Those Pesky Flying Monkeys

If you’re a lover of the Wizard of Oz, you’re familiar with flying monkeys. These creatures existed under the dominion of the Wicked Witch of the East and did her bidding, almost as if they had no will of their own. When her spell was broken, we see a very different mindset portrayed. Let’s talk about the flying monkeys in our lives.

Of course, we begin with the metaphorical components. There are those situations and people problems that come flying at you from out of nowhere. Boom! Suddenly your day is derailed, and sometimes you’re left in veritable pieces like the Scarecrow. What do we learn from this? First of all, they didn’t really destroy anyone. Second, the pieces of their destruction were easily remedied, And finally, their hijacking could be overturned, the person or situation could be rescued. What does that mean for you? When you find your plans in havoc, take stock. Look at the situation. Put the pieces back together. If necessary, plan a rescue mission.

The flying monkeys seem more sinister when we talk about the psychological component. Dr. Shari Stein in Psych Central explained what happens when someone sends in the flying monkeys. You end up being hijacked by a person who isn’t the motivating force. An example: You may be affected by instructions relayed to you by a person in the department, someone who hasn’t the authority to deal with the situation. That controller calling the shots may be difficult to reach or understand. Still, you must find a way to relate to the person who sent the directions. You can request the supervisor be paged. Sometimes you can leave a message and come back later. You may have to refer the problem back to the home office. Either way, it impacts you. What should you do? Take stock. Look at the situation. Put the pieces back together. If necessary, plan a rescue mission.

Remember that each of the characters in the Wizard of Oz held the strength to solve their lacks at any point in the movie. The Scarecrow, who desperately wanted a brain, was the unlikely hero who devised the plan to rescue Dorothy. In your most difficult situations, you too, have the wherewithal to devise the perfect solution. The flying monkeys were subdued by the Scarecrow and his companions, and your problems may be resolved when you devise a plan thinking outside the box.

In Planet of Success Steve Mueller described what thinking outside the box entails: “Sounds simple, but you wouldn’t believe how many people stubbornly persist on their own opinion and linger within their very own ‘box’, even if they are totally mistaken, but that’s also an ego thing.” He is talking about re-examining your own perspective. You may be dead wrong, and that’s okay. Just decide to adapt and be right. You may need to be creative. That’s okay. Just come up with a solution and put it in place. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Learning how to respond without emotion, so different from reacting, is paramount. Learning to sift through the debris and rebuild a plan is key. Knowing someone has your back makes all the difference. You operate as an independent contractor, but never forget that the company stands behind you. You can always call for instructions or support. We consider it more important that problems be handled correctly than that you muddle along, upsetting yourself and the store, making a bad situation worse.

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