Seth Godin writes in his book, The Icarus Deception,”Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the willingness to do whatever you want.”
Did you catch that? Freedom isn’t having a million dollars in the bank before you do what you actually want to do. Freedom is having the guts to do what you want now, today, in this moment.
Last week, I took a day to be free. I gave myself permission to do whatever I wanted to do, and it was one of my most productive working days to date. All morning, I focused on juicy projects that I’m going to launch this Spring, I took a walk with my honey, and I read for hours. I felt amazing, and the work I produced was of a very high quality, if I do say so myself.
Now, I know, I know, “delayed gratification” and all of that. You might be thinking to yourself, “I can’t do whatever I want – I have responsibilities! I’m an adult! I’m inherently bad, and if I give myself an inch, I’ll end up on the front page having committed some awful crime!”
I disagree. I believe that your responsibility is to honor what makes you divine so that you can be a blessing to yourself and others. I don’t believe that being an “adult” means toughening up and slogging away until you retire or die.
“What you resist persists,” said Eckhart Tolle. If you’re toiling away in a job that you hate and resisting the call to be free, a couple of things are probably going to happen: 1) that nagging sense of wanting more will persist and grow until you finally pay attention to it, and 2) you will reap what you’re sowing: misery. Resentment. Exhaustion.
Freedom can be scary. Freedom means no more excuses, no more blaming “the system” or your boss for what you do. Freedom means saying “no” a lot, and that can be really hard when we want to please those around us. You are free to choose to not be free, but it’s important that you be honest with yourself about the choices you make.
The day after my day of doing whatever I wanted, I had a day full of obligations I had agreed to, some of which really did not light my fire. It wasn’t the most fun day I had, but things went a lot more smoothly when I acknowledged that I was choosing to be obligated. I was choosing to honor my previous commitments to others.
We give up our agency when we complain about the things we’re being “forced” to do. We give up our power when we forget that we can leave that job, that relationship, that school, or that volunteer gig.
Today, you are free to do whatever you want. You can say “no” to that thing and “yes” to the other one instead. You can leave, stay, pull back, or dive deeper.
It’s a beautiful thing to show up fully and freely to your work, your self, and others around you.
We need you to be free – to be here only if you really want to be.
Know someone who needs to break free? Spread the word!
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