“Although he may not always recognize his bondage, modern man lives under a tyranny of numbers.”
—Nicholas Eberstadt, American political economist
Image from Unsplash by Stephen Dawson
What time is it? What did you weigh when you stood on the bathroom scale this morning?
How fast or slow is traffic moving on your commute to work? How much money do you earn and how much have you saved?
What are some other ways you measure your life and whether you are successful?
To what degree do you feel the bondage and tyranny of our world of metrics, milestones, and the quantification of everything?
Where in your life do you experience the freedom and simple pleasures of the subjective, qualitative, and more soulful aspects of life?
Consider discussing these questions with friends and family. What are the most appropriate and useful ways for you to measure your life?
“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.”
—Ryan Gosling, Canadian Actor and Musician
mage from Flickr by Sean Freese
Looking back to my childhood, Halloween was perhaps my favorite holiday. The process of selecting our costumes to be hand-made by mom, and the pillow cases we used to collect our booty, still brings a fond smile.
In those years, we went out early and stayed out pretty late, and it was common to head home to drop off a load of the sweet stuff and head back out for more. That night, and for a few short weeks after, we had the freedom to eat our fill and not hear “No!” too often.
This freedom to choose our actions was something I cherished and it has been a core value of mine ever since.
How and in what ways can you experience even more of the sweetness of life by embracing and exercising the personal freedoms we sometimes take for granted?
“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.