Laughter is the Best Medicine

The prison of your mind | Sean Stephenson | TEDxIronwoodStatePrison

Translator: Phuong Cao
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’m trying to compose
my blog post for tonight, and I’m thinking
it sounds really believable that I went to prison and hugged
a bunch of really nice prisoners, while a DJ busy, threw on some records, and Richard Branson told me
where I can score some free heroin. (Laughter) (Applause) True story! (Laughter) Lesson number one: never believe a prediction
that doesn’t empower you. When I was born,
the doctors told my parents that I would be dead
within the first 24 hours of my life. 35 years later, all those doctors are dead (Laughter) and I am the only doctor that remains. (Laughter) (Applause) Never believe a prediction
that doesn’t empower you. How many predictions have been
thrown at you your whole life? If you believe predictions
that do not empower you, you will wither away and die, either physically die
or your spirit will die as you just walk around
the world like a carcass that is just following the masses. You’ll be given
a lot of titles in your life, you’ll be told so many different things. You must only listen
to that which empowers you. I have a belief
that has served me in my life, and that is that everyone
is rooting from me to win, even those that do not know it. And I’m not here today to tell you
that I’ve had adversity in my life and therefore, I know
what you are going through. I don’t have a clue what any of you
are going through in your lives. I did not grow up in your neighborhoods
more than likely. I did not have your set of parents,
nor do I live in your body. I’ve not had the events
that you’ve had happened to you. I can tell you I am only
an expert on one thing, and that’s how to be me, and I do it well. (Applause) But it’s not come easily, I’ve gone through things that I don’t wish
upon anyone in this room. I’ve had metal rods pulled out
of bone marrow while I was awake, I’ve had jaw infections
where teeth had to be extracted and I can no longer chew my own food. I have to get up everyday, and be showered and cared for
physically by another human being; fortunately, she’s a gorgeous
woman that I married. (Applause) I get stared at everywhere I go, and the moment people meet me, if they don’t know a thing
about my résumé, they automatically, just by
the human nature, think to themselves: “Oh, it must be so difficult
to be that man!” If somebody pities me,
they’re wasting their time, because I have chosen a life of strength, I am here to help you
choose a life of strength, but I’m going to tell you,
we’ve talked about drugs here. You know what the worst drug
that ever hit the human race is? Pity. The moment you feel sorry
for another person or the moment you feel sorry
for yourself, you’re hosed. You’re totally, completely
frozen in potential. We can not pity ourselves,
we can not pity you. Yes, I get to go home today, yes, I get
to have what many would call freedom, but I’m going to talk to you about freedom about what I really choose
to see freedom as, because like I said, you can not believe predictions
that do not empower you!. The second lesson today is
you are not your condition. You’re not. I’m not disabled! Sure, I’ll take the handicapped
parking privileges (Laughter) but that does not define me as a man. Not able? I’ve been looked at and treated
my whole life as if I am not able. I have had to rise above and show people that the only disability
is one’s refusal to adapt. You have to adapt to whatever
environment you’re in, even if it’s prison. And what does adaption look like?
I think it looks like celebration. Because when you meet people
that are celebrating their life, you want to be around them,
you want to learn from them, you want to do business with them,
you want to hire them. Look! If you do not want to be seen
as a prisoner or a convict when you get out of this,
or even while you’re in this, there is an attitude, it is a belief in yourself that you bring
value to the human race, no matter what your current condition,
title, or stature is. Because if I believe that I am disabled,
I would wither up, I would be shy, I would be insecure, I would be afraid,
I would act like I need your help. And the rest of humanity
would be OK with that, but I choose something else, I choose to be strong,
I choose to be a leader, I choose to have words
to move this planet, I’ll tell you why I was born. And I hope it inspires you to
find out why you were born. I was born to rid
this world of insecurity. Because when a human being
is insecure, they do stupid stuff. When we feel like we’re not enough, we chase external validation,
and external objects to try to tell us we’re enough. (Applause) Thank you. You are enough. I’ll tell you I’ve made
a pledge of the therapist to love all human beings,
no matter what they’ve done. Because deep down inside, I found that every human being
just wants to be loved, even if they’re tough,
even if they’re scary, even if they’re vicious. You get them in the right position,
at the right time, they’ll tell you the truth. They just want to be loved. Do you know whom they want
the love from the most? Not their moms, not their dads,
not their wardens. None of these people. They want to be able to look in
the mirror and love themselves. And if you can figure that out,
then you’re going somewhere. (Applause) But you can not feel sorry for yourself. When you feel sorry
for yourself, you will wither. But there’s a contradiction
to feeling sorry for yourself, it’s the opposite extreme,
it’s what I call ‘bullying yourself, ‘ beating yourself up, being
your own enemy and telling yourself that all those predictions,
those negative opinions that they’re true, they’re right,
you’re washed up, failure. You’re not going to amount to anything. Bullying yourself is the most
dangerous thing that you could do. You can not afford to pity yourself,
you can not afford to bully yourself, you have to love yourself, because the last lesson that I’m going
to share with you today that is I’m going to teach you
what the real prison is, it’s not surrounded by bar,
wire, or electrical fences, the real prisons do not have guards, the real prison’s up here. And we all got it, we all have a mind that chatters,
so often won’t stop chattering. Do you know where your salvation is?
It’s not outside these walls. I’ve met so many people that are
so extremely successful and famous, that are in prison, because they’re stuck in their minds, bullying themselves, pitying themselves. True freedom is dropping down
out of that mind. And what my wife has taught me
is to drop into your hearts. in the mastering this beating thing that is more than just sending
blood to the extremities. What is it doing? It’s sending emotional possibilities,
infinite possibilities of choice in our behavior, in our life,
in our attitude. When you love yourself, whether you’re sleeping
on a prison cot, or in a mansion, whether you have food in your belly, or you don’t know
when your next meal is coming, when you love yourself, when you learn to master your emotions, then and only then are you free. I love you, each and everyone of you,
and I wish you freedom within these walls. God bless. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The prison of your mind | Sean Stephenson | TEDxIronwoodStatePrison

  1. When I was born. I was given the average male life span to live. They were wrong about that too. Nobody can tell you how long you will live. Period. The only advice about life worth anything is on how to live a good life.

  2. That's right. Stop being a dependent victim. Stop trying to be taken care of. Stop voting for more handouts and safety from something that can't give enough to you. Stop believing the deck is stacked against you so you give up and wait for a policy to redistribute wealth, or to give participation awards to you. Sean is saying… stop voting for the Left.

  3. Thank you Sean. I've listened to you talk a couple of times over the years. I'd like to think this time I really heard you in the way I ought to.

    When we pity another we are casting them a spell of invalidity. Just like when we do that to us. I'm really guilty of pitying others, by my incessant necessity to rescue them from themselves. Mis-applied empathy does more harm than good….and it's something I really have to work on.

  4. Wow, he actually lived up to 40 years old! So much respect and hope that his lessons will be forever remembered and appreciated

  5. I wish my ex girlfriend would have seen this video she had gorgeous looks, tons of money and great health. What was her problem???
    Insecurity, (Low self esteem)
    Not sure why… just wish she can see this MAN speak.

  6. thanks youtube for this!!! and thanks to this man this is amazing and really helpful…. listening to this in repeat… and this message should arrive to everyone in this world… RIP ❤

  7. Wow! That was amazing! I found a great video today that will change my life forever. Love it! Thank you Sean for what you have done for so many people and lives you have changed. What a legacy to leave on the world.

  8. when i was growing up, i was told i would never play soccer, my asthma is too bad, i was the star player of the soccer team, i was told in middle school i would never be able to play basketball my coordination is too bad, i was the only 8th grader that could slam dunk, i was told i could never join the service, i'm too flat footed, the recruiters never even noticed, you know what these so-called experts learned from me? don't fuckin tell me what i can't do or i'll make you eat your own words

  9. Read – Get off your “But” by Sean Stephenson it will empower you to stop self sabotage and stand up for yourself. Sean was an incredible man and I am sad to learn he is gone. R.l.P. Sean! He may have been short in stature but he was a giant in lessons of taking what life has dealt you and holding your head high and believing in yourself. He helped many learn gratitude and how to grow in their own life and appreciate the gifts we all do have.

  10. These are the most important lesson in life. This guy figured it out. He figured out what drives human beings. RIP Sean. You have me a new lease and outlook on life. My job is to pass this wisdom on. Thank you and God bless you.

  11. This piece of sh*t is what's wrong with this world. Someone is going through hard times and he's saying not to feel sorry for them? What a f***ing lowlife!!!

  12. This should be shown at schools all around the world, all classes… Probably one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen and heard… Thank you, whoever you are 🙏❤️

  13. As Prophet Mohammed I say this body could have been aborted in early trimester, for you're not supposed to body snatch the organism and take over the animal until you know its gender as the teachings of Islam are for the Gods and Goddesses.

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