Doing what you like is freedom

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”

—Frank Tyger, late American Editorial Cartoonist and Humorist

Image of an elderly couple sitting on a bench

Image from Unsplash by Matthew Bennett

I am often asked by my contemporaries when I plan to retire. I’ve been coaching for 26 years, and find myself only a handful of years away from collecting Social Security and qualifying for Medicare. I love what I do. The idea of a traditional retirement has very little appeal.

I have, however, observed many people my age pining for the freedom to do their own thing and escape the daily grind of “working for the man,” or simply not enjoying their vocations.

Upon retirement, some individuals find their freedom isn’t always associated with the happiness they expected.

EXERCISE:

As you pursue your personal and professional objectives and purpose, how can you find freedom and happiness by doing more of what you like, and liking more of what you do?

The Safest Way to Double Your Money

“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket.”

—Kin Hubbard, 20th Century American Journalist

Image of folded hundred dollar bills

Image from Fight4Survival

For many people, money represents freedom, independence, security, and peace of mind. The topic of money can cause all kinds of trouble, and often has great impact on our relationships.

The simple advice to “make more and spend less” doesn’t always cut it, and we often find ourselves continually stressing over our finances.

As we age, many of us begin to appreciate more fully the saying, “The best things in life are not things.” We begin to look closely at how we spend our time, not just our money.

EXERCISE:

Where might taking “The Best Things in Life are Free” approach help you gain greater pleasure and allow you to pocket a bit more of the freedom, independence, security, and peace of mind you desire?

economize or agonize

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

—Confucius, ancient Chinese Philosopher

Image of rocks balanced on a plane

Image from LinkedIn

Over many years of coaching, I’ve noticed several interesting trends.

In general, my clients in their twenties, thirties, and forties are most often on a highly intentional growth trajectory. They want to build wealth, pursue success, and increase their standard of living. This almost always involves accumulating possessions, and often increases the demands and complexity of their lives.

As they reach their fifties, sixties, and seventies, they seem to be more focused on scaling back, simplification, and greater balance. It is often because their many years of living in the fast lane, carrying too much stuff and stress, has become more of a burden than they care to shoulder going forward.

EXERCISE:

Where would a “less is more” strategy, regardless of your stage of life, provide you the added freedom and peace of mind you desire?

If You Want to Be Free

“If you want to be free, learn to live simply.”

—John Heider, The Tao of Leadership

Image of a bird on a wire, with today's quote

In the last few months, I have posted several times regarding minimalism and essentialism, which point to the value and freedom associated with a simple life.

What areas of your world would benefit most by slowing down, paring back, downsizing, or even eliminating completely? Explore this list as possible places to start:

Relationships Career Media Consumption Diet
Wardrobe Living/Working Environments Schedule Health & Spiritual Practice

EXERCISE:

What one action can and will you take (or stop taking) to gain a bit more freedom in your life?

Consider making this exercise a daily practice and let me know what you discover.