The Monkey’s Dilemma…


Do you sometimes feel “stuck” in some parts of your life, business or career?

Consider the phenomenon and metaphor of how hunters in Africa  catch a monkey. In Africa, when hunters want to catch a monkey, they use a strategy that  understands the monkey’s behavior patterns — patterns that work against the monkey’s best interests.

imageThe hunter takes a jar with an opening slightly larger than a monkey’s hand. He ties a rope around the neck of it using a knot, called a monkey’s  knot which is a cradle of the rope around the jar.  The hunter places some  food in the glass jar, like rice or a banana slice.

The monkey reaches his hand into the jar, grabs the food, making a fist with his paw. Now, the monkey’s dilemma:  the monkey cannot get his hand out of the jar  unless he drops the food. The neck of the jar is simply not wide enough. Of course, the monkey could drop the food and easily get his hand out, but  it won’t. Despite having at his command the means to escape, it does not — it holds  his hand grasping the food until a hunter throws a net over it, capturing it.

Relevance to you and me? Ever held on to something that you should’ve let  go?

So many people don’t know when to let go, and move on. This can  happen in relationships, when one holds one way beyond when they should let go, and move on.

It happens in business when you get one of those customers from Hades, and  not worth the time, pain and effort to keep them.

Hard to let them go, yes  — but totally necessary. Survival is the first way of business, and there may be customers that you don’t want or need. Are there outdated methods, beliefs or habits that you’re holding on to, that are not moving you forward?

Stuff lying around the office or house that should be thrown away? Part of what keeps us from reaching our potential is holding on to old  beliefs that don’t move us toward our dreams — with our fist stuck in the  jar. Take a serious look at your life — your work or personal life — and decide what needs to be “let go.”

Letting Go can actually open up your mind to new opportunities and dimensions that you may have thought never existed.

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22 Comments on “The Monkey’s Dilemma…”

  1. italco Says:

    This is very well written. Letting go is difficult but definately necessary in business.

  2. neha goenka Says:

    ‘Let Go’ is one of the most shortest complete sentence..[ofcourse the shortest being ‘I do;)]..but both of them bring in so much gravity with them…that the execution is just as difficult as the simple it sounds….
    It is so true..to get something better, one has to ‘let-go’…and i hope that i seek the sensibility to do so at the earliest.

  3. Reema Says:

    good story with a relevant moral. your posts are unique!

  4. Anish Says:

    @Letting Go can actually open up your mind to new opportunities and dimensions that you may have thought never existed.
    But deeps, i don’t think it is easy as you said.yeahh itz true, like unless you take risk in life, you can’t achieve great things.But still 🙂 ……
    @Part of what keeps us from reaching our potential is holding on to old beliefs that don’t move us toward our dreams
    very well said……kudos to you….just love the way you explained a very complicated matter in a simple ,sweet and short way(love the monkey example) 🙂 …keep writing gud and interesting article like this 🙂 ….

    • deepsm25 Says:

      Hi Anish,

      Welcome to my blog. Every human being has an untapped potential that they have never been aware of. Till the challenges don’t come, most of us will not realise our flexibility till how far we can really stretch to have a recovering process in place. An old saying “Where there is a will..there will be a way” 🙂


  5. This is a sad yet EXCELLENT way to make the point about letting go. And it is so very true. We as humans often hold onto something for dear life that is going to cost us in the end. Even with that information, we hold on anyway, because we convince ourselves that ANYTHING could happen.

    And, then the net falls on our head. Thanks for this necessary reminder……

  6. tobeme Says:

    I love this story. I have used this many times to teach the practice of letting go! It is amazing how we cling to that which can/will destroy us.

  7. Amit Says:

    I think “Let go” and saying “no” are the two things which we fail to master most of the times. Great post!

  8. Leah Says:

    I found your blog from DM’s, and I have to say. . . This post really hit home for me. Knowing when to let go is SO important, and because most people (me included) don’t always know when to let go. . . Life can feel like it is perpetually on hold.

    I look forward to following your blog. 😀

  9. Rofl Indian Says:

    One of the most interesting (and motivating of course) posts I’ve read lately. I’m off to clearing my wardrobe 🙂


  10. letting go before taking the leap to the unknown is the hardest part.

  11. Dev Says:

    Highly readable…and thought provoking. Sometimes its really tough to let it go. But you have to do it as there is no ther option left for you. You just have to move in an entirely new direction, if you want to get out of what is known as th emad rat race.

  12. london coach Says:

    One thing I have actually noticed is there are plenty of misconceptions regarding the financial institutions intentions whenever talking about property foreclosures. One myth in particular would be the fact the bank would like your house. The financial institution wants your money, not your home. They want the bucks they lent you with interest. Preventing the bank will simply draw the foreclosed conclusion. Thanks for your post.


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