(2 minute read)
Break the rules. Find your freedom. Live your life.
Minimalists like to talk about freedom.
Yet freedom is a funny thing. Some want it, some don’t. Some deserve it, some don’t. One person’s freedom is an others bondage. Sometimes past decisions present consequences and circumstances out of our reach of influence. Be it either our own decisions or those of others. These circumstances may limit our ability to be free.
One factor is clear. If you want freedom, you must first define what it means to you.
Maybe your idea of freedom is putting everything you own in a backpack, pointing at a globe, and then taking a trip to explore this new place. I myself, could not think of many endeavors more stressful.
For me, freedom is being able to sit on my back porch in my underwear, far from humanity, without a care in the world. Freedom is bare naked windows that leave my house open to the clear starry nights, or the spectacular light show of a thunderstorm.
There is also a little piece of us whose sense of freedom isn’t determined by our physical location. It is rather determined by the ability to follow our dreams.
Being free can mean to feel no burden. To be free to go wherever the winds may blow. To be able to take life as it comes in good stride.
Maybe freedom is to be able to focus all your energy on caring for an ill loved one.
Once you have your definition of freedom you must be willing to take the responsibility required to achieve it. Yes, freedom requires responsibility, no matter how you define it. Perhaps this is the reason why not everyone desires freedom, it takes work. Some are just not willing to make the level of sacrifice it takes to be free.
Regardless of your definition there are three areas where you must be free to begin your journey.
You must be:
Debt free. Whether you want to travel the world, hang out on your farm, chase your dreams, or give the best care to your loved ones, you cannot do it with the burden of debt. Debt is the cancer of freedom.
Clutter free. You cannot be a slave to stuff and be free. If stuff is keeping you from doing what you dream it is a load that must go.
Distraction free. Staying focused is key. We must eliminate those activities deterring us from our focus.
Finally, we must face reality. Just in case you thought freedom requiring work was as bad as it got. For some of us reality means our past decisions make it impossible for us to achieve some forms of freedom and still remain responsible. In some cases the decisions or behavior of others has even limited our possibilities. In this case, which is every case to some degree, make sure your vision fits within your limitations. At the same time be careful not to sell yourself short. Remember also, once you achieve the above required three freedoms a whole new world of possibilities will open.
Always bear in mind, “The key to happiness is to keep your wants few and simple.” Much the same is true for freedom.
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