The 5 Laws of Personal Constraints: Law 2

If you missed the first part of this blog series, click here to read it.

Law Two: You Can’t Rise Above Constraints That You Don’t or Won’t Address

There is an old story about how hunters catch monkeys in Africa. They hollow out a coconut, making sure the hole is just large enough for a monkey’s hand, then place a small orange or banana inside and chain the coconut to a tree. The scent attracts the monkey, who sticks his hand into the coconut but soon discovers the hole is not big enough for him to remove both his hand and the prize. To get his hand out, he must drop what he’s holding. But he won’t. He is so intent on getting his treat that he will not even drop it to escape as the hunter easily captures him.

Do you see the picture?

Many of us are held captive by the constraints we continue to clutch tenaciously—including unresolved issues from our past—because we can’t or won’t address them. Like the monkey we are paralyzed and stuck between two worlds, not realizing we are choosing denial at the expense of freedom.

The problems that you didn’t deal with will keep you stuck and unable to grow in those areas. Overcoming our constraints is both possible and necessary if we desire to live life to its fullest. Coming to terms with this simple fact will help us let go of the old to embrace the new.

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