How Your ‘Monkey Mind’ May Be Affecting Your Business

Creative dreamers are not usually thoughtful planners. We thrive on ideas, excitement and passion… We see the big picture but, more often than not, we miss the little details and the small, required steps to reach the destination we envision. However, planning precedes deliberative action and needless to say that if you are trying to develop a project or launching a business idea, planning is key to accomplish your goal. I will risk to say that if you don’t plan, you will hardly be successful at all.

Another thing that creative dreamers and innovators are usually very good at is having what buddhist monks call a monkey mind. I always introduce my students and clients to this interesting and yet accurate metaphor: our mind behaves like a monkey, when it hasn’t been disciplined. In other words, our mind acts like a curious, undisciplined monkey, jumping from branch to branch, looking for entertainment and possibly bananas. In a very crude way, we are not much different: our mind jumps from thought to thought, constantly getting distracted and unable to focus its attention in only one thing at a time.

To be fair, creativity depends on this intricate and complex change of thoughts and ideas. I would even say that creativity is messy in its raw nature. It’s not linear, it likes to run wild and free, matching and mismatching concepts. We need that type of thinking process if we want to come up with solutions and better alternatives, but creativity without discipline makes our reality chaotic and unproductive, since generation of consistent and well-grounded actions are almost impossible. You may get a fairly good result, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be as impactful in the long-term as if you had planned and thought about the small details and potential obstacles to your success.

My mind has been one of the most misbehaved monkeys I’ve known of, with little concern for long-term planning and robustness. It runs after ideas like a chocoholic runs after chocolate. It doesn’t stop and it doesn’t take a break to think it through. Once an idea comes, my monkey mind starts to race without a single care about details. The result has been an almost permanently scattered mind and heart, jumping from project to project with no middle or ending plan, which hasn’t been good at all when the goal is to create a sustainable and thriving human journey.

Two things have helped me manage and discipline my monkey mind though: mindfulness meditation and the constant reminder that I need to tackle one project at a time and not thousands of them in a month. I need to be better at planning, more strategic, so that I can be then effective. Meditation helps me by reducing my mind’s reactivity and unconscious tendency to pursue entertainment. It also taught me to be more patient with myself, because meditation is especially hard for those who are used to be wired all the time.

I’m still learning about strategic thinking but providing structure to my day through to-do lists has helped me to stay focused on tasks I really need to handle in order to be productive. Every side idea that comes up, and it’s not directly linked to the tasks I have at hand, is written down on a post-it or piece of paper that I review later. I now realise that having a series of scattered accomplishments is not as impactful as having one or two solid and interwoven accomplishments. On other words, you may have achieved a lot in your life already, but if there is a scattered feeling of disconnection between your achievements that’s possibly one of the reasons why you don’t feel as successful as you think you should. At least, I know that was my case.

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How your monkey mind may be affecting your business.


  1. One task at at time. Such good advice. So hard to follow. Structure, a to-do list… they don’t sound very ‘creative’ but what a difference they make to how much (and the quality of) your creations! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To do lists are great, I create daily ones for work and at home I am trying to get better and doing them so I can progress my business. I’m going to try focusing on one task, and keep a note of all the other things that pop into my mind, thanks for that! Most helpful. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are, aren’t they, I have found myself more productive when I do a daily one too, at night for the following day. The only downside I find about noting things that pop up spontaneously and leaving them aside is that I then forget to look at it later… need to find a better strategy to go around that πŸ˜„πŸŒ» xx

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  3. I am so glad that I stumbled upon this post of yours! With my project, I am slowly developing large goals to turn it into my own non-profit, or something of a larger scale than it is. And I keep trying to calm my passion so that I can remember to stay in check and take the time for the individual steps and successes that need to occur first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Ashley! Thanks for commenting and sharing your own energy! That sounds super interesting, I will want to know more. It has been a really hard process, it’s not easy to manage and focus sometimes. Would like to form a mastermind group and help each other out with staying on track?


  4. I definitely struggle with this, and it often comes out physically. My husband always rolls his eyes at me as he watches me wander from room to room, not really completing any of the tasks I had originally set out to complete. I could be doing design work for a client one moment, then remember to switch the laundry, then realize I forgot to do the dishes, then sit to watch my favorite TV show for a moment before moving on to something else. To-do lists save my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can relate to what you describe a lot. More recently I have been doing a motivational ritual almost every day to ground my focus. It has been productive and it has helped to keep me on the loop of what I really want and need to get done. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Monkey Mind! I totally get this and that is why (actually recently) I decided to make a bullet journal for my agenda. I can really focus in making my planning and drawing them up which in turn helps me to be more productive for the following couple of weeks! FYI – my daughter called is a squirrel brain. LOL

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  6. Dang, this describes me in the last few years perfectly. I’m a cancer survivor and I often wondered if this scattered brain was from chemo or some of the other treatments… I didn’t know healthy people can suffer from this as well. I’ll admit, despite the evidence for it I’m still skeptical of mindfulness meditation. It seems almost too simple to be true. But I need a whole lot more discipline than I can currently muster, so why not give it a shot..

    Liked by 1 person

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