How to be more free

Live a life of total freedom

In a few short days we will celebrate Independence Day. It’s a day as Americans when we all come together and celebrate all the freedoms and advantages our Country provides. And every year I can’t help but take an inventory of my freedom by asking myself this question,

What freedoms do I have that I am choosing to not take advantage of?

This may seem like a silly question but the truth is un-exercised freedom is not freedom at all.

For many years I gave away some of my most fundamental freedoms. The freedom to control my own story.

I was a victim and believed my circumstances controlled my attitude.

I had no control and I took no ownership. I was a victim of my own thinking.

Luckily, I had some people who came into my life and helped disrupt the patterns. Sarah was one of those people. I shared how she helped me see myself differently in my TEDx talk. Over the years, there have been many others. Too many to mention.

I feel incredibly humbled and grateful to have had so many amazing people come into my life. Through the relationships I have with my mentors, my Dale Carnegie family, and most importantly, my wife, I have learned that the best way to fully operate in your freedom is by doing these two things:

Choose the story you tell yourself

So many people tell themselves the story about the circumstances where they are both the hero and the victim, simultaneously. But not a hero in a good way. The hero in more of a martyr kind of way. And a victim in the sense of having no control over the outcomes or results they get.

This is one of the most dangerous mental places to find yourself. It will limit you, marginalize you, bind you, and ultimately separate you from your greatest purpose.

If you were going to tell yourself a story (and we all do) make sure it’s a story that serves you.

You can either choose to be the hero or the victim. Not both.

There is always something you can do, a different way to think, and a better way to be.

Choose your story.

Choose the relationship you have with your story

Some people confuse their story with who they are.

You are not your story.

You are much more. And we have to remember that the story we are telling ourselves about our circumstances, other people, our potential, and everything else around us is nothing more than that, a story.

So don’t white-knuckle your story. Hold it with an open hand and when your story stops serving you, change it.

A personal example would be how I grew up believing that I was not as smart as the other kids. I was an athlete and that was my identity. Because that was the story I chose to tell myself, I missed out on years of learning & developing. Then, in college when Sarah disrupted my pattern not only did I change my story, but I changed the relationship I had with my story.

When you see yourself differently, you see the world differently. And when you see the world differently, you behave differently. And when you behaved differently, you get different results.

This week, as you celebrate all the freedoms that this Country provides, consider operating in your most fundamental freedom. The freedom from your old story.

Be free.

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***Grammatical errors & misspellings complements of dyslexia : — )***