Have you heard the monkey experiment story? No?
So, a group of scientists put five monkeys in a cage, put a ladder in with them and placed a bunch of banana at the top of the ladder.
Typical of monkeys, they attempt to climb the ladder to harvest the banana, but every time a monkey climbs up, the scientists soak the rest in cold water!
In time, the monkeys figured out that going for the bananas was tied to their unwanted bath. So, anytime a monkey goes up the ladder to, you know, harvest the banana, the others gang up to beat the daylight out of it.
Very soon, no one was going for the bananas, no one dares to, regardless of the temptation.
The scientists then substituted one monkey for another. This new monkey, you can guess what it did; it went for the bananas.
Oh no! Bad idea, you must be saying! Yeah, cause, immediately, the four monkeys gave it a quick lesson in beating.
After several beatings, the new monkey got the idea: no banana and beat anyone who tries to (it still doesn’t know why, mind you).
A second monkey was substituted and this new monkey repeated the same pattern. This time, the first monkey joined in on the beating.
One by one, the first batch of monkeys were switched out, with a new set replacing them.
These new set, even though never received the cold shower, thereby having no idea why the bananas were forbidden, always beat up any new JJC (Johnny Just Come) monkey that tries to go for the bananas!
If you asked the new monkeys why the beatings, you probably have an idea of their response:
“I don’t know. That’s just the way things are done around here!”
Have you ever participated in practices, cultures, online trends & challenges you have no idea how it started?
Perhaps, you do them because, well, that’s just how things are done.
You know the ice-berg theory, right?
You know, where about 80% of the mass of an ice-berg is deep under the ocean and what you see up top is just a tiny fraction of what’s under? See a picture here.
Yeah, that one.
Everything we do, even when you don’t know it nor can explain it, has a foundation, source and reason.
Today, I want to encourage you to answer a question:
Why do you do the things you do?
This email, I write it to you every now and then because I want it to be a support system for you. I want to encourage you to be better, know better and do better.
So, I ask you again, why do you do the things you do (or don’t do)?
You don’t need to answer me (I don’t mind if you do, though), but more importantly, I desire your answers lead you through a process of self-evaluation and discovery.
PS: Watch the video of the monkey experiment here.