Why freedom is so elusive…
We all want freedom, but we feel trapped. We don’t take jobs because we’re not ready to give up our freedom, but we create jobs for ourselves. We decide it’s better to own our house, until we realise it’s the bank that owns it until the mortgage is paid. What is it with freedom that we can’t grasp? Here are the most important points to consider when looking to claim your freedom.
Define what freedom means to you…
Some people feel free, even when they’re in prison. Some people say being in a marriage is being in a prison. I think it’s pretty safe to say that each of us has their own definition what freedom means, and that they should spend some time defining it before they go after it.
Feeling free should have very little to do with circumstances that are outside of your control. Being a slave to outside circumstances is the first sign that you need to re-evaluate what freedom means to you.
And of course, there are several elements in freedom. You can have freedom of time, but not freedom of space. You can have financial freedom, without the freedom of time. Ultimately you can assess what freedom means in every single area that matters to you.
Most of the time, however, freedom can’t really be rationalised. It’s a feeling. You either feel trapped by your outside circumstances, or you don’t let them define you. And depending on what outside circumstances you have to deal with, feeling free can be hard.
The typical gurus will tell you that you should feel free first, and seek freedom second, but I call bullshit on that. It’s the same as saying “be happy first, and change your circumstances second.” Well, if you want change to happen, your current situation will have to be pretty painful or the incentive is not strong enough.
I would even encourage anybody to list everything that is wrong about whatever they want to change. Why they feel trapped, why it’s time to step up, because change is painful and extremely hard. It can’t be attained by wishful thinking. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Freedom involves risks
It’s equally important to admit that freedom is not 100% positive. When you’re free, you are less secure. Any sense of security you can get generally comes with a deprivation of freedom. The simplest example that comes to me is when you put your money in a bank. It’s safer than under the mattress, but you can’t do anything you want with the money anymore.
Most people will seek security in a job because opening a business is risky. However, it’s a trade. They trade their freedom of time and income for a false sense of security.
Whatever freedom you want to acquire, there will always be a risk involved. As long as you can accept that, freedom will give you happiness and fulfillment. As long as you have a sense that you can control your environment, you will compensate the lack of safety.
We’re not conditioned for freedom
Most people can’t break free because we’re not conditioned for freedom. From birth we are kept “safe,” first behind bars when we are toddlers, then in a school. We are given all kinds of rules to follow, and not allowed to question them.
The result is that when we reach adulthood, we are conditioned to crave a sort of confinement of our liberties in exchange for a sense of safety. Whether it’s good or bad is beyond the scope of this article, but people who crave freedom will have to address the limiting beliefs imprinted on them from birth.
There are two types of individuals. There are those who can satisfy themselves with whatever rule society has deemed best for the time period. And there are rule breakers, people who will always question the rules and look for the loopholes.
These people, no matter how hard you try to condition them, will always crave more freedom. They may never get it, but they’ll relentlessly look for it. It’s the part of them that can’t be conditioned.
That would actually be my final point. To really decide what freedom means to you, look at what you intuitively believe. Your intuition is the unconditioned part of you that nobody can touch. It can be made so dormant that you no longer dare to listen to it, but it can’t be conditioned. Look at what your intuition tells you and make a plan to expand your freedom in as many areas as possible.
And to get my insights on getting more freedom, working less, and still make more money, you can join my email newsletter here: http://mindchallenges.ontrapages.com