If you want to be free, this blog is for you. Or perhaps I should say ‘if you want to feel free’. Since being or feeling free is a very subjective matter. In this blog, I will explain what JD and myself perceive as the three pillars of being free. You will learn what the fundamentals are of the free life we live. Subsequently you can fill in these fundamentals for yourself. To become free. For all the people that feel “I want to be free”. That scream: “I want to experience more freedom in my life!”
This blog is for you if..
I am not pretending I am writing this blog for people in prison. Or for people on the hunt for food every day because they are so hungry. I would rather say this blog is for people living in quite developed countries, living their lives, having lots of opportunities and options, and sufficient funds for necessities and nice stuff. But still there is that nagging feeling, that annoying voice, that says “I want to be free”.
Why don’t you feel free?
Apparently you don’t feel free. How come? Do you know what the reason is that you don’t feel free? What do you miss or what imprisons you?
We human tend to blame the environment for things that lack or go wrong. My answer is, most of the time (your perception of) the environment is just a reflection of your inner sole. Does your partner annoy because he / she is so …. (fill it in please). Probably it is just you who is dissatisfied. For some reason.
Find out why. Find out what is bothering you. Dive into your soul and do some research.
The worst thing you can do is avoid this feeling and run away from it. It will backfire one day for sure.
Define what being free means to you
Asking yourself the question: “Why don’t I feel free?” almost automatically leads to the question: “What means freedom to me?” For a lot of people freedom is very important, but there are thousands of interpretations of what freedom means. Depending amongst others on your background, personality and experiences in life.
I recommend to answer – “Ẅhat means freedom to me?” – on two levels. Firstly on a value level; what is important to you? Freedom might mean independency for you. Or the possibility to express your creativity. To be able to be who you are. And so on.
Secondly, I distinguish a more practical level. How does living a free life look like to you? What are the practical ingredients of a way of living that you like and describe as free? What does a ‘free lifestyle’ look like to you? Think about: kind of activities, with whom, time alone versus time together, city or country side or …, pace, etc.
Of course the lifestyle that reflects freedom for you should be in line with the values you named before. More about designing a free lifestyle under the #1 pillar of being free. So continue reading!
Three pillars of being free
Jandaan and I feel we live a free life. We feel free. This feeling was not suddenly there. It is a process of years. Looking back on our process, and analyzing how we got here, reveals three fundamental pillars of realizing freedom in your life; lifestyle, a free mind & the business case. I will explain them to you. Stick with me.
I want to be free #1 – Lifestyle
Your lifestyle reflects what your daily life looks like. It reflects how you spend your time. It is a nice jigsaw puzzle of possible activities. Combine them and you have a lifestyle.
Dream about how your perfect lifestyle looks like. And try to adapt your lifestyle accordingly and gradually. Design the lifestyle that makes you feel free. Implement gradually. Every step is an improvement!
Here follows my example of my perfect lifestyle.
“It is important to me to spend time on daily yoga practice, to be outside a lot, to be able to go out when the weather is nice and I feel like it (flexibility). To work on projects that actually inspire me and are my own.” I can mention a lot more but I think my message came across.
This is my perfect lifestyle that makes me feel free. What is yours?
I want to be free #2 – A free mind
As I mentioned before, we tend to point our fingers to the circumstances when we don’t feel well or don’t feel free. But I state that a big part of that suffocating feeling comes from within.
Your mind can be a prison when you have a lot of convictions about everything you should, things that you can’t do, things that you aren’t etc. Those convictions are not helping you but obstructing you.
It can sound like this: “I have to be a great friend, great parent and a great employee”
Or: “being successful with my own small business is not for me”
Or: “whatever I do, I am not good enough”. “I will never reach that”
You lock yourself with your own thoughts and mind. This isn’t free.
Giving in to fear and not trying things because you are scared, that isn’t free either. That is what we call ‘mental imprisonment’.
The good news is, that it is within your control to influence your mindset and way of thinking. A free mindset doesn’t emerge overnight. It is hard work. Non-stop, for many years. But it is a fruitful and interesting process as well. You can gradually transform your restricting mindset into a constructive helping one. That makes you feel free and see opportunities.
A step further – our world is shaped by Imagined Orders
Do you want to go a step further in freeing your mind? Have you ever heard of the concept ‘imagined orders’? A lot of things we think are ‘normal’, in our society, in our country, in our world; are not that normal or obvious at all! Think about it. So many things are made up by people over centuries. And we all decided to believe in it. Concepts like ‘country’, ‘borders’, ‘freedom’ is an interesting one..
They are wat the famous Bestseller writer Yuval Noah Harari calls Imagined Orders and JD wrote a very interesting blog about imagined orders. He explains what the concept means and shares the personal story how he lives a better and more free life thanks to this interesting perspective.
I want to be free #3 – The business case
Last but not least; the financial system that makes this all possible. It is a factor that shouldn’t be ignored. I think money in the end doesn’t bring you happiness or (a feeling of) freedom. But it is a precondition of feeling free and living a free lifestyle. You need money to pay for your basics and the things you want. Underlying it all you need a balanced business case. You should aim for a sustainable financial situation. In which the income stream balances with your costs and dreams. You should never consider your lifestyle separately from your finances. Finance is an essential factor for making it work.
This requires you to make a plan about how to get money. The ‘how’ should match with your lifestyle desires and your values. At least, if you want to be free.
The management bestseller “Rich Dad. Poor Dad,” written by Robert Kiyosaki teaches you the art of making money work for you. Instead of the other way around. You learn basic concepts about dealing with money you will benefit from the rest of your life! Highly recommended. (You might think: “finance, that is boring”, but I promise you, the book is not boring at all but even very inspiring!)
You can spend an hour only once
And don’t forget; working many hours for money implicates you can’t allocate those hours to other things you might like more or are more meaningful to you. For most people being in the rat race isn’t their idea of being free. It is up to you to decide whether your money is serving you, or you are serving your money.
In order to be free it is your challenge to create a good balance between your perfect lifestyle and the underlying business case. With a free mind.
Let me know if we can help.
What is your definition of freedom and idea of feeling free? Let us know in the comments!
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