How Bad Do You Want Out Of Your Prison Cell?
Written By: Mark Smith
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I had a disturbing dream the other night. I was a prisoner in a large, loud, scary prison. I had gun and the plan was for me to use it to break out. The strange thing was that I didn't appear all that terribly motivated to initiate my early release. I just sat around holding the gun hoping that nobody was going to shoot me. It wasn't that I was afraid of the risk involved in attempting to break out, it was more like I was apathetic about actually wanting out. When I woke up I knew immediately what my dream meant. I have some areas of my life where I am stuck, unmotivated and lacking in passion. I know exactly what I need to do to move forward in my life but the bigger part of me just doesn't quite give a damn. Near the top of my list is to put my increasingly chubby self on a healthy, weight reducing eating program while returning to a weight lifting regimen. At age 52 if you aren't close to your fighting weight a whole lot of stuff atrophies even faster than it needs to. I have set September 1st as the day my inner skinny guy is going to bust out of his prison of tight pants, chippy comments from my buddies, high blood pressure and images of an inordinately fat guy in my mirror. I want out of that prison. Just give me a few more weeks of self medicating comfort eating. I do want out of this self-destructive life style. Trust me when I tell you that skinny guy is coming out guns blazing with a fierce determination. I will report back on my progress.
So, my assumption is that I'm not the only guy suffering from a self-imposed prison sentence. Where are you stuck? What do you know you need to do but aren't doing yet? How bad do you want it? How bad do you want to move forward? I hate to sound even remotely like Charlie Sheen, but how bad do you want to win? Where in your life are you having your head handed to you? Where are you getting beat?
What is the action step that you just haven't had enough fire to pull the trigger on. Are you settling in your relationship? Are you unsatisfied with your career? Is money crushing you? Is depression the school yard bully who is shaking you down for your lunch money? Is anxiety whipping you? Are you voiceless and overly passive in a relationship or even across the board in your life? Are you a dysfunctional jerk magnet? Is it your abandoned home project list that is celebrating in your end zone? Are you tired of getting beat? What are you going to do about it? Do you want out of your prison soon or are you comfortable there?
Do you need to call a good trainer? Or your family doctor? Or a therapist? I had a new client call all three a few weeks ago. She desperately wants out of her prison cell. She will get there too. Or do you need to call Weight Watchers? Or a gym? Or a talented Coach? Or a financial advisor? Your Sponsor? Or a Pastor? Or God Himself? Do you need to darken the door of a 12 Step meeting? You can't break out of your prison with your bare hands all by yourself.
You will need some fire power. Get the help you need. A great therapist who is engaged by a desperate, motivated, teachable, hurting, trusting and following through fire ball of a client can benefit that fortunate soul and their family immeasurably. You can salvage and rebuild priceless things like your integrity, your peace of mind, your financial future, your health, your self-esteem, your marriage and the security of your children.
Life is too short to be confined to a prison cell. What are your dreams? Make them happen. Don't settle for an average, broken, defeated and/or miserable existence. Reach for the tools and the help that you need and do what you have to do. One of mine and a lot of people's favorite movies is 'The Shawshank Redemption'
Here is a great quote by Morgan Freeman's character Red: [narrating] "In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty. Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big goddamn poster. Like I said, in prison a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied. Turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time.
I guess after Tommy was killed, Andy decided he'd been here just about long enough. Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.". That was a man who desperately wanted out of prison. That was a man who required of himself that he win. That was a man with a plan. That was a man who did whatever it took. This was a man with hope and vision. Sometimes to achieve what you need to achieve you need to drag yourself through many hundreds of yards of shit smelling foulness. It would be easier and in many ways more fun for me to keep inhaling ice cream bars, chocolate candy, pudding, cake, donuts, etc. But on September 1 it is going to be NutriSystem. I think some of their dinners smell almost as bad as Andy's route to freedom to be quite honest.
Come up with a plan. Let the fire of hope and huge dreams burn in your belly. Start chipping away at the walls that imprison you. Do little things every single day that will add up into massively huge things some day. Bust out of your prison. Be a free man or woman.
Refuse to be defeated. Refuse to be ordinary. Become bigger and stronger and smarter and than all the things that are conspiring to beat you. You can be the full person you are meant to be. Do it!
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