Are You A Prisoner of Your Own Making?

Jim Donovan

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There is a wonderful story about the famous escape artist, Harry Houdini that illustrates the theme of this issue of my newsletter. As the story goes, the great Houdini often boasted about how he could escape from any confinement or jail cell. One day, he was challenged by the keeper of a new, high tech, high security jail ­ purported to be escape proof.

Houdini accepted the challenge and was given a specific amount of time to complete this seemingly impossible task. Poor Harry tried everything with no success. He attempted to pick and manipulate the lock and every other trick he knew. The lock did not budge.

After many hours, with his body drenched in sweat, he collapsed against the door, which opened. You see, it had never been locked in the first place. It was all in his mind! The great Houdini was held prisoner by his own thoughts. His thinking kept him from breaking out of the jail cell. He believed the door was locked, believed it would be difficult to open and, sure enough, it was.

How many of us are held prisoner by our own thoughts? How many times do we create our own “jails" in our minds? How many things have you wanted to do but did not because you thought you would fail? Are your thoughts and beliefs keepingyou a prisoner in your own mind? What are some of the things you want to do? Do you want to have a new relationship, lose weight, learn a sport, dance, sing, start a business, travel? What's stopping you? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Why not just go for it and see what happens? Instead of being worried you might fail, why not ask, “what if I succeed?" Remember the statement made by Henry Ford who said,

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. "

© 2004 Jim Donovan — PO Box 1147, Buckingham, PA 18912 — (215) 794-3826

Jim Donovan is the author of “Handbook to a Happier Life, a motivational speaker and coach. For a no cost bonus product & more, visit

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