Falling Victim to the Monkey Trap
Moving on in many ways means saying goodbye. The problem is, goodbyes are often hard, even when the place we are headed may be a good place to be. I don’t know why it is so hard to let go of the past, but it is. We prefer the “known” over the unknown I guess. Ironically, we often prefer the known even if the known is not a good place to be.
It may sound crazy, but I believe many of us don’t get to experience a lot of great things in life because we have such a strong grip on the past. This issue can also affect us when attempting to make New Year’s resolutions – especially when it comes to weight loss.
It reminds me the story of the monkey trap. The trap is basically a hollowed out coconut filled with rice. The coconut, which is chained to a stake, has a small hole in it just big enough for the monkey’s hand to go in but too small for his closed fist of rice to come out. Crazy as it seems, the monkey cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than being captured with it, and is trapped.
Like the monkey, we are often scared of losing something, like a favorite food or a certain lifestyle. While pride may stand in the way for some, others hold on to excuses. Unfortunately, many people simply accept things the way they are as if there were no other choice. In essence, we are no different than the monkey – trapped by our own decisions.
Sometimes we need to take a closer look at what is standing in the way of our success. What do we have such a tight grip on? What has kept us from making our New Year’s Resolutions stick last year or what prevented us from even making them to begin with? Whatever your answer is, this year is the year to let go so you can move on.
Bonnie Pfeister, personal trainer