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In an interview with FT a renowned entrepreneur and hotelier Ian Schrager said that ‘…prison gave me time to think’. He was imprisoned for evading taxes.

JailWhile reading this I started asking myself – Are not we so busy with our work that the best place to sit and think could be a place where we do not want to be. Is not it an irony?

The biggest difference between animals and humans is the ability to think. However, we are so busy with our ‘work’ (daily chore) that we do not have time to think, we do not pause. How many times have you sat in a coffee shop and thought for your actions? How many times have you sat in balcony of your apartment with a cup of tea just doing nothing? ‘We are very busy for that’, right?

What we can expect a person to do in a prison? (On a lighter side – when verdict is not ‘rigorous imprisonment’). Think for yourself – when you are sitting in a place where you do not have anything to do, no TV, no Internet, and no mobile you are all by yourself. It is difficult to pass time like that. And so when we hear a statement ‘…prison gave me time to think’ it seems to make perfect sense?

Long back I read a book by Steven Covey – Seven habits of highly effective people. In that book there was an example for habit 1 – being proactive. The example was of Victor Frankl a Jewish German psychiatrist who was interned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. He realized that he has the power to respond to the situation he was in. He could think of this in a very adverse condition, we occasionally thing about it even after receiving forward mails regarding the same (I received a mail forward which says – …life is 90% how we respond to situation).

How many times have we thought – why am I doing what am I doing? What do I want to do in life? What is the purpose of my life? Do we question ourselves for reason of our existence? This is what the Buddha also thought when he left his family…

Effectively, I had a question to myself and to all of us in general, what does it take to stop and sit down and think. Do we need to go to jails to have time for ourselves to think? When are we taking a leave from our chore for at least few hours in a week, get out of our rut and think something beyond the daily chore?