Break Out Of (Your) Prison!

Set Yourself Free

 

Prison Exit

Prison Exit by melissadickson on flickr

Because most people can’t imagine a life that they haven’t lived, their perception of their place in the world is what keeps them inside their current box.

They live in prisons devised of their own thoughts, fears and expectations.

They don’t realize that the bars are there until they try and live beyond those mental barriers.

When we see others living in a world that is beyond the borders of our box, we think that we could never do that.

They must be really brave. Or lucky. Or come from a privileged family. Or have some other secret sauce that we don’t.

Why is it some people can reach high levels of success, while others with the same innate abilities do not? Is it environmental? Is it upbringing? Is it a simple matter of belief?

What determines what level we can rise to?

I hate these questions. Partly because they make me sound like some kind of deep-thinker. But more so because I’m afraid of what the answers could be.

If the answer is what I think it is, then the responsibility for the fact that I’m not where I want to be rests squarely on my shoulders.

No one wants to hear that they are responsible for their own lack of success. But if that really is the case, then it is not possible to move beyond where we are at until we first realize this fact.

Once you see that we make the bars that keep us from reaching our full potential, then we realize that we are the only ones that can break ourselves free from what is holding us back!

So, what do we do with this information? Do we dismiss it and go back to the life that we know and are comfortable with? Do we wrap ourselves in the familiar to insulate us from the fear of the unknown?

If you are anything like me, you try to throw off the yoke of the familiar when ever you can.

Now I’m struggling with the battle between being responsible and wanting change in my life more than anything.

The responsible side of me says to take things slowly. Get everything in order. Pay down all the debt. Decide if we want to get a boat first, or try expatting for a little while first. Research possible locations to move to. Continue looking at boats and figure out how to get a loan on a boat.

The adventurist side of me says screw it all! Move to Costa Rica. Let the financial chips fall where they may. Use global arbitrage to earn enough money to make a comfortable living and pay down the debt. Save up some money and pay cash for a small, old boat.

So, who wins? The conservative or the rebel?

Due to the years of programming from society, the conservative is winning right now. I have not yet overcome the habit of always being the reliable, conservative, play-by-the-rules guy.

I will admit though, that reading blogs like Far Beyond The Stars, Illuminated Mind and The Minimalists have really stirred my rebellious side. I want to dump our stuff and run. I feel like a prisoner that is getting a glimpse of freedom out the window but is not able to get out just yet.

I’m not getting any younger. My kids are growing every day. Am I missing my window of opportunity?

If I were to cut and run, what would be the downside? Do I risk the illusion of safety and security from the job that I’ve had for the last 15 years by leaving it all behind?

On the other hand, what opportunities am I missing out on because I won’t let go of what is familiar?

More questions than answers. This is why most people do not want to look behind the curtain and realize that they are the ones controlling the puppet show around them.

It opens us up to questions that expose our inner selves. If we are really going to look behind the curtain then we have to question just about everything.

On the bright side, once we do question those things, then we can quit living on autopilot. We can begin to live deliberately. We can choose how, when and where we live and make our living.

We can choose to be happy. We can choose what our definition of success is.

We can take advantage of the miracle that the Internet now provides with the opportunity to make a living just about any where in the world. We can take control of our lives in ways that have not been possible to past generations.

What bars have you placed around your life? What questions do you need to ask yourself that you haven’t yet? What is stopping you? The questions may be uncomfortable, but the answers to those questions may be the most freeing things you have ever experienced.

My question for you is: will you tear down the bars and free yourself from your prison?

 

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2 Responses to Break Out Of (Your) Prison!

  1. Jason December 16, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    I love the questions you are asking. I think these questions are ultimately rooted in a spiritual place that is wooing us or drawing us toward a grand adventure… A place in the world where we can truly come alive and find purpose and meaning. And I am not suggesting that you can’t live purposefully in the cubicle or in the average American lifestyle. But I do believe that some of us need to journey, spiritually and physically. The call is deep inside our heart and in our bones, we can just feel it speaking to us.

    I resonate quite a bit with your questions and your thoughts. I also sympathize with difficult decisions when you are parenting because having kids can complicate our response to these burning desires quite a bit. I do however believe that the best way to parent is to show your kids through action what it means to follow your heart and live a life that brings you joy and happiness.

    • Mike Routen December 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

      Jason, I couldn’t agree more. I am one that needs the journey. It is also my hope that by showing my kids the possibilities that are out there for them it will spark the dream of adventure in them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Mike