We all want to be free. Free from whatever it is that’s holding us back every single day of our lives. No matter what it is, if something is holding me back to do what I want, when I want it, I’m not completely free. I might make a lot of money at work, but if that job consumes all of my time and energy, I’m not able to spend and enjoy the money I earned.
In addition to work, many other things in life hold us back: family, culture, a partner, and the kids. And we’re all too comfortable blaming these external people or things for not doing what we truly want. I’ve heard so many people comment on my travel history, admitting that they could never travel as much as I did. The reasons vary between money (a popular one), responsibilities at work, a partner in life who’s less interested in seeing the world, kids keeping us at home, and so on.
When I decided to tackle some of these issues in my first book, many people started to use my travel secrets to get to the places they had always wanted to see. Yet others continued to come up with excuses as to why all of the escape mechanisms from my book wouldn’t apply to them. Was the ability to obtain free airfare in a matter of months not enough? Is the limiting belief that holds us back not the money after all?
One of my goals is to become the best possible version of myself. I want to get rid of everything that holds me back, and live a life where I’m free to live my dreams and follow my passions. As long as I’m not completely free in terms of money, time and location I could not honestly say I have the ability to do whatever it is I desire, without limitation. Becoming financially independent is one of the first steps for me to accomplish that goal. It doesn’t matter whether you have a fulltime job, or have your own business, the work you do will often keep you locked in that situation for as long as there is a dependency on that work.
Initially I was going to write my Happiness book with a separate section for entrepreneurs and employees, but experiences in my own life have clearly proven that both can keep you trapped. It’s about creating freedom first, which has more to do with a mindset than external circumstances. Those circumstances we blame don’t really matter. What matters is the way I relate to those circumstances. My mindset and relationship to external events makes all the difference. If I want to be truly free, I need to be able to take full responsibility for my own actions. My own actions are the only ones I can control. No matter how hard we try, controlling other people’s actions and behavior is not possible. Maybe temporarily, but eventually everyone will attempt to break away from the source of control. At a core level we all have an issue with authority, or you probably wouldn’t be reading this article about freedom right now.
Being free is a scary thing. Structure provides safety. It’s why many religious institutions, gurus and modern day spiritual leaders get a large following: they provide structure and rules to live by. And that is a good thing. Society needs some foundational level of structure in place to function properly and safeguard each individual’s rights. But, just for arguments sake, let’s imagine for a minute there were no rules. As long as everyone would keep to him or herself, and abide exclusively by their own personal freedom, there would be no issues. The issues arise in interaction with others, and conflict stems from expectations we have from other people. It’s like participating in traffic: when someone flies by us in the fast lane while we’re peacefully coasting along in one of the slower lanes, we might comment on the speeder but it won’t upset us much. The upset comes when the speeder is right behind us, tailgating, swerving left and right and maybe even flashing the high beams in an attempt to inspire us to move out of the way. That attempted breach into our space, both from our viewpoint as well as from the speeders viewpoint, is what creates tension. It’s the clashing expectation between me feeling entitled to my spot on the road, versus the speeders expectation of ownership over the fast lane.
A life of freedom puts us in the driver seat. If I’m not following a predefined manual to life, I’ll have to come up with my own life’s manual. That process is a very rewarding but also a challenging experience. From birth, we’re programmed to stay within boundaries defined by others. We’re never asked to think about what we truly want. When my friend and mentor Jack Canfield asked me to write down two breakthrough goals I wanted to set for myself, it initially caused some deep-rooted stress. Nobody else had ever asked me to do such a thing. I hadn’t even asked myself. I had always coasted along through life, jumping from one opportunity to another. And while I always had done fairly well in doing so, it never was what I truly wanted.
That was the first page of my book #1 best selling book The Freedom Project – Happiness… curious to read more?
The Freedom Project: Happiness: The Journey From Dead-End Career To Fulfilling Life
This is really a book about work. Whether you have a job (employees) or own a job (entrepreneurs), for most people work does not equate to happiness. That’s why this book is an unusual book about work. And that’s why you’ll want a copy of it – because in the end, everybody wants happiness.
The Freedom Project: Happiness shares how travel is an appetizer of true freedom. In this book Wilko van de Kamp reveals how he:
– climbed the corporate ladder and built a successful career.
– despite his “success”, felt empty and unhappy inside: a corporate cubicle job did not bring happiness.
– quit his job to start his own business, only to see it go to zero and (almost) hit bankruptcy.
– discovered happiness wasn’t about being an employee or an entrepreneur: unhappiness exists on both sides of that often debated fence.
– reconnected with his passion, and escaped the claws of unhappiness and depression.
– now lives a life of freedom in terms of money, time and location.