Unleash Your Mind’s Full Potential: A Guide to Breaking Free from Mental Confinement

The exit isn’t clear if your mind is cloudy.

If you’ve never built a box fort as a kid, sorry, but your childhood sucked.

It sucked because you would tear that sucker to smithereens after you got bored. Box forts are small and comfortable. Yet, after being confined, all kids desire to channel their inner King Kong and break free.

Why do those instincts tend to diminish as we grow up?

Because we adults like to build more insidious boxes…

The boxes that fly under the radar. The ones we don’t even know we’re trapped in.

I’m not talking cardboard anymore. I am referring to the box or mental prison that is your mind. Whenever the exit is unknown, it is impossible to break free of it. I know all too well of this dilemma.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reclaim that clarity and revitalize what we’ve lost along the way.

How To Get Trapped (Do the Opposite)
  • Easy Dopamine
  • Soul-Sucking Occupations
  • Lack of Meaning/Purpose

These have clouded my mind. And wiping the fog off the mirror takes time.

Cultivating the opposite of these three detriments affords you the clarity to catch a glimpse of the exit.

Plato illustrates this sense of cloudiness with his cave allegory:

A bunch of dweebs were in a cave staring at a face of rock that showed their shadows. This is all they knew in life. In a sense, they didn’t know their true selves and their potential. Clouded by the darkness of the cave, they were content with mediocrity.

One day a brave soul decided to venture out of the cave and step into the unknown: a place where scary meets beautiful. The braveness to break out of the cave was rewarded with a taste of the true essence of life. Excited to break the news to the lost, the brave one went into the cave to tell the others.

Now imagine YOU were hearing this news. How would you respond?

People fall into three responses:

  1. Breaking out of the cave with a healthy reckless abandon
  2. Keeping one foot in and one foot out – like a child hesitating to get into the cold swimming pool and keeping lukewarm.
  3. Staying in the warm, comfortable cave – a state akin to Neo taking the blue pill and staying in never-never land

Choose wisely.

If you’ve picked #1, do the opposite of getting easy dopamine, trapping yourself in a soul-sucking job, and lacking purpose.

Do hard things with equanimity.

Find a job that aligns with who you are and what you value.

Those two are more than enough to give you a sense of purpose. But it’s not an easy feat. However, neither is sitting in a dark cave.

The Mindset to Break out of Your Box

If your childhood didn’t suck, think of that feeling of breaking out of your box-fort. What were you thinking at the time?

Chances are it was something like, “I’m bored, and it’s time to get the f*** out of here!”

No matter how silly the game, kids love to play. This is the state of open-mindedness required to break free of your box. Adulthood tends to force us in the other direction. Therefore, we must retain our inner-child freedom while maintaining our adult sense of wisdom.

“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Matthew 19:14

For the longest time, I didn’t understand this bible verse.

But now I feel like it relates to the theme of this blog post.

The “kingdom of heaven” is the source of expansive freedom. The opposite of this is the depths of hell – a restrictive, maximum-security prison. The one thing kids have over adults is that they are too young to build up their mental prison and stronghold. It is not in their nature. That is why theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They are the free ones.

Do not be mistaken that all adults will never inherit the kingdom of heaven – we just have to work harder for it than children do. This means overcoming our natural tendency to become trapped and tapping into our inner-child-like sense of wonder.

Become Encouraged with Your First Taste of Evidence

My personal transformation journey began because I felt boxed in and trapped. I called it Casa de social anxiety. Not to toot my horn, but I was a Ted Mosby-level architect.

The box I built was so grand that I lost sight of the exit. To regain that sight, I joined a gym. Pro-Tip: Great architects begin workouts by puffing a cigarette and sipping pre-workout to wash it down.

I kicked that habit. But I was still in that anxious box a year later. Going to the gym did wonders in chiselling away at the foundation of my self-made box. However, I still didn’t get a glimpse of the exit.

The glimpse came a year and a half later. It all started with the inspiration to find my way to the exit. In Kindergarten, my teacher said I was “a friend to all.” I was showing no evidence of that in my early adulthood. But as I found my way to the exit through repeated deliberate exposure to social situations, I remembered how I was as a child.

Joe Dispenza says wisdom is acquired when you uncouple an emotion from an event.

A string of past events led me to build up this box. Venturing towards the exit loosened that string’s grip on me once I caught evidence of the serene feeling of breaking free.

Concluding Statement

The weapons of our warfare are not of our flesh but have divine power to demolish strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4

Recognize the box you’re in & stay fighting against those strongholds of your mind.

Until next time, #sparkperception

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