I highly value freedom. So much that it’s one of my core values. But time and again I keep asking myself: What is freedom exactly? What does it mean to me?
We all want freedom to a certain extent. That certain comfort or vacuum where we can do whatever we like, whenever we like. The flexibility to go wherever we like, to choose our own company, and to escape the daily grind without any questions asked. To roam, to wander around, to get lost intentionally in the outside world away from our tight schedules and daunting deadlines.
Sure, if we choose we can start living a free and unrestricted life right now, but the main question is: How long can we keep acting on impulse and do “whatever we want”? In other words, is this kind of freedom actually sustainable?
The truth is that this freedom — whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever — can actually be toxic and lead to our own downfall. Sooner or later, this kind of reckless freedom becomes imprisonment, both metaphorically and literally, and nothing but a form of self-inflicted torture.
Negative actions come with consequences. We can’t escape karma, we can’t run away from cause and effect. We may make choices that feel good in the moment, we may act on impulse as much as we want, but our poor choices and decisions compound over time. They erode our minds, hearts, health and spirit day by day.
Our bad choices lead to bad behaviors, which when left unchecked, lead to bad habits that end up imprisoning us. The world may think that we are free, but in truth, we are incarcerated by our own negative patterns.
We have no excuses to participate in impulsive decisions. We can rationalize our poor choices and actions as much as we want, but we can’t forget the fact that we are full-grown adults with fully developed brains. As Dave Ramsey says, “Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it.”
Then, you may ask, what is freedom all about? True freedom, as paradoxical as it may sound, is all about setting boundaries. It’s about cultivating the virtue of temperance. Self-restraints births freedom, it’s as simple as that.
When we set limits, our beautiful choices and acts of restraint become seeds to create a better life for ourselves and the people close to us.
As we practice discipline consistently and develop positive habits, we design an incredible future where we are blessed with perennial success and abundance, and where freedom in its true form blossoms in full glory.