Having doubts about the potential of your mind? Finding it difficult to see opportunities in dire situations? If yes to both questions then you might learn a lot from the Houdini story. If you haven’t heard about Houdini, the master illusionist, and stunt performer, or his failed prison escape yet, then this is the article to read. Join us on this quest for mental freedom.
True, Houdini was a great stunt performer who found ways to escape any sort of confinement he was placed in. He was so good at it that he openly proclaimed that he could break out of any jail cell in the world. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t in the least prepared for what came next. Houdini had grown quite a reputation over the years as a master magician. His reputation preceded him so much that a very old jail down south took him up on his offer and accepted his challenge.
Houdini was pleased. He arrived at the jail in plain street clothes. A massive crowd awaited his escape outside the prison. Exuberating confidence, Houdini walked into the jail and the chosen cell. The moment he stepped in, the metal doors closed behind him, locked in perpetuity.
Again Houdini was pleased. He was on the brink of a historic prison escape.
With his back to the cell doors, he shrugged off his coat ready to begin his escape. Next, he whipped out his belt. Secretly hidden in Houdini’s belt was a ten-inch piece of steel tough and malleable enough to pry a lock clean open.
Houdini smiled at his trickery.
He set to work on the lock with his steel wire. This should be an easy escape, he thought. But after thirty minutes of battling the lock, Houdini’s confident expression suddenly turned dim. His steel wire penetrated the lock alright, but it didn’t open the cell doors, not in the slightest bit. Unwilling to accept defeat, Houdini continued to work laboriously on the lock, his clothes sinking in sweat with every minute that passed.
An hour later, Harry Houdini, the greatest magician at the time, was bathed in sweat. Two hours later, he cried in defeat and slumped body first into the metal doors. At Houdini’s physical concession, the jail doors opened. Houdini stood mentally and physically exhausted to see that the cell doors had not been locked the whole time. It was a ruse set by the prison guard and the master magician had fallen for it.
The Moral in Houdini’s Defeat
How stupid Houdini must have felt when he realized that the door he so desperately tried to open wasn’t locked at all. Because you see, the door wasn’t locked physically, but in Houdini’s mind, it was as secure as a bank vault. In his mind, that door was the most secure thing in the world. His mind had misled him, and he only realized that in the ending moments of his failed escape.
The mind is powerful and most times, wholly negative. How many times have you been faced with doors of opportunities that felt locked but aren’t? How many times have you been stuck in the mental prison of OVERTHINKING? How many times have you taken complicated routes to solve problems that had a simple solution?
Quite a lot, isn’t it?
The blame lies with the mind. Because you see, an ancient Africa proverb says: “when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” Your mind is the most powerful force you will ever face. Why, because it is twisted in fear, confusion, and doubts.
As you may have already experienced, your mind will tell you lies. Chasing your dreams can be difficult when your mind makes you believe that you can’t achieve them. Your mind will tell you negative things like how you aren’t built for that, how you can’t achieve that, or how you don’t have the energy to compete with others. It’s all a hoax because the mind opines negatively about a lot of things.
You must thank your mind for its opinion (Namaste) and carry on with your vision. The moment you understand that you control your mind and it does not control you, opportunities suddenly fall in the right places. Because you see, Houdini’s failed prison escape showed us that the only locked doors that exist are in our minds.
No more hiding in fear, doubt, and confusion. No more considering ‘what ifs’ and ‘whatnots’. No more overthinking your strategies and dreams. The doors of reality are all open; all you have to do is walk through them.
Signs You’re an Overthinker
The mind is tricky as well as powerful. It may never allow you to confirm suspicions that you’re an overthinker. Fortunately for you, you’ve found us. The truth is everyone, regardless of age, social status, or gender overthinks sometimes. The important thing is to stop it when it happens. People who tend to overthink for long periods may have mental health issues as there is enough evidence that connects these two factors.
To cut the story short: overthinking can lead to serious psychological problems like anxiety and depression. And after a person’s mental health deteriorates, that person sinks deeper into more overthinking. It’s a vicious cycle and we can help you curb it today.
There are two major forms of overthinking; they are:
- Ruminating about the past
- Worrying about the future
None is worse than the other. Overthinking is overthinking, anyhow you put it. Think about it; developing creative solutions to problems is always a positive experience, whereas overthinking a problem, even for 5 minutes won’t change anything. Here are worrying signs that suggest you may be an overthinker:
- Reliving embarrassing moments in your head
- Trouble sleeping
- Asking what-if questions repeatedly
- Regularly thinking about people’s opinions
- Analyzing previous conversations and regretting not saying certain things
- Constantly reliving your mistakes
- Dwelling on the past and needlessly worrying about the future
- Worrying about things you have no control over
How to Overcome Overthinking
As Houdini’s story showed us, we need not overthink anything. We certainly have to take a step forward in life or we’ll never know how things will turn out. Houdini worried too much about ‘opening a lock’ and never thought about ‘opening the door’. Unlock your mind and be positive. Stop overthinking everything.
Modern Man Advice