Releasing From Mental Prisons (Part 5)

by Patrick Liew on October 7, 2011

All of us are prisoners of our thoughts.

Paradoxically, it is through our thoughts that we can release ourselves from the prisons of our minds.

I worked in a highly competitive industry – and that’s what makes it really exciting.

In the process of competing, many people will resort to all kinds of tactics – some of which are ethically questionable – to win a deal.

They will spread vicious rumours so as to close a sale or recruit a salesperson from another organization.

As the CEO of a market leader, I have my fair share of many libellous remarks. They can be emotionally hurting and damaging.

It’s quite humorous, at least to me, when I meet a fellow competitor whom I have never met before. I would begin the conversation by asking, “What have you heard about me?”

If they are downrightly frank, they will describe the Patrick Liew they heard from the negative grapevine.

I find it so amusing that some of the descriptions almost sounded ‘complimentary’ – they made me out to be such an evil genius.

I would be amiss if I tell you I am not affected by some of the negative gossips, backbitings, and downright insults.

To maintain my sanity, and in fact, learn from and grow through the negativity, I have developed what I called my TRAP system.

This is to ensure that I am not trapped by the negative words and the resulting thoughts in my mind. They might imprison me mentally and impair my life negatively.

1.       T – THOUGHTS

I will confront the negative thoughts that go through my mind.

I will not deny the reality and neither will I run away from it.

2.       R – RESULTS

I will be mindful of the outcomes that have happened when I entertained these negative thoughts in my mind.

I will think through how they will can affect myself, my loved ones, my business, and my future.

3.       A – ARGUMENT

I will reason with myself.

I will dispute the lies, half-truths, and distorted information.

If need be, I will debate with myself so that I can turn my negative reactions to proactive actions.

Instead of allowing it to become destructive, I will look at how to turn it into a constructive experience.

I will turn the emotional pain into an overall gain for my life.

a.       Reasoning

To help me in this argument process, I may have to prove to myself that the accusations are baseless, illogical, and absolutely negative.

For example, if they say that some of my salespersons are talking bad about my company, I will find out who they are and confront them to ascertain the truth.

I will not allow the worry, fear and concerns to keep me awake at night.

b.      Options

I might also explore what are the root causes for the negative experience and the various options to resolve it.

I will not allow challenges to affect me personally. I also choose to believe that they are not perpetual or universal.

I know they are not terminal. I can respond to them and develop solutions to overcome them.

c.       Benefits

I’m committed to solicit feedback and uncover gems of lessons to help me improve and become a better person.

4.       P – PROGRESS

After I have out-argued myself on how to keep the negative thoughts out of my mind and to focus on the positive thoughts, I will explore ways to plot my progress in life.

I will look at ways to reinvent myself so as to achieve quantum leaps of improvements. In addition, I will reengineer my lifestyle so that I can achieve better results.

As I continue to apply the TRAP system in my life, I found new and better ways to free myself from the prisons of my mind.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we ‘trap’ negative words and experiences, and ensure that they do not affect our progress in life?


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