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how Disney’s Frozen can help avoid a zombie apocalypse

October 19, 2015
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An easy DIY monkey trap.

Materials :

  1. A coconut.
  2. A rope.
  3. Something that a monkey thinks they want.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Attach the coconut to one end of the rope
  2. Secure the other end of the rope to a tree (tree not included).
  3. Make a hole in the coconut that is just large enough for a monkey to get their hand inside.
  4. Place into the coconut what the monkey thinks they want.
  5. Wait.

How does it work?

When the monkey grabs what is inside the coconut it makes a fist that is bigger than the hole. That’s it. Simple huh?

Enter the hunter … which is the end of the story and the end of the monkey whose brain ends up as someone’s dinner. All the monkey had to do to get free is to let go of whatever it thinks it wants. It doesn’t and so is trapped by its own desire.

Poor monkey. A couple of million more years of evolution is all they need to figure it out. We would never get caught like that…

Elsa from the movie Frozen

“Let it go!” (via

But we are and we are caught in a much more subtle trap.  We have formed our fist by wrapping our hand tightly around a past that no longer exists.

I think that much of the developed world is trapped in this way – unable to move because it is holding on tightly to how things were, refusing to let go and refusing to admit that it is the longing for the past that is preventing any movement into the future.

Worse still, the vast majority of us are not prepared to admit that we have been imprisoned by our own minds.

We continue to argue that the world still is as it was, that our climate is not changing, that continuous year on year economic growth is both possible and good, that the relationship is salvageable, that the planet and its systems can absorb the wastes and toxins we dump into it each day without any long-term harm.

Continuing to deny the existence of change means we still have something to hold on to, and that can be comforting. It absolves us of the responsibility “Can’t you see that I would like to move, to change, but this thing, this set of circumstances has me trapped here!” It allows us to make the trap responsible – we can point to it and say “if only…“, “it’s not fair…“.

We are afraid because if we admit that what we are clinging to no longer exists we will be left with nothing to hold on to.

We are certain about what the past held for us. We know how things were, we know what we had, we are certain we know who we were. The future is much less certain and probably not as pleasant. Higher unemployment, lower real wages and a lower standard of living are just a few of the things that might meet us there.

It is no surprise we hold so tightly to what we think we had. Letting go requires us to accept that we cannot know what the future holds for us, that we don’t know how things will be, what we will have or, most unsettling of all, who we will become.

If we don’t want our fears to control our future, to serve up our brains in some zombie apocalypse of our own creation, we need to take  advice from Disney’s Elsa and “let it go”. As soon as we do we can remove our hand from the coconut and move into a different and hopefully better future.

One in which we get not only to keep our brains, but to keep using them!


If you would like me to come and share with you and your team the benefits that come from my work in the theatre and the experiential learning environments that I create, make me an offer via the Contact Me page.

Here is what some participants have said about their experience with me:

I participated in the Samurai Game workshop Paul facilitated and I highly recommend it. I found it to be an exceptional opportunity to learn more about who you are as a person and how you behave/respond to different situations and events that you have no control over. You think you know how you will behave/respond, […]

Jodie Farthing (Environmental Advisor)

Paul facilitated the Samurai Leadership Challenge with the graduating Bond University 2011 MBA class. Compelled by the Samurai values and continuously challenged by Paul in his role as the unfair and capricious Fate of War, my team & I pushed personal boundaries to acknowledge, adapt and compensate for both self & team limitations. In the […]

Priya Natasen (Project Manager – Supply Chain & Finance)

For more on the Samurai Game you should start here and here.

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