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Don’t Leave the Bananas on the Ladder

Have you heard about the Harvard study with the monkeys?

I had never heard of it until a little while ago, but it is super interesting. And I think the principles can apply to us.

4 monkeys were placed in a room.

At the top of a ladder sat a batch of perfectly new bananas.

The monkeys, of course, saw this and began to climb the ladder, but they would get sprayed with water halfway up and would fall to the ground in frustration.

Eventually, they stopped going for the bananas.

Then something interesting happened.

They took one of the monkeys out and added a new monkey to the group.

This monkey had no prior history that the bananas could not be had, so it immediately sprang up the ladder, but the other monkeys violently pulled it down repeatedly until it no longer attempted to go for the bananas.

Eventually, all 4 of the first group of monkeys were replaced by new monkeys.

The water had long since been turned off.

They could have easily gotten to the bananas, but they were operating on old knowledge.

Because the first group couldn't reach their goal, the new monkeys believed they couldn't attain their goal either.

So none of the monkeys ever went and got the bananas.


1. It makes a big difference who we hang out with. Don't listen to people who are no longer pursuing their goals.

Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

If you have a dream (vision) for your life, you need people around you who cheer you and encourage you to keep going, especially on the days you want to give up.

If you don’t have those kinds of friends, start praying and asking God for people who will support you and help you reach your dreams.

2. Just because someone else couldn't do it doesn't mean you can't.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

If God has called you to do it, go for it. It doesn’t matter if nobody else in your family has ever done it. You go and do it. With God, all things are possible. So keep dreaming, keep going.

3. Find & connect with people who are still going for and getting the "bananas" in life.

The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. Proverbs 24:5

You need wise people in your life who are learning and growing.

Like attracts like. So as you grow yourself through books, mentors, and small groups, you will attract people who are still going after the “bananas” and dreaming and believing.

The “naysayers” are life-sucking and exhausting. So get around life-giving, faith-filled people who encourage you to make it happen. You will change your life and the lives of generations to come.

Ask yourself:

“Why am I not going for the bananas?”

“ Who cares if I get wet, I will get the bananas.”

“Who cares what they think of me? I am living my life, and they are living theirs.”

Take your thoughts captive. What are you thinking about? And if these thoughts are not taking you to your dream, or your vision, CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS!!

This is a season where NEW things can be accomplished in short amounts of time.

Go for it!