A good friend and business colleague, Wendy Kershner, sent me this wonderful story that I’d like to paraphrase for you. It comes from a book with the above title written by Gregory Knox James (2001).

During the colonization of India, the British settled in Calcutta. They missed their game of golf tremendously so they decided to build a golf course. Once it was ready for play, the monkeys moved in as this area of India was home to many of them. They quickly disrupted the golfer’s pleasure by picking up the ball after it was hit and moving it.

Not to be undone the British built a high wall around the golf course to keep the mischievous monkeys out. But, this was just a game for the monkeys – scaling the wall, was no problem! The Brits then decided to trap the monkeys and transport them far away. This was impractical as there were far too many monkeys, so they gave up.

Then came a creative thought. They decided to change the game. The new rules were that you would play the ball where the monkey dropped it. This turned out to be a “win” for both the golfers and the monkeys.

When life doesn’t go your way…

Maybe you have noticed that life does not always go as we plan. Others do not follow our script or direction. They seem to have a mind of their own. How dare they? Anyone with children, a spouse or significant other probably sees this playing out quite often.

So what do you do when the monkey drops the ball far from where you hit it? Do you grumble, get angry, sulk or worry yourself sick? Or do you make lemonade, when everything is turning up lemons?

A friend told me that he and his wife were a good match because she liked to be right and he liked to be happy! Their relationship thrived because of flexibility and adaptability. Learning to stretch both physically and mentally is a good thing.

I’ll suggest that you create some “space” in your brain so that creative solutions can come. An excellent way to do that is with a daily Effortless Meditation™ practice. As you begin to make some time to be still in meditation, the pressures of daily life will reduce. Then, like the British golfers, you too will begin to see new possibilities and opportunities. And you’ll have more fun.

Life is good, just as it is, when you learn to let go, relax and be resilient.

Greg Schweitzer
Stress Reduction Resources, Director