Casting a better lens over the pursuit of freedom

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose


I’ve found the concept of freedom splits logically into one of two camps. The freedom from something and the freedom to do something. From or to.

Sure you want freedom from not have to limp to work in high heels at 6am on a howling mid-winter morning. Or the from having to sit in a grey office, breathing stale air, with people you hate being slowly suffocated by a button hiding piece of cloth tied around your jugular. What’s so fucking embarrassing about buttons that in order to hide them we are prepared to be choked all day?

I get what you want freedom from and having shared your experience for a part of my life I fully understand why most people want freedom from their work.

The other way to flip the coin is to think about freedom to…

Freedom to:
play with your kids
master the guitar
start a catering business
go kite surfing
sleep in
ride a mountain bike for 8 hours any Tuesday you feel like it
surf till noon everyday in summer

I’ve always advocated life design. Figuring out what you want and then chasing it both barrels blazing.

When you focus on freedom from its a negative trip that leads to stress. It’s the flight response. The running away to hide feeling creates a spiral of negative emotions, broken helpless thinking and unbelievable sadness and stress. However, if you flip it and look at freedom to do things you can created a completely different type of energy. ‘Freedom to’ leads to a new type of stress called eustress. This is a positive motivating energy that pulls you towards your goals. It’s night and day. The exact opposite of a stress reaction. You wake up inspired, energised and ready to get what you want out of life. Eustress wakes you up early. Time disappears. You get in the flow state where work is play and nothing can stop you from achieving the result you’ve targeted.

There’s no time to lose this is your life we are talking about. Do some visioning of what you’d like. How you would live your life post working. Make it exciting and compelling. Now figure out how to get there and take some action or are you going to just sit there ironing your neck ties.

How boring.

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