The inmate of a small jail cell can feel more free than a billionaire that owns 20 houses, three yachts and a private jet.
Of this I am convinced!
When you’re at the beginning of your path to freedom, you might think of freedom from something. Freedom from debt, from a toxic partner, from a terrible job, or from the status quo you just don’t like.
Maybe you’re already striving for freedom for something. Freedom for your own projects, for a relationship of equals, for a carefree life.
What distinguishes these two forms of freedom? They are conditional! Oriented toward the future and held back by the past.
When I ask you what freedom means to you, what do you answer? Most attach adjectives to freedom and speak of financial, locational, temporal freedom. When I own a house, I can furnish it the way I want. Once I’ve built my online business, I can work from anywhere in the world. As soon as I … yes, then what? Do you really think you will feel free with x dollars in the bank?
Believe me: I know these thoughts very well (especially when it comes to money) and I am far from being free of them. I know very well that I would not be happy with x dollars. I would think: Well, that’s a great start, but considering inflation, I will need y dollars to really be free.
A different approach is required!
True freedom is unconditional. It knows no prepositions. It exists in the present. It just is.
A week ago, my freedom was restricted in a very simple way. I was put up in a hotel for job training. The place is run down and insults my standards of aesthetics and joy of life. My room was hot and faced a busy main road. The thin windows barely kept out the extreme noise. I didn’t want to change rooms because I had brought a lot with me for the long stay and put it all away nicely.
A few years ago, I would have been mad and cursed everyone but myself. Did you notice how I wrote? I was put up, my freedom was restricted – all passive!
But I’m the one who decided to want this job and therefore everything that goes with it. I want this training. I love this work. Sometimes it goes hand in hand with uncomfortable conditions.
I slept extremely poorly for three nights. On the fourth day I decided to move after all. Three hours later I was in a room of a lower category overlooking the hotel’s dumpsters and loading dock.
That’s all true, and yet the room is cool and quiet. When I let my eyes wander, I see a tranquil residential area, trees, and the vastness of the sky.
The inmate has the choice of looking at the prison bars and the concrete courtyard or watching the birds circling in the sky. Meanwhile, the billionaire is afraid of someone taking something from him, needs bodyguards and can’t freely move around and enjoy the things he owns.
I have the chance at a fantastic education in this place. The universe gave me a wonderful colleague with whom I have a lot in common.
Jobs, partners, places of residence – nothing is fixed forever. You choose them anew every single day. Even if you take things as they come, that’s a choice. You can make it out of passiveness and see yourself as a victim of fate. You can also view life as it really is:
Since the day you turned 18, you are solely responsible for everything that happens in your life. You can’t change some things, but what you make of them is entirely up to you. There is always a choice, if only in your attitude toward things.
Don’t tell yourself there was no alternative to a decision. You are the pilot, so take control! Freedom is already within you. All you have to do is put the key in the lock and turn it.
When things get tough, remember the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
For me, that has a lot to do with freedom.