As an ex-advertising man it’s probably no surprise that I love Mad Men. I’ve lapped up the first five series on DVD.
Now I know it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but it works on so many levels for me.
In one particular plotline in Series 4, creative director Don Draper comes up with an award-winning commercial for the agency’s fictitious floor-polish client Glo-coat, in which a young boy in a cowboy hat appears to be behind prison bars.
As the ad progresses, we see that the bars are actually those of the back of a chair, behind which he feels incarcerated while his mother cleans the floor with an inferior polish that apparently takes much longer to dry than Glo-coat. He’s been instructed not to step on the tiles until it has.
In a way, he’s constructed his own jail. Maybe we all do this from time to time?
When times are emotionally good, you feel as though the world’s your oyster. Nothing holds you back. Anything is possible.
But, of course, the reverse can feel true if you’re struggling through a rough patch. Everything holds you back. Nothing is possible.
Sometimes though, the only thing that has truly changed is your own mindset.
It’s very very difficult (perhaps impossible) to snap out of it.
But it can help just a little to remember that if you’ve built the prison, you’re probably the best person in the world to know how to escape from it.