The monkey and the coconut

This is one of my favourite story. i first heard it from Adam Khoo, and it resonated with me since.

This is a true account of how tribesman in Africa, really catch monkeys in the wild. What they do, at first, would be to acquire a coconut. They will bore a hole on the top of the coconut and empty it. The hole would be big enough for a monkeys hand and wrist to go through while its open, but not big enough for the monkey to remove while its clench in a fist.

Next, they will put a trail of nuts all the way from the trees where the monkeys live, all the way to the coconut. And in the coconut itself, a generous helping of nuts. Then, they lay in wait, out of sight.

What happens next, is that a monkey will come along. Smelling the nuts, they will follow it, picking them up as it goes along, nut by nut, until they arrive at the coconut. Seeing the nuts in the coconut, the monkey shrills in glee, and puts his hands in, and grab as much nuts in the coconut as it possibly can.

When this happens, the monkey will attempt to remove its hand from the coconut. But can it? It cant, obviously, because its hands are clenched, holding on the all the nuts he has. The monkey will realise it cant move properly because of the weight of the coconut. It then shrills for help.

This will then alert the tribespeople that a monkey has been caught, and they simply pounce and bundle the poor monkey up. The monkey, will then most likely end up in the pot if unlucky, or as a hunting partner or pet if lucky. 

Now, the question is… could the monkey actually could have escaped if it wanted to??


November 14, 2008 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

You are who you think you are

Lets talk again about the eagle who thought he was a chicken.

Did that old eagle have the potential to soar like the eagle he saw? of course he did. he had everything that the eagle who flew had. Yet, what stopped him from flying? from soaring? The answer is simple. His beliefs. He believed he was a chicken, and so he lived his life as a chicken.

Now, how does this apply to us? let me just use a simple example of myself to illustrate. when i was in primary 5, i did very badly for chinese, my teacher kept calling me lazy and stupid. As a result, i honestly believed that was bad at chinese. so what happens?

when there was a test, did i bother to study hard? of course not. 

Did i do well? of course not?

And because i did badly, it reinforces my belief that i was bad in chinese. So the next time when there was a test, would i bother to study? again, of course not. This creates a downward spiral, as my results in chinese further reinforces the believe that i am bad as chinese. Now, is such a believe useful? the answer is clear and simple, yet how many of us are holding onto believes like that?

The next time you think about yourself as “i’m bad a maths, i’m a bad presentor, i’m lousy in sports”, ask yourself this question instead, “is this belief really useful? What is really stopping me from being great at all these things?

November 7, 2008 at 6:46 am Leave a comment

You are who you think you are.

One day, while a farmer was going about on his monthly trip to the market, he stumbled upon an egg in the countryside. Next to the egg was a nest, evidently damaged from the fall from wherever it used to be. Upon closer inspection, the farmer realised that the egg was still alive, and he could still see a faint throbbing from the egg. He realised he found the egg of an eagle.

He brought the egg home, and snuck it into the nests of one of his chickens with the hope that it would incubate. And it did.

And so time passed, the egg hatched and an eaglet emerged. Being brought up by chickens, he acted like them, simply because he knew of nothing else. He would attempt to cluck, scratch the earth with his claw, and when he flapped his wings, he would fly just a little and tumble back to earth, like how all chickens do.  

And so, years passed. And the eaglet was now an old eagle. One day, the old eagle looked up and saw a majestic bird, soaring in the sky, with a wingspan of over 2m wide. In awe, he turned to the wisest of all chickens and asked, what in gods name is that? The chicken replied, “my friend, that is an eagle, the king of all birds. Be grateful that you had a chance in your life to be able to simply see one.” and he went back to clawing the earth. The old eagle looked upon a little longer, and went back to joining the wise chicken in clawing for worms.

November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm 1 comment

Coaching Season Comes Again

Lo and behold, coaching season is starting again real soon. With less than a month before the first camp starts, lots of preparation still needs to be done. 

Yet, the question will always pop-up. What makes a coach? And what makes a coach a good coach?

My coach manager always tells us something. that as coaches, we must strive to lead the same type of lifestyle that we constantly preach to our participants. That as coaches, we must first strive to better ourselves before doing our best (trying is a banned word where i work) to better them.

My question always is. Why does one have to do lead the same life as we teach? Is it not good enough that we can teach well what we need to impart to them? Afterall, one of the most successful managers in the world, Alex Ferguson wasnt a top notch football player.

Yet, at the same time, i can understand her concerns and where she is coming from. what i dont understand, is my resistance towards working to what i teach.

i didnt then, and i still dont.

October 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Coach Training Part 2

Back to the girl who has been cutting herself. Apparently, one of my friends, who is currently her coach in a weekly programme has been told me about the same story. it goes something like this.

Last time:

Girl: Coach! i cut myself again.

Coach: Huh? what happened?

this followed by a long talk abt her issues and ways in which she can control her emotions and find alternative methods to venting her frustrations.


Girl: Coach! i cut myself…

Coach: Huh? pain or not?

Theres a line between being needy, and being attention seeking. i guess she was the latter. Like one of my mentors told me before. the fact that she is telling you that she’s cutting herself, shows you just how not ready the person is in seriously hurting themselves. And as much as you would want to help them, sometimes it just not possible. it’s simply a phase in which they will have to overcome.

October 22, 2008 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

Coach Training

Today was yet another day of coach training, and instead of talking about movies and shows, i’m gonna talk more about coaching itself.

One of the most disturbing fact that i experienced today was when one of my assistant coach told me that one of our ex-participants who used to suffer from depression due to friends and bf issues cut herself because she didnt know how else to handle the negative emotion, somehow got her email and has been contacting her.

during the course of their conversation, she talked about how she began cutting herself again after a couple of months, and has something like a barcode on her wrist. (we managed to get her to promise not to do it again and gave her other strategies to cope with the depression).

My A coach was very concerned, and was worried that one day, she might actually commit suicide. However, due to the company policy of not getting personal with participants after the camp, i told her that the only thing that she should do would be to inform her parents of her destructive behaviour.

The question i had to ask myself was, is that the best that we could have done? there was a reason why she came to my A Coach and not her parents. Could there have been a easier way to handle it? Up till now, i still haven come up with an answer yet. will probably have to think about this deep into the night.

what would you guys do if you had a situation like that?

October 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

200 pounds beauty

i recently just watched a Korean movie. Though it was lighthearted and fun show, it got me thinking about the concept of beauty.

What is the reason for the many ideals in the world? What is beauty? Is it what the world perceives it as? Is beauty really internal rather than external? Even so, what does the world perceive inner beauty as? The ability to genuinely be nice and good? Then again, isn’t this what the world perceives inner beauty as? It’s the perception of the world superimposed onto the framework of what is inner beauty? Is this then truly inner beauty? Before we touch deeper into it, lets talk about how the perception of inner beauty might have came up with.

One of the main factors which actually lead to the term inner beauty was perhaps due to the realistic way many men view women, yours truly included. Maybe it was then realized that in time, outer beauty is simply plastic, something to see and touch, but nothing really to be comforted by. No warmth, no emotions. Simply plastic. Then the world decided that external beauty was not real. Simply something on the surface. What happened after that? The beauties of the inner self came about, through acts of kindness, charity. Acts that came genuinely from the heart. Yet this came about to the same acts. People now use charity, like make-up, to create the image of beauty. By doing certain things, people came up with image makeovers, doing charity to boost the inner beauty of celebrites. However, only they themselves will know whether it is really done from the heart.

Thinking on a deeper level, what if being nice is simply something genetical. Some people act certain ways because acting in those ways bring about them with satisfaction. Some people take comfort food when they are upset, and this acts cheer them up. Some people help other people so that when other people feel good, they too feel good. Would this be considered a case of inner beauty? Simply because such acts bring them about joy, they would be considered beautiful inside.

Lets consider character for a moment then. Maybe certain characteristics in individuals like honesty and intergrity  are considered beautiful and desirably characteristics. Sure, we all like such characteristics individuals, but this is not what the world has taught us? Drilled into us since the dawn of time. Is this then not superficial. Just like that beauty of a person magazines have taught us to be slim and having a perfect ten figure, with big eyes and small mouth?

Finally, can inner beauty ever be fully realized if external beauty didn’t exist in the same person? Seriously, who is going to find out? In time? How long?

Willingness to show vulnerabilities?

September 30, 2008 at 1:08 am 1 comment

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