‘Don’t be a monkey’ is a personality trait everyone taking his or her health seriously needs to adopt. Before I tell you the tale of the monkey, let me reiterate one of the important messages of this entire book: don’t waste your life worrying about things where you can’t influence the outcome. It will stress you out and make you ill. What I mean by this is don’t waste mental effort thinking about past events. After all, you can’t change history. No matter how incredibly smart or motivated you are, you can’t change past events. Likewise, don’t spend time thinking about things that you can’t influence in the future. If you want to be healthy, if you want to determine the outcome of your own destiny, then focus all of your efforts and thoughts solely on the things that you can influence and let go of the rest.
Anyway, back to the monkey story. In Africa, tribes have discovered a very simple way of capturing monkeys (the staple diet of a remote community I once met). They fix an empty jam-jar into the ground of the jungle and half fill it with peanuts. When the monkey comes across the nuts they shove their hand into the jar and grab a huge handful. As they try to pull out their tightly-gripped fist, their expanded knuckles hit the rim of the jar and they are trapped. Of course, all the monkey needs to do is to simply let go of the nuts and he is instantly freed. But the monkey is not intelligent enough to let go, and this inability is the death of the creature.
What’s my point? If you can’t let go of past problems and mistakes then you are no more intelligent than a monkey. No matter how poor your historical staple diet had become or how lethargic and sedate your lifestyle, that’s in the past now, and as you have discovered, without the necessary knowledge it wasn’t your fault back then. Plus, even moving forward and eating the odd piece of birthday cake or participating in an occasional binge doesn’t mean that you have let yourself down. As long as it is only occasional, then don’t dwell on it, just be sure to promptly return to a Primal way of living. Whatever happens, don’t let the odd naughty day derail your progress. Remember living healthily is a journey and not a destination!