One night I was watching my favorite television show, Modern Family, when I heard a line so funny that I’m still laughing.
The daughter, attending a hi-tech college, said some genius students in a lab taught a monkey to play the saxophone.
She added, “We don’t know if the monkey is any good because all he plays is jazz.”
The joke reminded me of one of the principles in life I live by.
In short, beware of invisible monkeys.
I don’t mean monkeys in the world or in the zoo.
I don’t mean monkeys in science fiction or on television shows.
I mean monkeys in terms of what people try to pass to you when you aren’t alert or looking.
While the phrase “monkey on my back” refers to drug addiction, it’s also relevant in another way.
Let me explain:
Years ago I was reading the book Tell to Win by Peter Guber when he told a story I never forgot.
Guber was working with and for Jack Warner, the legendary founder of Warner Brothers, and complaining to the giant that all people did was bring him problems.
Warner gave him advice neither he or I have ever forgotten:
“You’re the zookeeper, and every single person that comes in the office comes with a monkey. That monkey is their problem. They’re trying to leave it with you. Your job is to discover where the monkey is. They’ll hide it, or dress it up, but remember you’re the zookeeper…Think of that visually. Make them all take their monkey problems away and come back with a solution.”
I love that.
I became more aware of all the people who write, call, email, visit or want to see me – and the invisible “monkeys” they try to leave with me.
They want me to solve their problem, finish their business, handle their challenges, or in some other way do something for them that they themselves can’t or won’t do.
In short, they are trying to pass off a monkey.
It’s the same for you.
People often call you, visit you, ask to meet with you, to do one thing: give their monkey to you.
If it’s your job to accept monkeys, so be it.
But most of the time the “monkeys” we get offered are simply other people’s problems. They are trying to get us to fix them. So they come to us to “drop off” their monkey.
I don’t argue that sometimes people need help. Lord knows I’ve been there.
But way too often people are shirking their own duties and responsibilities and passing their invisible monkey to you, hoping you will deal with it.
You then have the proverbial “monkey on your back.”
The way around this is to be alert.
Watch for the invisible monkey.
It may be disguised as a compliment, or a gift.
It may be called a domesticated monkey who won’t be a real problem and they are asking you to care for it.
It may be presented as something good or good for you.
As long as you can see the monkey, and know it is being offered to you and you don’t have to accept it, then you are at choice.
You are free to accept the monkey or return it to its current owner for them to deal with.
You are then monkey proof.
I wrote a song on my last singer-songwriter album that conveys this message.
“The Hook” is a reminder to not take the “monkey/hook” that is offered to you throughout the day.
Someone says something mean and your tendency will be to “take the hook” and get mad.
Someone pulls out in front of you in traffic and you’ll be tempted to react to “the hook” and do or say something nasty.
But you don’t have to take the hook or the monkey.
As long as you are aware, you can stay neutral.
You can remain at peace.
I love monkeys, I just don’t want one on my back – even if he can play the saxophone.
Ever since my book, Attract Money Now, came out a few years ago, people sometimes write and ask if I am a member of the Illuminati.
The first time it happened confused me.
“Why do you think I am a member of the Illuminati?” I asked.
“Because of your belt buckle,” was the reply.
My belt buckle? Seriously?
I’m flattered that people were looking at my waistline but it also confused me.
I looked at the cover of my book and sure enough, I’m wearing a belt buckle with a symbol of a pyramid and eye.
The thing is, the cool looking buckle was given to me about ten years ago by a fan who wanted to congratulate me on my weight loss.
There was and is no more meaning to it.
It’s a belt buckle.
I let it go and didn’t think much more about it until…
The other day I was checking email and watching reruns of Modern Family on television when I noticed yet another person asking — this time on this blog — if I was a member of the Illuminati.
That’s when I decided to tell the truth.
“I don’t even know what the Illuminati is,” I confessed.
Since I didn’t want to look completely uninformed, and since it appears that people were talking about me being a member on some discussion forums, I asked one of my assistants to explain the Illuminati to me.
Here’s what she said:
Illuminati is about mind control and aiming towards the New World Order in order to achieve world domination. The Illuminati wishes to enslave the whole world in a satanic plot for a one world government. Illuminati feels that it is their karmic duty to "Reveal and Conceal" -- meaning they use overt symbols in your face without revealing what the symbols are in order to hide their agendas while subliminally programming people's minds. The "all seeing eye" you have on cover of The Secret to Attracting Money audio course and the pyramid on your Attract Money Now belt buckle are part of the symbols they commonly use. Here's example: Katy Perry's music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSOMA3QBU0 and then here's the conspiracy theory behind the video's meaning: http://www.prisonplanet.com/katy-perrys-dark-horse-one-big-children-friendly-tribute-to-the-illuminati.html
According to this type of paranoid thinking, virtually every celebrity or politician you name could be a member of the Illuminati.
One list includes —
And me? Joe Vitale?
I have no interest in government (just ask my wife) and certainly not in world domination.
I can barely handle a house of cats.
Have any of these speculators actually read my books?
Rather than just looking at my belt buckle, they might actually open the book and discover what I really think.
People who believe in conspiracy theories and world domination scenarios are coming from victimhood.
They feel powerless in their life.
They want an explanation for their struggle.
Rather than take full responsibility, and move into the Empowerment stage of awakening (which is what I write about in such books as The Awakening Course and At Zero) they want to blame others.
Super stars are easy targets.
The wealthy are easy, too.
After all, they must have “something” that you and I don’t have in order to be so mega-successful.
They must all belong to some secret organization which helps all members succeed and leaves the rest of us to struggle.
If such an organization exists, I’ve certainly never been invited to join it.
Sometimes I think people who complain and conspire have too much time on their hands.
“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rather than spending time expressing their life mission and following their passion, they use their hours to create conspiracy theories and projected scenarios that have nothing to do with reality.
Like me and my belt buckle.
But let’s see if we can learn something here.
I did a little research of my own about the pyramid and eye on my belt buckle — the same symbol, by the way, that is on the US dollar bill.
Here’s what I learned:
That famous symbol on the US dollar bill is called The Eye of Providence. It’s sometimes interpreted as the eye of God watching over all of us.
God watching over us?
That doesn’t sound bad at all.
According to the most relied on unreliable source, Wikepedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Providence, the symbol is…
Owl of Minerva?
No, I don’t know what that is, either.
And I’m not a member of some Owl of Minerva club.
But isn’t it curious that people looking at my belt buckle and assuming it’s a clue to me being in the Illuminati, don’t even know what the actual symbol of the Illuminati is?
I’m flattered that some people think I’m so rich and powerful that I might one day help run a world domineering government.
But when I look over the above list of alleged Illuminati members, I have to confess that I’ve never even met one of them, let alone worked in secret (or even in public) with any of them.
The truth is, I’m a regular guy who has worked hard and done well writing books for a living, was lucky enough to be invited to be in the hit movie “The Secret,” watches reruns of Modern Family on TV with his spouse, writes and records self-help healing music, smokes cigars to commune with the Divine, and is learning to play the saxophone.
Of course, some people think the saxophone is The Devil’s Horn.
They probably think the sax is a clue to something.
Well, I can’t please everyone.
And neither can you.
Please focus on expressing your life mission, no matter if people condemn, understand, complain or applaud.
It’s what you’re here to do.
PS — I wrote a song on my new album explaining how life is a reflection of what is in you. The song is called “Reflection.” The album is called Reflection. (Seemed like a no brainer.) It’s relevant to this blog post, as what people project about others is usually what they actually feel about themselves. Think about it…