Everything is Temporary
When I was in prison, it felt like I would be there forever. That my permanent state of being was uncertainty and pain. I felt as though I would be worthless for the remainder of my life. Once I looked beyond the fear and anxiety, I understood there was an expiration date. I didn’t know when, but I knew there was one. That alone gave me the strength to endure. This is the power of impermanence.
Our Perspective Dictates our Reality
Is this happening to you? Is this happening for you? One is playing the victim, the other is taking responsibility for your life. The moment I dropped the victim role (which I played for a while), I found freedom – inside prison. This is our choice.
Choice is Freedom
I found “Man’s Search for Meaning” in the prison library. It’s one of the most profound perspective shifting books I have ever read. I reread it once a year. This quote is one of many reasons I make that claim.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
When we embrace choice, we have agency over our lives. When we have agency over our lives – we can rebuild. We can start over.
Gratitude is a Superpower
I was sitting in the prison library, with nothing to my name. I lost everything. My amazing wife, my career, my money, my homes, and cars. I lost my identity and self-worth. And yet, one crisp early morning, the sunrise was spectacular. I put pen to paper and wrote, “I’m grateful for this morning’s sunrise.”
I found something to be grateful for in my most challenging time. I cannot express how important that truly is.
Adversity Can Be a Gift
Our greatest adversities do not have to be the end. In fact, they can be our greatest teachers and our greatest beginnings. The choice is ours. It begins when we embrace the other 4 lessons.