Goldilocks Thinking

By Balaji Prasad

“I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high." ~ Charlotte Brontë, "Jane Eyre"

Goldilocks was a simple girl. She didn't think too hard, and she got what a little girl would want. She got her fill of some palate-tickling porridge, a bit of relaxation in a comfy chair and some restful sleep in a beautiful bed.

Wouldn't it be nice to be transported to such a magical universe, where you could saunter though its rooms, not have to think too hard, try a few of this and a few of that, and pick and choose whatever you happen to fancy at the moment?

Alas, the real world is a much harsher place. Sometimes it may feel like it buffets us around like little broken ragdolls caught in hurricane winds that have neither mind nor heart for us; the little ragdoll certainly does not feel like the privileged Goldilocks in the children's tale!

Wouldn't it be nice to somehow be like Goldilocks, and traipse through life, carefree and satisfied?

Trapped in a glass cage

We live in an abundant universe. Even when it feels like there are a lot of things wrong with it, if we take a step back and survey things around us, we may see that there are indeed many things that we could get if we really went after them. Somehow, the universe sits there with all its bounty, much more than Goldilocks could have ever wanted, but yet these things are always just out of the reach of our grasping hands. Because they sit on the other side of the glass cage that we find ourselves in. From where we can see many, many things but are never able to touch them.

Forced to deal with what we have on the inside of the glass cage we find ourselves in, we look around with an air of hopelessness, hoping yet that our eyes alight on something meaningful, something that holds the potential for a dash of fulfillment.

And then we spot something! Something we didn't see before, even though it was always there...

A goldmine!

“Me!" we say to ourselves, “There's me, inside this cage, even if there's not much else in sight." Surely, there is something of value in this complex creature of nature that lives, breathes, grows, reacts, heals and does all kinds of magical things. Maybe we can harness the power of this mysterious beast and ride it to nirvana.

There was a time, long, long ago, when this thing used to roam free. A time when it would go where it went, never noticing that there was a glass cage, let alone that there were all these shiny objects outside such a cage. Somewhere along the way, Goldilocks lost her way. She saw other people, became very aware of them, the things they said, and the deeds they did. Unwittingly, she started to adopt many of their habits, ideas and ways of being. She got complicated. Very complicated indeed. The little girl “grew up", and, in the process of doing that, she grew out of herself. She grew out of the world.

But there's a glimmer of hope now. At least we have recognized the presence of this munificent life form that lay more or less dormant for all these years. Yes, the Goldilocks gold is still there; it just needs a bit of thoughtful excavation from the depths of the goldmine that we have just discovered where it lays buried.

Digging out nuggets

Things are starting to shift. We are starting to look within rather than continuing to be tantalized by the mirages out there. We discover that the creature has been busy, working assiduously on its own, even though we were unaware of its existence. Even while we stared into the empty spaces outside the glass cage, for what seems like an eternity, filling those voids with the power of our imaginative minds.

The passage of time has brought rich experience and created many nuggets inside the newly unearthed goldmine that has recently captured our attention. And now that the creature's existence is recognized, it can go deep into these mines and fetch rare and precious things that are life giving and life sustaining: the nuggets that time has carved deep into the landscape that stretches far beyond where our eyes can see.

The return of Goldilocks

“I just want some piquant porridge, a comfy chair, and a beautiful bed," asserts the little girl who's back mysteriously after having been gone for so many years.

It's so much simpler when you know what you want, and when it lies on this side of the glass cage. And, when we don't even see a glass cage. We don't have to “think outside the box" because there is no “box", and, more importantly, there is no “thinking" – at least, the thinking we have been calling “thinking" for so long.

And even when the bears come back from their walk and see you in baby bear's bed, just get up and run into the forest. You'll be fine. Your feet will take you where they need to take you, when they need to do so.

Goldilocks is back. For good.


Balaji Prasad is an IIT/IIM graduate, a published author, SAT/ACT Online and Offline Coach, interview, resume, and career coach at NewCranium. Contact: 704.746.9779 or