Why ‘mastering the monkey’ is the wrong thinking pattern

In our book The Misaligned Monkey  we talk about the appropriate style you could adopt for working with your Monkey. Those of you who have tried telling them or bullying them know that this just doesn’t work.

Self Help

There’s a trail of techniques and tools that litter the world of coaching, meditation, neuro linguistic programming and hypnosis that can all be used to help you make a difference to what happens inside your head.

Everything from breathing to chanting can all change the impact of a fired up and apparently destructive Monkey.

Great practical books like Shad Helmsetters ‘what to say when you talk to yourself’ really make a difference for those who use them and the associated exercises and concepts to repack the normal thought flow with positive uplifting affirmations that can build us up.

However all these approaches revolve around treating or regarding the  Monkey as a problem and something to be fixed and whilst they all work at moments of crisis or stress they can fail when we most need them to work.

We don’t think this is the way to get a permanent fix and we like permanent fixes.

Our results based on a foundation of building a relationship, working with understanding  partnership principles has a  longer term effect that requires less maintenance than specific interactions in times of need. Ideally we want to set things up so the Monkey is on our side, working with us to achieve the things we have set out to do together.

Permanent fix

We think you and your Monkey are simply not on the same page  and the resultant help they try to give us effectively hides the nature of the true relationship we can have with them.

This situation has resulted in the majority of the teachers and writers running with the idea that the Monkey is a problem and designing and building interventions that attempt to lessen the distraction they can cause.

We believe your Monkey responds badly to our attempts to shut them up. Sooner or later they break free and come back with a vengeance, it’s their job to save us from ourselves.


They want to help and can help but this is only possible if there is a good working relationship.

This relationship builds by default over time stretching from your earliest moments to now.

It has almost certainly not been guided or shaped with loving hands but has had the sharp input of life to thank for its current state and often this leaves the two of you in a stand off . Any tools and techniques aimed at making this situation better will only work long term if they address this fundamental issue of partnership and take the short time it takes to set it up.

Many of the tools and techniques designed to help involve ignoring what the Monkey brings up and if relationship is the real issue this type of intervention won’t ever fix the root cause of the problem.


If you have tried lots of approaches aimed at the effects of a Misaligned Monkey and you haven’t achieved the peace you desire maybe its time to focus on the root cause and fix it permanently?

Fixing it permanently

1.Assess the current level of your relationship with your Monkey here 

2. Read or listen to the book The Misaligned Monkey 

3.Take the Challenge