, regardless of your efforts. This means they will resist our attempts to change belief points with negative emotions, resistance, and discomfort. The internal reaction in thoughts and feelings can stop most of us in our tracks unless we understand what is really going on. It’s a simple process of demonstrating that we are the leader, committed to changing our models and oncer the relationship with the Monkey works better we can turn our attention to the automatic programming we default to when we are busy.

To help you with this we have written

What stops you and how to fix it – Joe’s Cliff.

This is a multi layered investigation into your beliefs and your set up. Reading the story reveals many of the choices and beliefs we may have run with unconsciously. Beliefs and choices that can prevent us or slow us down when we attempt to create a life we really want. Inevitably each time you read this book something shouts at you and provides an insight into the way you think about and do things that might be worthy of careful consideration. It’s a deeper dive into how you tick and lets you consider how you might want to change that to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

“A great read that challenges and inspires”. 

Find it here Kindle and paperback options

Contains some of the short stories already published in 2022.

Amazon Book shelf

Further reading:


The Short Stories

You can use these short stories to explore specific beliefs that may hold you back now or see them as a taster for the Joe’s books

The short stories create a window to look at your existing beliefs. We can begin to quantify our beliefs, the degree to which we believe in them, by using the idea of a continuum that represents the spectrum of underlying beliefs for that element. We can identify a point on this continuum where we think our beliefs currently sit and then compare it with how we actually live our lives. The difference between what we think we believe and how we actually live can be used to evaluate our existing results and to identify where any movement would help us. Once you can see any discrepancy, you gain an opportunity to consider whether another point on the continuum might deliver better results. Considering another belief point puts you only a short step away from experimenting with a new approach to generate better choices and better results. This in turn provides the opportunity to play with a new belief point, to visualise what impact this might have if your beliefs were different Each short story comes with instructions on how to start this process and each story reflects an underlying belief we have found to affect perfomrance.

How to choose a story – see below


Choosing a short story

Read the statements below and pick the one that most resonates with you. Listed with each statement are the story or stories that will help you further investigate your underlying beliefs.


1. My life would be better if things were different and I need to make a change. I won’t accept things as they are.

Story: The Nail


2. Different is possible, the universe will allow it or can provide for others

Story: Gates of Heaven


3. Better is possible – the universe will allow or provide it for me.

Stories: Patricia, Crabs in a Basket


4. I can make better happen by choosing different thoughts or actions.

Story: The Potter’s Tale


5. If I do enough of the right things, I will make this happen.

Story: The Gardener, The White Horse


6. I can work out what this is.

Story: The Runner


7. I will be able to get this done.

Story: Haamid’s House


8. Doing these things are worth it.

Story: The Donkey and the Blindfold

Amazon Book shelf

Misaligned Monkey 

What stops you and how to fix it – Joe’s Cliff.