In my book, Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand I share a story many readers love. It demonstrates another way to deal with unexpected events. This is a fun story to help you deal with whatever mischief the Cosmos seems to be playing now in your life.
A hundred years ago there was a British unit in India suffering from a bad case of homesickness. As an attempt to cheer themselves up, they decided to set up a golf course to keep their mind occupied. They managed to get some golf clubs and dug the holes in a field near them.
After they set up the course, they were excited to test out golf in this new land. They weren’t the only ones interested in the game. Monkeys watched them from nearby trees and quickly became excited by the golf balls. The monkeys climbed down the trees to chase after the balls. When they realized they couldn’t eat the golf balls, they threw the balls away.
Needless to say this frustrated the golfers!
The golfers did everything they could to keep the monkeys away. They shot at the monkeys, shot in the air, threw dirt clods, chased them, screamed loudly. All to no avail. The monkey enjoyed the game of chase with the soldiers as much as chasing the balls.
Finally in exasperation, the golfers decided that playing golf in India was much different than back in the UK. The terrain was different as were the wildlife. So to deal with new conditions, new rules needed to be created.
The first rule they imposed was this: Play the ball where the monkey drops it.
Play with, not against, the Monkeys
Whether you are finding yourself caught in a dust storm of change, feel you’ve had a stick of dynamite blow up in your face, or you need to get something done and mischief abounds- remember this: Play the ball where the monkey drops it.
Keep your sanity by laughing at the monkeys. Watch the foolishness of Coyote from a distance. Observe with neutrality what is happening and then pick your best course of action.
If things aren’t going as you planned, people keep changing their minds, you don’t have the tools you need, stupid decisions are being made, people aren’t acting as you want or expect- You can fight and kick and scream all you want. But the ball has now landed someplace else.
You decide whether to accept what is and simply play the ball where the monkey dropped it.
Linda J. Ferguson, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, coach and consultant supporting people who wish to work and live with passion and purpose.
Linda offers an on-line program based on her book “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand”. In it you’ll enjoy inspiring stories, affirmations, meditations, and recordings. Each module has exercises to help you keep balanced through unexpected changes or stress in your life.
Learn more here: Staying Grounded Course