Larry James' BLOG

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What’s YOUR Banana?

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 7:00 am

The story is told about a group of scientists who set out to capture a particular species of monkeys in the jungles of Africa. It was important that the monkeys be brought back alive and unharmed. Using their knowledge of monkey ways, the scientists devised a trap consisting of a small jar with a long, narrow neck.

monkeytrapInto the jar was placed what monkeys love best. . . a banana. Several of these jars were placed about the jungle floor and secured to the jungle floor. The scientists then returned to their monkey blind, confident that they would catch many monkeys. Then they waited. And waited.

Many hours later, a monkey, scenting the banana in a bottle, would thrust his paw into the long neck and take a banana. However, as soon as he tried to withdraw the prize he found that his clenched fist would not pass through the narrow neck of the bottle with the banana.

So all the monkeys stayed where they were, screaming in chagrin and fear, unable to escape with their booty, and yet unwilling to let go until members of the expedition arrived and took them captive.

We may smile at the monkeys, thinking how foolish they were, but in some respects are we very much the same. Do we not frequently cling to the very things that hold us back, remaining captive through unwillingness to let go?

If a monkey reaches through a hole for a banana, but the hole is too small for her hand to withdraw with the banana, she’s presented with a quandry. “Which do I want? – the banana or my freedom?” All she has to do is let go of the banana in order to be free of the trap. But the monkey doesn’t let go of the banana. She sits there determined to extract it, even in the face of being captured.

The only thing standing in the way of the monkey’s total freedom to go where he wanted to go, to do what he wanted to do, to be whatever he wanted to be, was to let go of the banana!

Does that mean we should simply retreat in the face of danger, or run away from our problem? Not at all. When there is a problem, something needs to be done. The first step in doing something about it is to let go. Get your mind off the side of the problem and onto the side of the solution.

What’s your banana? Think about it.

These are some of the bananas that people have:

banana• Their Purpose is wishy washy or none at all
• No Goals
• They never ask for help, especially when they need it most
• Bad Attitude
• Fear of failure or success
• The belittle their partner
• No Self-management
• No Formula for Solving Problems
• They hand on to Being Right
• No Belief system
• Failure to accept Responsibility
• They Procrastinate
• Do not effectively Communicate
• Resist Change

In relationships (and business), trouble is a narrow-necked bottle. We may get into it quite easily, but getting out again is another matter. We may fret about a problem, but unless we want to become a prisoner, we must let go. While crippled in this manner, we are not able to get or accept other gifts coming our way.

Does that mean we should simply retreat in the face of danger, or run away from our problems? Not at all. When there is a problem, something needs to be done. The first step is letting go of the banana!

It takes no strength to let go. . . only courage.

happybananaWhat’s your banana? It is fear of failure? Procrastination? Fear of success? What is holding you back from having a terrific relationship? I’m guessing you really already know. You must take the first step while you are still afraid.

whatsyourbananaDo you allow your problems to make a monkey out of you?

Three things that cause problems in relationships and business:

1. Withheld communications
2. Unfulfilled expectations
3. Thwarted intentions

These “bananas” are poison to your relationships!

Four Steps to Getting Unstuck From Problems

Step 1 – Acknowledge you have a problem
Step 2 – Ask yourself, “What am I committed to that has this be a problem?” If you can find the commitment, you have a problem.
Step 3 – Study your options. Look at all the possibilities! Consider many solutions, not just one. Do this quickly!
Step 4 – Do something that is consistent with your commitment. Focus on the solution!

Get your mind off the side of the problem and focus on the solution. Brain storm with friends, hire a coach but do whatever you need to do to get on with the success in your relationship that you deserve.

So, the question I have for you is: What’s YOUR banana?

SideNote about Bananas: Bananas are believed to have ‘romantic chemistry’, according to some sources. And its nutritional value includes vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6, – the latter two reportedly part of the sex hormone production process. A tad unusual perhaps, but the ripe banana is an exciting ingredient for your Valentine’s Day cooking. Traditionally a breakfast food, it offers enormous possibilities for different meals. The upside of banana as a main ingredient is more than sensual. We hear that bananas also give energy and vigor. (Source:


Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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1 Comment »

  1. Enjoyed your post. Helping business owners, I often see their banana as an outdated understanding of their market, customers, and customer needs. To let go of their banana they have to admit the information they make their decisions with may no longer be true.

    Their baby, their company, is no longer clearly solving problems for their customers and I have to offer a banana for their baby as I discuss in my blog :

    The sooner you recognize the need for new updated market information the quicker you can drop your banana… or wait for someone to offer a banana for your baby.

    Mark Allen Roberts

    Comment by Mark Allen Roberts — Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

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