Test Your Intellectual Style with
Scenario #3: The Golden Monkey
While polishing what you thought was a cheap, gold-plated monkey statuette that you bought on
whim at the flea market, you discover the figure is actually made of solid, 14-carat gold. Before
you can pause to consider the financial implications of your good fortune, the figure begins to
vibrate and grow hot. Moments later, the Golden Monkey comes to life, bows before you, and
offers to grant you three wishes. "But choose wisely," he cautions, "because sometimes getting
exactly what you want can be far worse than not getting it."
What would your three wishes be in this situation? Do you opt for safety and
ask for the traditional accouterments of a stable life: money, health, and a secure future? Or would
you seize this opportunity and throw caution to the wind, perhaps asking for something unconventional and original such as a journey through time to meet with the great philosophers, or enhanced artistic and analytic capabilities to help you better explore all that life has to offer?
After you have weighed your idealistic expectations of yourself against your most realistic sense of how you would respond, consider inviting another person to participate in this exercise with you. If you do so, we suggest that you discuss the ways in which each of you envisioned yourself and each other handling the above scenario. What do the predictions that each of you made tell you about the expectations you have of one another? How do these expectations influence the underlying dynamics of your relationship?