72 Secrets to Happiness
Secret 17 Are You Trapped in a Prison?


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Here is a direct quote from the 72 Names of God. 

"We're in prison and we don't even know it! 

'Prison?' you ask.

Unquestionably.

We're hostages to the constant pressure to out do friends and colleagues.  We're in bondage to our reactive whims and self-absorbed desires.  We're captive to our jobs and financial pressures.  We're prisoners to other people's perceptions of us.  We're incarcerated by our need for other people's acceptance.

Want to break out?

The ego is the foundation of all forms of misery.  It compels us to convince others that we're right, even when we're wrong, and even when we know we're wrong.  Ego gives us the illusion that we act freely, but in reality we are captive to its desires.

When a person denies that he or she has an ego well, that is just the ego hard at work, doing its job, patrolling the prison grounds.

If an individual cannot recognize his or her own ego in a situation, the ego simply blinded the person by placing this individual into solitary confinement."

I could not have put it better.  Ego is like a ball and chain that limits our ability to choose our own life style.  Instead of being the director of our lives we become the actor that must do what the script tells us to do and act the emotional part that the writer wishes us to express.

The first real step to taking control of your life is to acknowledge that you are not in control of your life unless you are doing, acting, and being exactly the way you always dreamed life should be.  Just realizing that there is a problem is a huge step because your main detriment to freedom is simply not recognizing that you are imprisoned.

The second step and the hardest step is to figure out a way not to forget what you just learned and then  immediately forget it.  We all forget, and we forget the things that are unpleasant the quickest.  The fact that you are imprisoned is a very unpleasant idea and your ego will quickly try to make you stop thinking about it, and will convince you there is plenty of time to think about this problem later.

So if you have a To Do list put it at the top so you will see it every day.  Or put a note on the refrigerator or if you have a calendar program have it remind you once a week or so.  Do something or reading this secret will simply vanish as quickly as it appeared.

Then finally take a moment or two each day to review just how hard your prison is to escape from and make a plan for the day.  You will not be able to just escape without a plan and some hard work to make the plan come true.  If you are not willing to make an effort then you might just as well forget this whole lesson on happiness and simply resign to a life time of imprisonment with no chance of lasting and fulfilling happiness. 

By the way reading one of these secrets each day can be a great way to expand your mind and give it the tools you will need to make the great escape.  A good start is the secret named Order
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