Week 3

Welcome to week 3.

Congratulations –  you have stuck with it this far and the evidence is that you will now go on to complete the whole 12 week challenge.

Two factors seem to help explain why this is the case:

  • Most of us just don’t want to give up on the investment we have made so far.
  • By now you are getting used to the Challenge format and we hope you will be able to continue to settle into your routine.

If you need help reach out best route for this is to share your story on the  Facebook Challenge page.


This week

Firstly we ask you to open your mind to what is possible for you. THIS IS NOT EASY!

We do this by using a tried and tested formula – we ask you a better question we have tested many times before –

What you would attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Secondly we start the process of finding a way to look at things more dispassionately. A useful skill to develop for more success in any endeavour but particularly valuable in reengineering the relationship with your Monkey. We use the idea of View Point three and this week sees us setting up an internal process for these.

Follow the timetable and repeat these exercises as requested to give you the practice to develop this thinking and skill which you will need in subsequent weeks.

Down load this week’s practical exercises here:

Note these exercises will also reappear in later weeks.

Standard Weekly exercises

Ongoing Work

As you progress through the first few weeks it’s worth you just noticing the nature of any interruption or distraction that pulls you away from your intended focus or activity both in the challenge and otherwise. Understand that in these early weeks your Monkey may not yet understand you or trust what you are doing. As a result you may feel or sense all sorts of pressure to stop the challenge activities. Now you have read the book and thought a little about what it really says about change – we might expect this to happen as a natural reaction.

Remain steadfast as leader – you are in charge, you have chosen the challenge and now you choose to see it through.

Giving up or yielding to your Monkey’s testing will give the wrong message and may even reinforce their previous views. If you have ever wanted to see more projects or ideas through, now is the time to stick with it and make it happen.

You won’t just be winning for this challenge but for future activities that require your ‘see it through muscles’ to be well developed.

As your Monkey sees you make choices, that show you are serious, committed and that you will not give up, it’s like we pass their test. They begin to accept our leadership and the testing (and noise) reduces as they decide to help us.

If you can in this third week, see any internal pressure to give up as a sign you are communicating with each other more.

See more links below for help and resources and don’t forget to help us build the Facebook page into a useful resource. We would appreciate your help with this.

Hints, tips, experiences and scores are all helpful to others  Facebook Challenge page

This week:

Week 3 Day Exercise Planning and organising
  15 Exercise 5 If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail
  16 Exercise 6 Moving to Viewpoint 3
  17 Exercise 5 If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail
  18 Exercise 6 Moving to Viewpoint 3
19 Exercise 5 If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail
  20 Exercise 6 Moving to Viewpoint 3
  21 Exercise 13 Survey Exercise 14 Week 4

You will always find links to previous weeks at the bottom of these pages.


Practical exercises / Audio

Exercise 5 If you knew you couldn’t fail

“A bucket list of stuff we think we might like is more dangerous than no goals at all.”

Joe’s Cliff 2022

A note about setting future ‘goals’

Not everybody likes to do this and those of us who do frequently do it from a limited perspective. Bear with us, we use  the word  ‘things’ to  describe the contents of your description of your ideal future.

For most people it helps to consider this in terms of :

what you have

what you do

what you are

When asked, the majority of people find that they can quickly generate a list of things they think they want. Those of us who hate this sort of thing struggle to do this but when asked, can  generate a list of what they ‘don’t want’.

Don’t want to be poor

Don’t want to be sick etc

Exercise 5 allows us to consider our futures freed from any limitations. It asks us to consider what we would go for if there was no risk of failure.

It will help us gain a new clarity about what we really want our future to be like – we can then go on to give it some time and let it grow before dismissing it and returning to our old ways.

You are investing time over the next few weeks to clarify what you really want your life to be like and we are doing this so your Monkey can understand you better and help more effectively.

Our experience is that they may well know how to do things or how to get round issues and problems that we don’t.

Without you knowing what you want, they will continue to talk to you about what you could (or should) be doing. Their help will be off-piste and unrecognisable as help.

We don’t expect you to know your real requirements now or to be sure about everything at the end of this week. This is just another step on the path.

Is it worse to have the wrong list than no list at all?

Many of us initially create or have lists that are not accurate reflections of our ideal life and these can further confuse and divert Monkey help. They may include ‘shoulds’ based on the expectations of others or our own beliefs neither of which may now be right for you.. Some people have a random list of ‘nice to things’ commonly known as a ‘bucket list’. This often contains further items that we haven’t really thought through and that we don’t really want. We find these types of lists often contain things that are simply not worth the effort involved in making them happen. The sooner we cull them and get to the real desires you have for your life the better.

You know that not having a degree of certainty as to our future direction or destination makes the myriad of choices, we face daily, more difficult and this causes our Monkeys’ activity to ramp up.

If we are uncertain about what we want and have not given it much thought, our Monkeys don’t know how to help us.

Since it is their desire to help, they will misinterpret any unfinished thoughts you have and bombard you with random suggestions.

When building a better relationship with your Monkey it’s a good idea to be quietly certain about what you are doing and why.

This includes the option to be a wanderer – enjoying what comes.

Your quiet certainty regarding your future, whatever it is, settles your monkey. It helps you walk the talk as it is easier to  resist pressure to do other stuff.

It’s also worth considering that our desired future is closely linked with who we actually are. For some where we are going and our identity is inevitably linked with each being a contributory  part of the other.

Needless to say, a lack of coherence between what we say we want, what we do and who we really are fires our Monkeys up. They sense something is wrong and try to help sort out the apparent issues.

As we progress through the next few weeks  the closer we get to an authentic, aligned state where it’s easier to achieve an effective working relationship with our Monkey.

More Exercise details

Exercise 5: If you knew you couldn’t fail

This exercise provides a step on our journey to more certainty about the future we want. It specifically encourages your mind to work on the basis that anything is possible, of knowing you couldn’t fail. It works to remove any previous limits you may have laboured under. You can let yourself run free knowing that later in the process we will provide more time to review, edit  and rework what you produce.

In Exercise 4 we looked at what we could think about giving up. It’s now time to use a similar approach to look at what we could choose to achieve. What we plan to achieve in the ‘be this’ ‘have this’ and ‘do this’ category, combine to begin to give us a sense of our destination.

This exercise asks the question more directly and completing these two exercises on alternate days clarifies our understanding of what we are doing to get what it is we think we want. Using this exercise with the Monkey watching allows us both to see what we are actually doing now and what we could and might like to do instead.

As you sit breathing to the patterns you will again notice the interruptions and the moments of peace or relaxation that occur in between interruptions.

Keep one eye on the breathing, notice the peaceful moments as they occur but let part of your attention focus on the idea that the interruptions could help you and consider these questions:

  • What would I now attempt if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  • How would I spend my time if I was using it just for me?

These questions stimulate very different answers. The first is about uncovering what you currently don’t attempt because you think it can’t be done or you can’t do it.

The second helps you look at your use of time for you. Most of us are run ragged by a hectic schedule but this is optional. Even when we think we have no choice this us rarely true.

When we take time and reflect, much of what we do is not fit for our purpose. For some of us, much of it is an automatic  or learnt response to the perceived needs of others or previous programming and rules.

Both questions reveal your ideas about what you would do if you thought you could (were allowed to / it was possible).

Pick either question, go with the one that resonates best with you now. Pick the question that you feel will provide you with the most useful answers and use that. You can always repeat the exercise with the other question later to see if and how your results are different.

When you have finished, take your usual moment to process your experience. Think about the interruptions and the impact of the questions on your focus and the experience itself.

Exercise 5 objectives


The objective of this exercise is for you ask your Monkey some more direct questions and notice how that changes the input they provide.

We ask you to do this exercise on Days 1, 3 and 5 of Week 3. By the end of these exercises, you should

1 have more clarity on what you are attempting to achieve,

2 start to think about the validity of what you are doing and if it really suits you, and

3 begin to notice any inconsistencies in what you do as a means of getting what you say you want.

Make any notes that seem relevant to you.


Exercise 6: Moving to Viewpoint 3, or the outsider’s perspective


It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, especially when things upset us and we become emotionally reactive. This usually happens in the ‘heat of the moment’ and we often say and do things that we regret later. Being able to watch or absorb the situation without reacting emotionally lets us evaluate what is going on more accurately and additionally allows us to choose more effective responses as required.

This perspective is gained by consciously distancing ourselves from the action.

In practice many people achieve this by taking a step back or away. In this exercise we are going to identify and begin to use our own distanced perspective at what we will call view point three.

To create this distance for ourselves, we can rise up and experience ourselves as though we were in a movie. Experiencing the situation or the environment as though it was on a screen below us. We are disassociated no longer seeing the action through our own eyes but watching it roll as though it were taking place in a separate movie.

You may wonder if you are just imagining the view of yourself as in a movie or if you are actually seeing yourself from an outsider’s perspective. For our purpose here it does not matter whether seeing yourself this way is real or imagined. Either way, you experience the clarity and detachment provided by the perspective you attain from this process and you can use it to make your world a better place.

Exercise 6 objectives

The objective of this exercise is to start thinking about using different perspectives consciously to help our understanding and our performance. This exercise helps you develop a safe place that you can mentally access in any situation, especially those that create stress or make you emotionally reactive. We call this place in the book Viewpoint 3.

We ask you to do this exercise on Days 2, 4 and 6 of Week 3. By the end of these exercises, you should

1 recognise the possibility of stepping back or drifting up and gaining a new perspective,

2 understand that this is something you can do deliberately when you meditate or throughout your daily life, and

3 begin to understand the possibility and value of going to Viewpoint 3 at any time in any situation.

Make any notes that seem relevant to you.

Standard Exercises

Exercise 13 is the Misaligned Monkey Relationship Survey

Remember to take the survey again on Day 7  and keep your scores in a safe place so you can build your picture of the effect the exercises are having. .

Exercise 14 

On day seven of each week Exercise 14 is simply about planning and organising for the following week.

This involves thinking about how it’s going to work for you and making it as easy and as enjoyable as possible to get the work done.

If you can it’s worth having a regular time each day and even a regular place or situation in which you complete the exercises. Whether it’s in your bedroom or on the bus makes no difference – just somewhere that works for you.

It’s also worth making sure you can easily access the relevant recordings and have headphones and the time and space to spend 25 or 30 minutes or so to listen  to them effectively.

There’s a link below about making change easy / completing the Challenge.


Useful links

Background reading / Listening

Continue to have a listen / work through any remaining refresher / background recordings

  • Introduction to The Misaligned Monkey
  • Introduction to Challenge Exercises
  • Misaligned Monkey Concepts and Background
  • Expectations for Challenge Success

    Questions ?

    If you have questions or need more help you can find lots of information on the web site.

    Listen to this Bonus session to help you focus on assessing what is happening whilst you work through the Challenge. Recording Real Results


    For each exercise find a quiet, comfortable place to sit where you will not be disturbed and use headphones to listen to the relevant recording. The recordings take you through an ongoing relaxation process. They build over the 12 weeks to help you achieve the states that will give you the best results in the later exercises and so it’s worth listening to the entire recording each time and sticking to the timetable of exercises.

    This week is about building two very important skills that will help you establish a good foundation for building a new relationship with your Monkey. One is about knowing what you want and the other is about seeing things clearly without emotional or historical baggage