There was an experiment done where five monkeys were put in a large room with a rope hanging from the ceiling. Atop this rope rested a platform with several bananas, each programmed to deliver a small shock upon touch. As expected, once released into the room, the first monkey climbed the rope, tried to grab a banana, and was surprised with a shock. Unable to successfully take a banana, he climbed down only to be succeeded by another monkey who wanted to try. One by one the monkeys would climb up the rope, attempt to grab a banana, and get shocked.
Although each monkey witnessed the previous monkeys fail, all five climbed the rope to experience the shock for themselves. Once all had attempted to grab a banana unsuccessfully, none were willing to try again.
Several days later, a monkey in the room was replaced with a brand new monkey who had never been in the room before. Upon entering, the new monkey did what every other monkey had done and started climbing the rope. The difference this time, however, was that the other four monkeys grabbed him and stopped him from climbing. Without ever experiencing the shock for himself, the new monkey trusted the warning from the other monkeys and never attempted to climb the rope again. Over the next few days, each of the original monkeys were replaced with new monkeys, one by one, until none of the original five remained. Each time a new monkey would enter the environment, he would try to climb the rope only to be pulled down by the others. Eventually, the room was filled with five monkeys who had never once attempted to grab a banana because they had been conditioned not to do so.
The point of interest in this sweet tale is the fact that right before the first new monkey was introduced into the environment, the programmed bananas were replaced with real ones. At the end of the experiment there were five monkeys in the room who never attempted to grab perfectly fresh bananas from the platform at the top of the rope.
I'm sharing this story because we all have ideas in our head that have been passed down to us from previous generations that we unconditionally believe, without testing them for ourselves. Many of theses ideas are doing nothing but holding us back from experiencing life to the fullest. Is there something that you've been told over and over again that you've become programmed to believe even though it doesn't really make sense?
Maybe you believe that in order to succeed in life, you need to go to college and get a corporate job. Maybe you believe that traveling to exotic locations around the globe is reserved only for the world's richest. Maybe you believe that you're not worthy of having a better life because you don't possess a character trait that all people with a better life have. Maybe you follow a religion or tradition that you don't truly believe in only because your parents did and that's what is expected of you.
Many of the limiting beliefs and self-defeating thoughts in our lives are based off the false assumptions of others. Climb the rope and try to grab a banana for yourself. Don't let others hold you back or convince you that you shouldn't try something new or venture into the unknown. At worst, you'll experience a little shock. At best, you'll finally defeat your limiting thoughts and experience a world where you can have all the fresh fruit you could ever want.
Don't listen to others tell you that you can't or that you shouldn't do something you want to do. The only way you can truly learn is to test the waters for yourself.