Jason Eke at Micro Magnate has been reading my business articles for some time and invited me to join his network.
Since I recently authored, Want to be Free? First Define Your Freedom, one of the first discussion questions I posed after signing up is: What is Your “Freedom”?
Jason’s response inspired me to write this follow-up article. In fact, his response touched upon the very impulse that got me to write my Define Your Freedom article.
Jason said that he didn’t necessarily want a million dollar income, but he would like a 7-figure lifestyle. He would spend his winters in Australia, a country he had lived in for six years and loved.
I had recently read a book by a popular author who advocates living in many parts of the world, in countries that allowed him to enjoy luxury on the cheap.
I know it sounds glamorous to live all over the world and take mini-retirements. Sounds like you’re making life a series of mini-vacations, mini-adventures, doesn’t it?
That’s great – WHEN YOU’RE SINGLE OR HAVE NO YOUNG CHILDREN.
… And when you love traveling and living in different countries. The first 12 years of my life was divided in 3 countries on 3 different continents, and I have no desire to do more of the same during this time of my life. I’m not even talking about moving us 4 times in 5 years when my parents first landed in the U.S. (They were looking for better business opportunities and trying to reach the “American dream” too.)
Truthfully, for a very long time, I felt like I had no root, and I was wary of forming any relationships with others because I didn’t know where I was going to be moved to next. A colleague I know whose husband’s job takes them to a different country every few years have seen some side effects of multiple uprooting in her young child.
To me, freedom is not about “uprooting your whole family to live somewhere cheaper so you can live like millionaires without having a million.” Freedom is not about being selfish, at least, not the kind of freedom I am talking about.
My kind of freedom is inclusive, and born of consideration for not just me, but people I love. My kind of freedom embraces responsibility.
It means coming up with a win-win where I get to explore and leverage what I love to help others AND AT THE SAME TIME honoring the need for stability for a young family and honoring the career choice/lifestyle my spouse desires.
Too often, I see people use Freedom as an excuse to do whatever they want at the expense of their family and personal relationships.
Selfishness and Self actualization are two very different things. In fact, I think Selfishness and Self Actualization are probably at opposite ends of the spectrum of development of Consciousness.
Freedom to me means:
- I can live and do well in a part of California where my husband can do his job because my husband likes his job and isn’t interested in moving to another country (or becoming an entrepreneur).
- I can afford to live in an expensive location in California, because this convenience (the reason why it is expensive) gives my husband only 10 minutes commute instead of the 3 hours of rush hour traffic many of his coworkers endure every single day. This gift of time gives our family quality of life.
- I get to take one year “off” (like I’m doing now) to fully participate in my baby’s 1st year of life while evaluating new business opportunities that align with my current evolution as a business owner and desire to mentor/coach (like I’m doing with this website).
I’ll share the short verse I wrote in my What I Love to Do blog, about the pursuit of goals (including the goal of “freedom”) at the expense of people:
First time out,
I set my eyes on the goal.
I drive onward, upward,
Tune out the surrounding,
Proud of my laser-like focus!
I pushed past the finish line,
Broke through tape,
I have arrived!
So where is everyone?
In my fire to the finish,
I forgo friends, family:
People who matter.
And at day’s end,
Me and a Trophy
Are not “Home”.
True Freedom is a lot of work, because it demands that I am inclusive and grow with my loved ones – not just by myself.
True Freedom asks that I innovate and create ways to express myself and at the same time, strengthen the personal relationships that are important to me.
True Freedom is knowing the difference between selfishness and self actualization, so I can choose which direction of this Conscious Evolution spectrum I want to move toward.
Photo credit: Feather Fly by duchesssa
First Published on: Sep 20, 2008 @ 10:23
“Freedom and the Difference between Selfishness and Self Actualization”