You Are Free When You Think
One of the biggest desires of all human beings is to be free. Freedom is an extremely valuable asset which is sometimes hard for us to find. How many times have you felt bound to a person or to your own career? Have you ever noticed you were stuck without been able to move forward? Circumstances and other people are not always the causes of our loss of freedom. It is we who in many cases give our own freedom away or set a very low price for it.
Being free has more to do with perception than with reality. Therefore, a person who lives in prison can feel more free than someone surrounded by his loved ones. One way of noticing this clearly is in traveling. Many people develop an addiction to traveling. This happens because jumping from one country to another makes them feel like it is their own will, and not convention, that is leading their steps.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
-George Bernard Shaw-
The predominant mentality of our society is really materialistic. We value the accumulation of wealth and other things which, truth be told, are not useful to us. However, the simple fact of having them makes us… happy?
Donating clothing, toys, useful objects and other things to diverse organizations can be a tremendously liberating experience. Not only because you’re cleaning your house and throwing away all that stuff which was occupying space. You are also giving other people the possibility of actually making good use of the objects you had accumulated.
“The chains of slavery can only bind the hands. It is the mind which makes a man either free or a slave.”
Those worrisome thoughts which show up in your mind like “I might need this some another time” or “What if I want to wear this for a special occasion?” are restricting your freedom. So, fill your life with things you need, but conserve only the things you are actually going to use. Clear your space of everything else which is just occupying a place that should be empty.
To be free, just be yourself
There is no person more enslaved than he who does not know himself. In our minds there are many chains we need to rid ourselves of. But, we cannot do it if we do not know ourselves, if we refuse to do so. So don’t be afraid of taking baby steps in the path towards your freedom.
Be consistent with your values. When you go against them, you are deceiving yourself. It is even likely that you feel uncomfortable doing so. You are betraying yourself and that turns you into someone who has less freedom. Sometimes it is complicated to try to follow our values, to be true to them. Nevertheless, you will notice that it is your fear talking when you don’t set your values as the foundation that is governing your behavior.
Leave expectations aside. They will lead you to disappointment. That is why it’s better to have realistic objectives, which will propose achievable goals both medium and long term. Do not expect miracles, since success is built step by step. Focusing on the present moment will play in your favor, because enjoying the road there will give you more freedom.
Never lose the ability of being surprised. People might laugh at you because you get surprised in circumstances they don’t consider extraordinary, because they are “all grown up”. But this is a mistake, an attempt to imprison you. Do not hide your ability of being amazed, even by the little things.
“When there is freedom, nothing else matters.”
-José de San Martín-
Keep daydreaming, traveling and getting to know yourself more. People live inside a box. Inside what they think is “correct” and acceptable for others. However, haven’t you felt the freedom that quitting that safe job gave you, quitting for that one which really made you feel fulfilled? Doing what makes you happy is what will allow you to be a free person.