“Growing up, my main idol was Harry Houdini, escape artist extraordinaire. He was a magician and an escape artist who died in 1926 but whose name is used nearly daily to describe incredible feats. His name became a verb in the dictionary. ‘To do a Houdini’.
What does he have to do with our thoughts? I have shared here how great thought leaders from ancient times through today have pointed out that our only limitations exist in our thinking and what we believe. If we think we can or we can’t, we are right.
Thinking makes it so. Whatever we focus on expands. If we are predominantly negative or don’t think we can, if we don’t believe we can make things happen and design a life to live on our own terms, then it is unlikely we will ever do so. Thoughts stop us if we let them.
A Breakthrough – When The Impossible Becomes Possible
Houdini made a name for himself by going around this and other countries offering to escape from their jail cells. He challenged the police to restrain him and constrain him in such a way that he could not get free. He offered cash rewards to those who could hold him.
He never had to pay. He escaped. He knew what he was doing and beyond that he was a master marketer and publicist. He knew how to get attention. In one jail, he was stripped naked as usual. Searched to make sure he had no keys or lock picks and then shackled.
The door is closed and locked. The jailers and press leave. Typically, within a certain amount of time Houdini would emerge dressed and free of the shackles having escaped the locked cell. Houdini is now inside a cell, his jailers gone and he is working on the cell lock.
The Mind That Perceives The Limitation Is The Limitation
He can’t pick it. He used hidden picks but today it was not working. An hour went by and he began to panic. He had never encountered a jail cell lock he couldn’t pick. He kept trying. His entire reputation was on the line. If he failed his career was over. He couldn’t pick it.
Another passed. He was covered in sweat. Afraid. Near exhaustion he collapsed against the jail cell door and it swung open. What? It swung open! The jailers, in all the commotion, had forgotten to lock the door. They simply shut it and left the room. No one realized.
Not even Houdini. Shocked, but relieved, he quickly dressed and exited the cell triumphant. Headlines in the paper praised his escape. Only Houdini knew the truth until he revealed it years later. He was a prisoner of his own mind. He thought the door was locked.
Life Becomes Limitless When You Become Fearless
That is the same with each of us. We are prisoners of our own limiting thoughts and beliefs. We have assumptions we grew up with that go unchallenged. We think we can’t or are not good enough. We must stop believing the limitations and instead challenge them.
Whenever you doubt you can do anything positive that would mean a good change for you and for others you should stop. Stop doubting you can and start doubting that you can’t. You should doubt your limitations. Stop believing them. Know you can and doubt you can’t.
Our beliefs and thoughts are old conditioning we adopted growing up. Perhaps, useful at one time or in a particular context, they need to be evaluated and challenged. Houdini learned to always check each door after that just in case someone left it open. He learned.
The Only Thing Limiting Us Is Our Belief There Are Limits
We can learn too. We can learn to go beyond limitations and stop being a prisoner of our own thinking. We can excel and move forward in positive ways when we give ourselves reasons to. Find your strengths and talents. You have so many. Begin appreciating yourself. Be grateful for who you are. Feel blessed. Realize you are incredibly resourceful. Celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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2 thoughts on “We Are Prisoners Of Our Own Making But We Can Change That!”
Wonderful story, studied Houdinini’s life for years but never found that story. Love it. Thank you so very much…..I will definitely be retelling that story. Thanks again.
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I love your use of words here Rex. I’m applying my thinking to explore new and interesting places with focus guiding me. Interesting terrain.
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