Imagine yourself in jail. Behind bars, cast away from light and society. Away from the things you love. Your favorite food. Your favorite activities. Sport or dancing. All of that. Strip that all away.
How does that make you feel?
I imagine you not feeling well would be a serious understatement.
But luckily, this was just a thought exercise. In fact, an exercise of gratitude. Which is quite common these days on the web.
How did I stumbled upon this exercise?
I kinda made it up…
I was researching motivation, and trying to motivate myself. Listening to music. Then I wondered why the lyrics of singers and rappers hold such power.
The source of the power was a certain scarcity in the life of the artists.
And a longing for more.
This is not going to be my future!
Then I saw a video clip, with the artist singing behind bars. And I felt his pain and grief. His desire to make himself a better person. To do more. To be more.
I felt all that and more.
I realized that when you hit rock bottom, the only way left is up.
Then it struck me. I wasnt in jail. I wasnt even doing that bad. I was just having one of those grinding days. But the mental exercise of me in jail, stripped away from all the possibilities in life, made me realize all the chances I have left. It made me feel grateful, for all the chances I have left. It made me feel alive. It made me feel free. To do and be whatever I want to do and be. Whenever and wherever I want that.
Prison is an ultimate expression of having nothing left. All you have left is you. And that you is constantly being watched. I’ve been told you cant even go to the bathroom by yourself. You are not free. If there was a word that meant the exact opposite of freedom it would be prison.
Right here is our lesson:
Thinking that you have nothing left enables us to realize the possibility of the chances we have left.
The suffering ends when the gratitude begins. This is where life begins.
When you mentally strip yourself from your freedom, and then when you end the mental exercise and come back, you realize in fact that all your ordinary days are Extraordinary days.
They always were and always will be.