Freedom is not what you think

“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

There’s so much talk on blogs and in books about freedom.

You hear it everywhere. About owning your calendar. Being location independent. Having no one to report to. Running your own businesses. The list goes on.

Freedom, as well as any value, can be defined a million and one ways. Have you actually sat down to define yours? If you haven’t, you’ll likely spend your life trying to accomplish someone else’s dream. You’ll never get there and the journey is going to suck.

Is that really how you want to spend your time?

Take a minute right now and think about what it means to you to be free.

What does your lifestyle need to look like? How do you need to feel? How would you be spending an average day? Where are you making money to support yourself? What’s exciting you each day? Really give this a little time and scribble down some answers.

Maybe for you freedom is being able to give your children the education they deserve or granting them every opportunity to pursue their passions. Maybe it’s being able to work in your underwear or take your spouse on a hot date on a dime’s notice. Or perhaps to work on the things that truly excite you or to have a reason to smile every day. Or maybe for you the one universal freedom is enough, to choose your own thoughts and define what life’s situations mean to you. Your call. Give it some thought.

Do you know how free you are?

Sometimes we spend so much time wanting what someone else has, we forget to take advantage of what’s right in front of us. There are freedom’s we have that no one can take from us, yet so few of us actually do anything with them.

You are free to help someone with something you are really good at.

You are free to pursue an idea that excites you (even if it’s only on the nights and weekends to start).

You are free to learn and become an expert on anything in the world.

You are free to be fit, healthy and energetic.

You are free to be calm and balanced.

You are free to go almost anywhere in the world for less than the cost of your monthly rent (likely a lot less).

You are free to negotiate a new working situation with your boss to better leverage who you are.

You are free to call in sick tomorrow and spend the day learning what you actually want.

You are free to quit and do something that matters.

You are free to spend time around passionate people.

You are free to share your art with the world, and get paid for it.

You are free to find what excites you.

You are free to be inspired.

You are free to take action.

I promise you something. You are more free than you think. Don’t let some made-up excuses of circumstance keep you from doing something about it.

No one is stopping you but yourself.

Pick a freedom and start small.

What are you going to do with yours?


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15 Responses to “Freedom. It’s Not What You Think.”

  1. Hi Scott,
    I’ve spent SO MUCH time thinking about how my perfect life will look. You’re preaching to the choir here for sure! But I’ve never thought of freedom in quite this way before. We do have many freedoms we don’t even think about! “Pick a freedom and start small.” I like that!
    A well-timed post on freedom Scott ;-)
    Happy 4th of July!
    Lori

  2. You really got it right – everyone loves talking about freedom, and lots are fighting against it being “taken away”. Freedom isn’t anything unless you use it to do something you would otherwise not be able to do.

    Something as simple as being free to make a career choice – we’re brought up hearing “you can be anything you want to be” but when it comes time to pick a school, pick a major, pick a job, you would think that you’re missing out on EVERYTHING if you don’t choose a path in something everyone *thinks* you’re good at.

    I went through high school and early college believing “you’re not a technical person, so don’t try to learn a technical skill.” So I did that – went along with my creativity and people skills in making my career decisions – except I always felt this handicap in not knowing how to actually *do* things – just talk about them. So this year I’ve forced myself into the technical side of things, and I never thought I would enjoy it like I do. A hard-learned skill brings creativity to life.

    I’m so glad that reading pieces like this from you and others have helped me to recognize that freedom to do anything in the real tangible sense. Thanks Scott!

    • Scott says:

      Sometimes it takes listening to folks about how you “should” do things in order to realize how much of a waste of time it is. Better to learn it nice and early and then start walking your own path. Congrats to being on yours!

  3. Well said Scott. I’ll read an excerpt of this article to my yoga students in tomorrow’s class…because the teacher is free to say what he wants to the students :) (*and the students are free to speak their minds too, sometimes they just need a little encouragement). Much thanks -George-

    • Scott says:

      That’s awesome George. I’m honored to have a sentence or two in your class!

      • Thank you Scott! Just got back from an Iris speed reading class in Seattle, WA (based on a rec’ in one of your recent posts about investing in your self) and I’m very pleased with the results. Just about tripled my current speed and I see room for improvement. Cheers & thanks again -George-

        • Scott says:

          Kick ass George! I still teach some of those classes here and there in SF. Was Paul your teacher? That stuff helps a ton as long as you stick to the drills. Like working out ;) Congrats on finishing the class!

  4. Jacque says:

    Yet another inspiring post. Thank you. I needed that.

  5. Chelsea says:

    Great perspective on freedom. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Bdins says:

    Great article. Good food for thought. Well written.

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