If you’ve been around me at all you’ve heard me say this hundreds of times.
My job is to help you remove barriers to happiness and success. One big barrier is your mind. I often ask my new clients, “Have you ever considered that your mind is not your friend?” Most are stunned by the idea of it. Your mind, which I call The Drunk Monkey, is just a biological mechanism designed to keep you alive longer. Your mind’s job is to help you to avoid danger or become better.
Both of these pursuits are important, but the only problem is that your life is not really dangerous. To assume your life isn’t great now leads to unhappiness. Your goals and dreams are not dangerous, and yet The Drunk Monkey will talk you out of going after them. A potential new dance partner is not dangerous, yet The Drunk Monkey talks you out of approaching.
To spend your time avoiding danger doesn’t make much sense in the long run. Look at your thoughts today and notice that they are phantoms of what you’ve experienced in the past, correlated with the present moment and presented to you in the form of a generalization.
Here is an example of how generalizations are formed. You walk over, you pet a dog, and the dog bites you. The next time you see a dog, in a flash, The Drunk Monkey references that experience, concludes that dogs bite and that you should be careful, that dog might bite. Now, practically speaking, that is a great function for keeping you alive. But in day-to-day life, it’s the source of almost all your negative experiences.
The problem is that most of the things you are doing are not dangerous, and the mind will associate anything with anything else. So you walk over, you pet a dog, the dog bites you. Now you’re at a petting zoo, and you’re feeling that twinge of fear, or that caution, to be careful because the animals might bite you.
Now The Drunk Monkey has associated that all animals bite. Rather than being free to do what you want to do in your life, you’re quarantined by irrational fears that The Drunk Monkey is speculating about. Rather than living in the moment and dealing with the truth, you are living on a delay and dealing with your fantasies.
The Drunk Monkey lives like one equals all. If you don’t learn to be in the present moment, then you will not be able to experience the freedom and the power of this precious life you’ve been given.
The Drunk Monkey is a survival mechanism. The talking in your head does not lead to happiness or satisfaction. The mind’s job is simply to move you away from danger and to propagate the species. Yes, you are an animal, but you are so much more. To access that greater part of yourself you must learn to see the mind for what it really is and take what it says to you with a grain of salt.