Years ago I heard a story about spider monkeys that I've never forgotten.
The spider monkey lives in the trees of the tropical jungles of South America, have hook-like, narrow and thumbless hands and tiny brains.
The story I heard went something like this:
In order to catch spider monkeys, hunters in South America simply walk through the jungle and drop heavy containers on the ground. These containers have very a narrow top and a wider bottom. Inside the containers the hunters drop a special kind of nut which is particularly attractive to the monkeys. Sometime later, the spider monkeys come down from the tops of the trees, smell the nut, but the tops of the containers are so narrow they have a tight squeeze to get their hands inside. Once they grab the nut at the bottom, their fist is too large to remove if through the opening. And the containter is too heavy for them to carry.
So instead of letting go of the nut, the monkeys just sit there until the hunters come back, pick them up, and throw them in a bag.
The spider monkeys are not prepared to let go of a small nut in order to gain their freedom.
I don't know if the story is true, but you get the analogy.
This morning I'm lying in my hotel room asking myself - what ideas, concepts or attachments do I need to be willing to give up in order to allow myself to grasp a bigger and better concept? What do I have to be willing to let go? I like to think of myself as a pretty logical person, devoid of superstition, and dismissive of mythology. But I know that I get very attached to my ideas, my opinions. Sometimes it's hard to let go of tightly-held ideas but, unless we do, we don't grow.
One idea I let go of a couple of years ago was that I had to earn an income. It was a major revelation to me when I realized that if I sold all of my assets, I could afford to live quite comfortably for several years while I built a start-up business. I let go of the idea that I needed to cling on to the assets I had gained, like those spider monkeys. And it was one of the best things I ever did.