Lessons From Monkeys: The Art and Science of Achieving Success

by Patrick Liew on February 12, 2016

According to the Chinese Zodiac signs, this lunar year is the Year of the Monkey.

As I was born in the Year of the Monkey 36 years ago (Lol!), you can say this is my year.

Although I don’t subscribe to this Chinese belief, I did some research about monkeys.

I discovered many powerful lessons that can help us go farther and faster on the road to success.

Currently, there are about 264 species of monkeys that are known to us.

Logically I cannot discount the possibility that there may be aliens that are monkeys.

These monkeys may be living in another planet or quite possibly, in another dimension of the matrix or galaxy.

They may be getting ready to engage us in a Star War. This is for the way we have been decimating the monkey species and destroying their natural habitat.

I digressed. What’s new? 🙂

Among all the animals, monkeys resemble and are the most closely related to humans in many ways, right down to the DNA level.

Hence, some people believe that humans are evolved from the monkey species.

Even though I don’t support the Evolution Theory, I have met people who do look and behave like monkeys. Lol!

I used to joke that we couldn’t have been evolved from the monkeys.

I have seen worst human behaviour in many places, including in boardrooms, marketplaces, and even charity and civic organizations.

I have also seen some so-called leaders monkeying around in the business, political and military arenas. Pardon my pun.

Perhaps, we need to put our ego aside and learn from the monkeys. Hopefully, we’ll learn to evolve and become a higher level of being.

There are 5 qualities that we can learn from the monkeys.

1. Capacity

Monkeys have brains that are large for their size. They are some of the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom.

More importantly, they apply their intelligence to survive and thrive in different environments, including in man-made prisons that are commonly known as zoos.

They can also be trained to perform a wide spectrum of mental tasks such as communication, and shape recognition and other forms of memorization.

In addition, they can also learn complex and useful physical tasks, including carrying out highly advanced and specialized activities.

For example, Capuchin monkeys have been trained to help people with physical disabilities. They assist with feeding the patient, moving objects, and providing other ways of personal care.

Monkeys undergo different stresses from the environment. These stresses toughen them and help them to develop determination, grit, and resilience – ingredients that are essential for achieving success.

Along the journey of life, the level of our success is proportionate to our capacity and ability to expand our capacity to achieve success.

2. Adaptability

Monkeys are highly versatile animals with problem solving abilities.

They continue to adapt and adjust themselves to new environments and to consumption of different foods so as to survive and provide for their young.

If need be, some species of monkeys have even learned to swim to get away from their potential predators and to find food.

In a fast-changing world, we need to be versatile in relating to and managing people.

We need to learn how to adapt to changes and leverage on changes to achieve success.

3. Agility

Monkeys are known to be adventurous, curious, and inquisitive.

They manifest these qualities to cause mischief and come out with sneaky ideas and initiatives.

To get away from harm’s way, they learn to be agile and to respond to dangers in different ways.

They make full use of their bodies and trained themselves to be adaptable, flexible, and fast.

In the new economy, it may not be the big fish that will eat the small fish. It’s the fast that will eat the slow.

4. Teamwork

Monkeys are social animals. They have developed different ways to communicate and interact with one another.

They learn to work together, and hunt as a pack.

In addition, they look after each other and protect each other from harm.

Interestingly they get over internal fights quickly. Within a short period of time, they can be holding each other’s hands and grooming each other with care and affection.

When one of the monkeys is sick or wounded, they will help to nurse it to health.

What’s more commendable is that they also help to nurture and look after each other’s young.

I’m not sure if humans will help to care for each other’s children and do it regularly and over a protracted period of time.

In a globalised world, we need to learn how to work with people that subscribes to a different set of culture, custom, and creed, and people from a different community and country.

We need to know how to connect with others, and collaborate with them to co-create solutions.

5. Zest For Living

Monkeys have a great zest for living even while they are in captivity. They are some of the funniest animals in the animal kingdom.

They have feelings and emotions too, including happiness, sadness, love, anger, compassion, jubilation and fear. They emote openly and to each other.

In recent times, studies have shown that emotions are amoral. It’s how we use them that makes it positive or negative.

We are designed to have feelings and emotions so that we can function better. We can also enjoy the full tapestry of experiences in life and have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Monkeys like to have a fun time. They are known to create games and events spontaneously so as to have a good time.

If there’s anything we can learn from monkeys, it’s to enjoy life to the fullest.

After all, life is short and there’s no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock.

In summary, if we learn to improve our capacity, adaptability, agility, teamwork, and zest for living, we will be on the way to achieve success.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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