“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”
—Frank Tyger, late American Editorial Cartoonist and Humorist
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.
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 is to fold it over and put it in your pocket.”
—Kin Hubbard, 20th Century American Journalist
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.
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?
“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”
—Confucius, ancient Chinese Philosopher
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.
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, learn to live simply.”
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:
||Health & Spiritual Practice
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.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
Image from Flickr by Andreas T.
The Fourth of July marks the day America declared its independence.
What will you do today to celebrate your personal freedoms?
“Liberate yourself from the need to be right.”
-Seth Godin, in “Unleashing the Ideavirus”
Have you ever been in a prison? I hope not. Freedom, and the desire for it, is a fundamental value shared by people throughout the world. Unfortunately, many of us are trapped to some degree in self-generated prisons.
In today’s quote, Seth Godin says the need to be right, and thus making others wrong, imprisons us in a world of judgement and dysfunctional relationships at work, at home, and within our communities. You’ve probably heard the phrases, “Dead Right,” or “Dead Wrong” applied to people in your world. Just watch the evening news to see how this thinking has generated some of the domestic and global issues facing us today.
What I observe personally and professionally is that these behaviors exact a very high price in our relationships and our organizations.
Consider the following questions as you go through your day, with the intent of liberating yourself from the insatiable need to be “right”:
- What is my inner voice saying about the situation I’m facing?
- Are my thoughts supportive or critical?
- How open and receptive am I to what others are saying?
- What value or goodness can I find in their words?
By diligently applying this exercise, and agreeing to bring these practices to others in your world, you can virtually guarantee yourself a new level of life satisfaction.