3 tips to freeing yourself from slavery

horse and his boy

Do you have a slave mentality?


In “The Horse and His Boy” by C.S. Lewis, a talking horse named Bree, who recently escaped slavery, is traveling with talking horse Hwin. (Since they talk, they see no reason for their riders to possess them; hence, the strange title.) At this part of the story, they have to rush to warn of an impending attack. But after days of travel, they feel the need to slow down.


Hwin asks Bree, “… [W]hen Horses have humans (with spurs and things) on their backs, aren’t they often made to go on when they’re feeling like this? and then they find they can…”

“I think, Ma’am,” said Bree very crushingly, “that I know a little more about campaigns and forced marches and what a horse can stand than you do.”

To this Hwin made no answer, being, like most highly bred mares, a very nervous and gentle person who was easily put down. In reality she was quite right, and if Bree had had a Tarkaan on his back at that moment, to make him go on, he would have found that he was good for several hours hard going. But one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no-one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.


We are so much like slaves! We do the work for our company because the boss watches us, but then don’t put the time into ourselves because we’re tired. We meet deadlines for other aspects of life, but when no one is watching, we choose not to write because it’s hard. We have so many excuses that we would never use elsewhere, and yet we accept them.


Be hard on yourself—expect greatness in order to achieve it.


How do you defeat the slave mentality?


1. Take care of yourself first. If you have a choice between your writing and a project for your job, do your writing first. If you begin with the project, you’ll make excuses about writing. But if you begin with writing, you’ll finish your project because you have to.

2. Add pressure. Tell others about your goal so they will hold you to it. Gamble if you need to. If you don’t meet your goal, you have to pay $50 or eat dog food. Think of something that will motivate you.

3. Write it down. You will only accomplish your goals if you write them down. Be specific and make a deadline.


By following these steps, you can become master of yourself instead of slave to your laziness.


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