Lessons From Monkeys: The Art and Science of Achieving Success

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.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

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

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflection and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg 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 visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: