This week America spent 7 billion dollars celebrating what can be summarized in one word: freedom.
We celebrate to honor our country and those who died making it. It’s a really important thing to do.
We’ve grown up in this country being taught that freedom is:
The ability to THINK what we want.
The ability to SAY what we want.
The ability to DO what we want.
Most of us are doing a pretty good job exercising the first two.
But my observations lead me to believe we’re falling short on that last one; The ability to DO what we want.
Somewhere along the way, we forgot how special freedom of doing is, and began to willingly trade it for some really silly things:
Pressure from Family
As Dave Ramsey says, “We buy things with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like.”
We wake up feeling anxious, alone, and unfulfilled, but we don’t know why. I’m learning that it has a lot to do with freedom.
Abraham Maslow taught us that the most fulfilled human beings are the ones who have the ability to be spontaneous and make their own choices. He called it self-actualization.
Recently I was challenged by some really wise people to focus on the true freedoms that I want for my life. It was a lot easier than I thought to identify my top five:
1. Freedom to be a good husband
2. Freedom to be a good dad
3. Freedom to do meaningful work
4. Freedom to have meaningful relationships
5. Freedom to pursue my hobbies and curiosities
About a month ago I started using these as a filter for the decisions I’m making. I quickly found that deciding what I should say yes to, and what I say no to is very clear when I ask, “Does it buy me more freedom in these 5 areas?”
This question can be applied to just about every significant decision in finance, health, business, relationships, and time-management.
It’s a hilariously simple trick, but it’s working extremely well for me, and I would love to see it work for you.
As you finish out your independence weekend, ask yourself:
Which freedoms are most important to you?
What have you been trading them for?
Is it worth it?
And remember, the best way for you to honor those who fought for your freedom is to use it.