Freedom is a powerful word. When we say “the land of the free” in America, we refer to our shared culture and history. But, unfortunately, the word “freedom” is one of the most often hijacked by groups and individuals around the world. They want you to believe that only “their” version is carved from stone.
We all bring a bias to our understanding of freedom. To some people, freedom is about access to things, and for many others, the same word means something completely different. In extreme cases, freedom is nothing less than anarchy. But, freedom is always personal. We all have our own definition of freedom. The true meaning of freedom is internal to the individual.
I could say that freedom to me is to act without restriction. But, I have never met a person who didn’t need some restrictions in life. Or, I could tell you that I cannot feel free unless I don’t have to worry about retribution. But, I have never seen a society that could function without retribution. So, that’s the reason my personal definition of freedom is that I know it when I see it.
Is freedom a zero-sum game?
Beyond that, I understand that there are boundaries to freedom. But, perhaps, this is the most difficult part of defining freedom. At what point is your freedom infringing on the freedom of other people? Unfortunately, some people view freedom as a zero-sum game. They feel that one person’s freedom is their loss. In other words, when it comes to freedom in society, there is no such thing as a win-win scenario where everyone appreciates the benefit.
How to achieve freedom?
Most people only experience a fleeting glimpse of freedom here and there. But, they are unable to achieve freedom in their lives. Even in so-called “free countries,” many people are unable to use that freedom.
They are held back by obligations, expectations and fears, failing to achieve freedom in their lives.
When you have freedom in your life, you can create your own schedule. Then, you can spend time with the people you want doing the things you enjoy doing.
One of the best ways to achieve freedom for me is to own a location-independent business. It provides me with a steady source of income. And I can live almost anywhere with a reliable internet connection. It allows me the time and flexibility to have a freedom lifestyle.
How to attain freedom?
To attain freedom, you first have to accept the fact that you can be free. Even if you don’t feel free now, you have to know that it’s possible to attain freedom.
Accept the fact that you can be free. You “can” do the things that you want. It’s your choice to have a fulfilling job, a happy relationship, children, and time for yourself.
How to achieve freedom in your life?
It takes time and effort to achieve freedom in your life, but it is possible. Freedom isn’t given, taken, bought or sold. It is earned. You cannot expect another person to make you free.
If you are serious about achieving freedom in your life, you must design the life you want to live.
What is freedom to you?
What do we mean by freedom, you may ask yourself. The most important thing about freedom is that it means different things to different people. Freedom can mean to do the things you believe in, the right to say what you want, the right to vote.
For others, the true meaning of freedom is about financial freedom. Many people seek financial freedom to free themselves of financial debt and to allow them to afford a more comfortable life.
Unfortunately, freedom is a lot more complicated because there are a lot of gray areas within this noble concept. If freedom means doing whatever you want, it could lead to anarchy, especially in large cities. The touchy thing about freedom is that your beliefs can quickly and dangerously infringe on other peoples’ freedom.
What does freedom mean to you?
- Do you want a career in which you can work from home?
- Do you want to start a business or become a location-independent freelancer or solopreneur?
- Does early retirement mean freedom to you?
- Would you feel free if you lived in another city, state, or country?
- Do you feel free in your current relationship?
How can we achieve freedom from strict parents?
If you have overly protective parents, you may think to yourself, “Why are my parents so strict?” Are they strict because they are protective? When you have parents who have high or unrealistic expectations, achieving freedom may seem impossible.
When you talk to your parents, they may tell you all they want is to hold you accountable. But, even if your parents have your best interest at heart, overprotective parents can be overwhelming. Depending on how protective they are, you may be in for a real fight to achieve basic freedoms like going to see a movie or visiting a schoolmate in their home.
Some parents will hold you back by making you feel guilty about wanting more freedom. For example, if you want to spend time on your own or with friends, your parents may say things like, “Don’t you love us anymore?”
Here is how to achieve more freedom from your parents:
- Show that you are responsible and you are ready for more freedom in your life. When you show responsibility your parents might be more open to giving you more freedom.
- Achieve more freedom by listening more to your parents. Find out what they expect from you to give you more freedom.
- Have conversations about the things you want to do. When you talk to your parents, you will understand their concerns, and you will also become closer as a family.
- Achieve more freedom by negotiating.
If you are like me, you might agree that this is it. Life. Your one chance for freedom and happiness.
Many people dismiss the whole idea of freedom and happiness. It is about taking control of your life. It might sound scary at first, but it is the only way to freedom.
Do you want to go from not knowing what to do with your life to freedom?
I want to share my no B.S. approach to what it takes to have freedom. If you want me to tell you that it is easy, I am sorry, but I don’t serve that kind of junk food here. It is not easy to have a freedom lifestyle. The good news is that it is doable, and it gets easier.
The first thing to do is to get rid of your addiction to:
- Things – When was the last time that a “thing” made you happy for more than 15 minutes? There is a freedom in letting go of “things.” The buzzword is “minimalism.” You can call it anything you like. The key is to think less about owning things. In reality, you never really own things. They own you.
- Busy – Being busy is an addiction. It is easier to stay busy than to get the things done that matter. Think about how you spend your days. How much of it is busy $hit and how much of it moved you closer to freedom?
- Jobs you hate. – Do you hate your boss or the people you work with? How do you like your morning commute? What was the last time you refused to settle for a job that made you unhappy?
- Relationships that make you miserable. We have all been there, putting up with the wrong person for too long. Are you ready to surround yourself with people who bring the best out of you? Yes, those people exist.
Make a decision about what you really want.
Do you feel like that you have no choice to do the things that make you happy? Yes, you can choose.
You can choose between things and experiences. You can be in control. You can decide what you are going to do for the rest of your life.
But, you must be honest with yourself. Make a list of the happiest moments of your life. Take a pen now and write them down. Don’t stop until you have listed at least ten great moments in your life.
How many of them involve experiences and how many of them involve buying things?
Dare to dream. You might not know what you really want today, but you can start on your journey toward freedom.
What is freedom to you?
There is freedom of time. This is the most important types of freedom to me. Freedom of time gives me a chance to enjoy the things that make me happy. We tend to fill our days with activities that keep us busy. Busy kills freedom. Busy is a missed opportunity to do the thing that matters in the moment.
Time is more valuable than money. It is the only thing in all of our lives that is irreplaceable. You can always make more money, but you will never going to be able to buy yourself another ten years to do things that make you happy.
Financial freedom is easier than you think. I don’t mean the dishonest, get rich quick way. When you simplify your life, you realize that you need a lot less money. It is true that we all need money. It is also true that the less addicted you are to things the less money you need.
Financial freedom begins with working your way toward being debt free. For many of us who are driven to a life of consumerism, living debt free seems impossible. It is doable. It is a process, but you can get there.
As you work toward a life without debt, you will find that you have to make fewer compromises. Today, you might not be able to quit your corporate slave job. But, as you reduce your debt and minimize your expenses, you might be able to work in your dream job. You will be able to find a job that might not pay the most but gives you the most.
If a job is not your thing, you can become your own boss. You could start your own business. If you love to travel, you could start a location-independent business. You can travel while you make money.
Don’t get me wrong. None of this is easy. You have to make some hard decisions in the process. But, it is worth it. You will find yourself becoming a new person. A person who is no longer willing to compromise when it comes to freedom.
Imagine. What would the perfect day look like?
Where would you live if you could live anywhere? If you don’t live there now, why not. What would it take to live there? No, it is not impossible. People live there, right? That means that one day you can live there too.
What would be your perfect daily routine? How would your day start? What would be your favorite activities? How would you end each day? How much of your “perfect” activities are you doing today?
Even if you are not debt free yet. Even if you haven’t found your dream job. Even if you haven’t started your own business yet. Even if you are still figuring things out.
You can develop a daily routine that makes you happier.
It takes time to achieve freedom
As I have mentioned above, all of this will take time. None of it is easy.
Make a plan. Write it all down. Stick to your timeline. Adjust as needed. Don’t let setbacks stop you from achieving freedom.
Through your journey to freedom, you are going to have to make some hard choices. You might have to work harder for a while. You might have to eliminate many “things” from your life.
Have patience. Give yourself time. Understand that you are part of a marathon. Don’t push yourself too fast. The important thing is to take the first steps toward freedom. You have it in you.