Why the Title, How to Manage Your Monkey?
The title does seem a bit unusual. We have all heard the expression 'having a monkey on your back'. Sometimes we cannot pinpoint what exactly is wrong in our lives; we just know that something, perhaps everything, is off kilter.
In reality, most of us have many monkeys on our backs and just plain do not know how to deal with them. There are so many monkeys; we really do not know where to start. This course is all about getting all of those monkeys under control and developing a plan to handle all of them.
Some of the monkeys you may run into are spiritual monkeys, emotional monkeys, financial monkeys, family monkeys, and a whole host of others. Many of these monkeys work together to drive you crazy.
The way to get these monkeys under control is to take them one at a time to start with and then work as a group once you get the ball rolling.
There is an age-old adage that asks, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time”. This is how you should go about handling your monkeys. Choose an area that needs work and take it “one bite at a time”.
In the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin discusses how he chose thirteen different areas of his life that he wished to improve. He would take one area of his life he wished to improve and focus on it for one full week. Then, he would move to the next area. By choosing thirteen areas of his life, he could focus on each area four times per year, once each quarter. In time, he saw drastic improvements throughout his life.
We whole-heartedly suggest reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin early in this course. You can obtain the eBook free from Amazon in the Kindle Format or you may wish to read it free from the Gutenberg Library.
Throughout this text and many of the suggested readings, we find a concept discussed called “Life Balance”. Even though we may use this term in this course, it is really sort of a misnomer. If something is balanced, things are in equal proportions. There may be some things in our life that demand more attention than others.
Some would say that we should spend more time working and less time on family life and recreation. That is just backwards. Work will always be there. In fact, at least one company has suggested that by shortening the workday, they get more productivity out of their workers[i].
Instead of life balance, life is really like a recipe. You don’t normally have equal amounts of all ingredients. You usually have a certain amount of each ingredient, but normally all of these ingredients will not go into the dish in equal amounts.
What kind of cake would we have if it had 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of baking powder, 2 cups of salt, 2 cups of vanilla, and maybe 2 cups of eggs? It probably would not come out of the oven looking or tasting much like a cake at all.
Therefore, instead of the term Life Balance, from this point forward, we will try to use the term “Life Recipe”.