Some weeks ago, I wrote about what it means to be financially free. My motivation for this came from the new Coaching program I’m working on, “Wild and (Financially) Free“, which focuses on getting enough money for our passion(s) – to pay for any expenses and to create the necessary space and time in our lives.
Money can translate into freedom in very real terms, but it’s not the only aspect, and that’s how I had the idea to this article today. I’m going to explore different paths to your personal freedom, and I’m also making a strong case against anyone else trying to tell you what your freedom should look like.
This includes freedom without any money. It may seem counter-intuitive for me to talk about this, as a Coach who helps people achieve better cash flow, but it’s actually very much in line with what Coaching is all about: Empowering the client to achieve their dreams, instead of simply teaching them to reach the same dreams the Coach is pursuing.
The meaning of freedom
If you ask ten different people what freedom actually is, you’ll probably get at least eight different answers. There are so many ways to be free. Before I delve into definitions, I’d like to state the rather sobering fact that nobody actually is completely free. We all live in the context of society, our loved ones, or at the very least we are restrained by the living conditions of our planet and our basic physical needs. Freedom as an absolute doesn’t exist, and that’s where the contradictory definitions come from – they are all equally subjective, and so they reflect what’s important to an individual, rather than a universal truth.
Having said that, here are some ways to look at freedom:
– Financial freedom. If you remember that article a while ago, being financially free means to be able to live comfortably off the interest of one’s financial assets without having to touch the invested capital. I’m starting out with this one because it’s the only term on this list which actually has a clear, verifiable definition, but there are still a few subjective aspects to this one as well.
To be financially free of course means that you can do what you wish with your days, and that is definitely freedom. if you are, however, stuck in a scarcity mindset and feel the need to constantly increase your wealth to still feel secure, you aren’t free at all. Even for the extremely wealthy, mindset determines the fulfillment they feel around their money.
– Freedom from finances. Now this one is probably not going to be relevant for you, as you are fairly certainly using a computer or other electronic device to read this, and that implies you live very much “on the grid” and as part of our regular bill-paying, grocery shopping society, like I do. Getting away from all that is a fairly effective way to free yourself, though, and so I thought I’d mention it. I personally know people who either on their own or as part of an eco-village project, are growing their own food and making their own things, at least for the most part. They have become almost or completely independent of money, jobs, and consumerism.
– Freedom to live a joyful life. This is the one I’ve chosen for myself. I would love financial freedom but have decided that I don’t want it enough to do the work required. Instead, I have chosen to grow my Coaching business, which is my calling, and to use my financial savvy to make sure that I’ll always have sufficient money for my passions and to have an ecstatically joyful life every single day. It’s a viable choice, either as a temporary stage in life or a permanent solution; I’m honestly not sure which one it’ll be for me.
This approach is all about the freedom to do as I please, within the limits set by earning money and organising my life. It works for me, as I couldn’t do archery or swordfighting or dancing all day anyway, and I love both my daytime job and my Coaching business.
Your own situation is just that, your own. We all come from different backgrounds, face different challenges and enjoy different advantages. What’s important is that you understand that “freedom” is a subjective term and up to your own interpretation, because frankly, living according to someone else’s idea of freedom defeats the very idea behind being free.
Nothing’s more worth figuring out than your own version of freedom. It’s precisely that which I work on with my clients, and why I chose this particular focus of my Coaching.
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