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#28: The three kinds of freedom

By 2023-05-26June 2nd, 2023No Comments

What does freedom mean to you?

I’m sure that if all 157 readers of the Freedom Letter answer this question, I will get at least as many different answers.

Everyone defines freedom differently, no definition is right or wrong. Even for one individual, freedom can mean different things. You may be very free by one definition and not at all by another.

Today I’m going to introduce you to three forms of freedom that are very important to me.

Time freedom gives you control over your time. You can’t to be told by others when to do something. You decide for yourself. For many employees, flextime work models can be the decisive step towards freedom of time. But some need more self-determination and believe they can find it in self-employment and entrepreneurship. For some this works, for others it doesn’t.

Location freedom is the freedom to choose where to be at any given time. In early 2021, I spent two weeks in Zanzibar and met people who had fled repressive measures to the open and vibrant country, at least temporarily. It was one of the defining moments of my journey to freedom, as I realized how much I was standing in the way of my location freedom by buying and building a house.

The coronavirus pandemic showed many employees, employers and entrepreneurs that it’s not necessary to come to a specific place to work. Many have retained the benefits of remote work to this day, working not only at home, but from cafés, vacation homes, beaches.

If time and location freedom are the pillars of a temple, financial freedom is its roof. In a sense, it includes freedom of time and place. You no longer have to work for money, but can devote your time and energy exclusively to the things you consider important: personal development, social projects, creative work.

If you have enough money, you can do whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want and with whomever you want. In English, this is often casually referred to as f*ck you money – enough in your bank account to throw this response in the face of anyone who makes an impossible demand that you would meet if you were financially dependent.

It is important to understand that too much money again makes you unfree! Both the limit to financial freedom and the amount which is too much are highly individual. I know people who would drop everything and move to South America to build a new life there with 30,000 €. Others, on the other hand, debate whether three or thirty million euros are required to feel free.

I leave it to your imagination who would be more free if he had the desired amount of money.

Which form of freedom you want and live is up to you. For me, real estate makes me unfree. For you, it can mean absolute freedom if it allows you to stay permanently in the one place you want to live.

Without the house, I might have moved to Zanzibar. I was free in terms of time, but bound in terms of location and finances. But like many things in life, these are only excuses. Changing everything was always in my hands. In truth, I decided to stay in Germany in favor of the relationship I was in.

Life is not black and white. There are many factors to consider. But don’t tell me you can’t do something because you have a house, children, a relationship. It’s your life and your choice.

I’m not saying it’s easy. In fact, it can be very, very hard. But “cannot” does not exist! If you want it, you will find a way.


Yours, Ulrich

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