I was 17 years old when I had the privilege of attending a convention where Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, gave a wonderful lecture. There were many important people speaking that day and the one afterwards, but I only remember Frankl. He influenced not only my choice of profession but also introduced me to the idea that no matter what is happening around me, no matter where I am or what I’m going through, I am responsible for my attitude. The only thing I’m in control of is myself, my thoughts and my perspective in life.
In his book “A Man’s Search for Meaning” he wrote: “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offered sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
On the other hand, a couple of years ago my oldest daughter urged me to watch this new TV version of Sherlock. I refused at first, arguing that I thought of Benedict Cumberbatch as being too young a Sherlock for my taste. Later, when I gave it a try, I was instantly hooked, completely “Sherlocked” (fans will understand). This show, in my opinion, has been the best representation of the famous detective in years and I consider it a masterpiece with excellent cinematography, story adaptation and performances.
I don’t have the memory I wish I had. I read and read and forget most of it but this show made me remember what an amazing work of literature Sherlock’s stories are. Now, after my fandom outburst, I should confess I only mentioned Sherlock mainly to redirect towards the “mind palace” or memory palace term. This technique for memory appears to be a very ancient one which I could certainly use and practice. Instead, I choose for my mind palace to be a healing experience where I work daily upon recalling good memories and discarding the bad. After all, bad memories are but weeds in a garden and, if I don’t pluck them, they will end suffocating the beauty of it all.
In the end, both these events (one from long ago and a recent one), intertwine among other life experiences to enrich my daily living. I choose my way, on a daily basis, to be a positive one filled with hope and good memories (not easy by the way). I choose to have a healing mind palace, the place where my dearest memories are kept alive and contribute to my health and vitality. What do you choose every day?
Choose to be kind and grateful.