Recently my dear friend, fellow world disruptor, and dream bigger(er) Daniel Whitt retweeted a post by a middle school principal on Twitter that said “Shifting the monkey is about making the right people uncomfortable.” I believe Daniel’s exact words when he shared the tweet were “digging this.” Because we jam out on a lot of similar life frequencies most things Daniel digs, I dig too. So, the tweet got me thinking: What does it mean to shift? Who exactly is the monkey? and Why are most of us so comfortable with being comfortable?
My answers today are this:
1. All we have to do to shift something is to move it. It doesn’t matter how far we move it or how long it takes. All that matters, at least in the beginning, is that we simply start moving . So do that. Try it out. See how it feels. Worry less about where you’re moving it and live more within the movement itself. Let me know how that feels. I’ll be sure to let you know too. Then we will go from there.
2. I am the monkey. You are the monkey. We are all the monkey. Nobody can move anyone else’s monkey until they move their own. Start with yourself. Shift you. Then sit back and watch as your own shifts [shift] the world too. Also, by sit back and watch I mean run. Run at the very thing that is holding you down and then push and realize the thing you’re running at first might very well be yourself.
3. Shake the comfort off of you. Get uncomfortable. Name it. Confront it. Look the uncomfortable thing right in the eye. Maybe it needs a hug. Or a nudge. Or a simple awareness of its existence. Whatever you do, don’t give up on it. All things can shift, all things are the monkey, and all of us need to be okay with getting a little more uncomfortable.