In 1967 G.R. Stephenson released a paper entitled ‘Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys.


In this experiment into learned behavior he put 5 monkeys in a cage with a ladder in.


There were bananas at the top of the ladder.


And every time the monkeys climbed the ladder to reach the bananas, they got blasted with a water house.


Until they stopped even bothering trying to go for the bananas.


Stephenson then replaced one of the monkeys with a new one.


Said monkey tried to climb up for the bananas, but was stopped and attacked by the others who were expecting a soaking.


This continued until the monkey stopped trying.


The monkeys were then replaced one by one with the same thing happening.


Until there were no original monkeys.


And none of them ever tried to get the bananas.


Despite none of these ever had received the soaking.


It was just ‘the done thing’.


Everyone copying everyone else without really knowing why.




We all do this at times.


Follow what’s ‘normal’ in our society.


Doing ‘diets’.


‘Treating’ ourselves.


Thinking changing your life needs to be hard work.


That exercise is boring.


Thinking ‘we don’t have time’.


Concentrating on the number on the scales, rather than how you feel about your appearance, energy levels, etc.


Generally doing stuff that makes us unhappy.


Because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing.


What’s ‘normal’.


But if ‘normal’ is unhappy, then who wants to be normal?


[Tweet “If ‘normal’ is unhappy, then who wants to be normal?”]


If ‘normal’ is life shortening, who wants that?


If you want to change something in your life, then look at what everyone else is doing.


And do the opposite.


It’s not working for them.


Don’t be ‘normal’.



Much love,


Jon ‘Abnormal’ Hall and Matt ‘Abdominal Snowman’ Nicholson


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Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.