Well-Being//

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Thoughts.


Foreword: Hi there! It’s me, Rybo. Welcome and thank you for clicking on this article. It’s been a while since my last article. I’d like to tell you a story today. Before I begin, I have a small ask. Please stop whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re thinking, and pay full attention to this article. I would require your full undivided attention to immersive yourself in this story. I had much pleasure writing it, and I hope you will have pleasure enjoying it as well.


There is a prisoner, living his life in the prison, without knowing that he lives inside a prison.

The prisoner mood swings throughout the day, he felt angry, sad, anxious, stressed, and happy. He doesn’t know why.

Until one day a wise man came to visit.

The wise man told him that the outside world is beautiful, full of tranquility, and free of negativity.

The prisoner asks, “Wise man, how can I break out of prison then?”

The wise man says, “It’s easy, you have the power to break free yourself, you need to practice, and practice hard at something to master it.”

The prisoner is puzzled, “What is it that I have to practice?”

The wise man, “Practice being in the moment.”

Any idea who that prisoner is?

Us.

We are all prisoners.

Whether we know it or not.

We did not commit any crimes.

We are not locked up behind bars.

We are not physically contained.

We are all prisoners.

Then, how are we, prisoners?

We are contained by our belief systems.

We are bounded by others’ expectations.

We are locked in by cultural norms.

We are confined by social norms.

We are trapped by our ego.

We are behind bars that we cannot see.

We are in a mental prison.

A mind jail.

We are not alone.

There are many, many of us together as prison mates.

We are all confined by the belief systems that we are raised with.

By the mental models taught in schools.

By the standards and norms we see in public media.

We suffer because we compare.

We need at least two things to make a comparison.

One thing with respect to another.

We compare our past to now. That’s why we’re sad.

We compare now to the future. That’s why we’re anxious.

We compare now to the social norms.

We compare ourselves to others.

The list goes on and on and on.

By practicing being in the present moment, we will eliminate a respective point to compare to.

When that respective point is no longer there, how else can we compare?

That’s when we break free from our mental jails.

That’s when we are freed from our ego.

Once we break out, we are no longer part of the ‘normal’ group. We will be a social outcast, we will be outliers, and we might not even be accepted.

But, why do we care? We don’t care anymore. We are living in the present moment.

Sounds very nice, right?
Where’s the dilemma?

In the process of breaking free, we might have to challenge existing status quo, and maybe even hurt others who cared about us with great intentions because we are not willing to comply with their belief systems, their social norms, their mental barriers, which from their perspectives, is the right one, and is safe for us to remain within.

To stay in, or to break free?

That’s the dilemma.


Take Action Today!

If you found value in this article, please click the icon to show your support and share it, you never know who else in your network may find it valuable 🙂

Would love to hear your opinion on this post, please share them in the comments. Your feedback will make me a better writer and in return provide better content. I welcome any feedback.

Originally published at medium.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Actor and Director Alex Dower: We need to start a movement around more “long term decision making”

by Marco Derhy
Wisdom//

Hurry Sickness and Time Famine

by Arianna Huffington
Community//

“We need to do a better job in helping people transition from prison back to the community to reduce the recidivism rate” With Barbara McQuade, Fmr. US Attorney and NBC News and MSNBC contributor

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.