The Short But Really Useful Guide to Freedom

[Editor's Note: Today, I'm happy to present to you a guest post from Mike Donghia of The Art of Minimalism. He's a great guy. :) Check out his site or subscribe to his posts via  or . You can also follow him on .]

It’s tougher than ever to be free, to throw off all your cares and let your heart guide the way.

But that urge runs deep in our veins.

It grows stronger with every day you spend trapped in a cubicle, and every long commute stuck in traffic, and every wasted hour spent checking emails, facebook, twitter, and more.

Society wants us to ignore this urge, and they have a name for people who don’t: irresponsible.

Parents push their kids towards traditional careers because they want them to be happy. Teachers teach students to follow instructions and think concretely because that’s what it takes to be successful. And friends will tell you to get your act together and get used to it, because that’s just the way life is.

While this advice is well-intentioned, it’s wrong. In order to find happiness and success, you must be free. Free to move, explore, fail, start over, and tread new paths.

When you’re free, each day is open to new possibilities. You can…

  • Start an online business
  • Travel with an old buddy
  • Talk with a stranger
  • Learn a new hobby
  • Be still and think

But when you give in to the soul-crushing status quo, each day is the same. You will…

  • Complain about your dead-end job
  • Watch the days and weeks drag by
  • Do stuff you hate doing
  • Rush from one activity to the next
  • Be restless and weary

Real freedom scares a lot of people. It’s not as safe or predictable as going with the flow. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll fall flat on your face a few times. But that’s OK. The joy of freedom comes from experiencing new things, meeting new people, and living an adventurous life.

Here are some helpful guidelines to get you going on the path towards freedom:

1. Question everything.

The rules have changed and we must change with them. Maybe you’ve been told that a 9-5 job is the surest way to financial security. Think again, people like Everett Bogue are opting to live freer lives than ever before and finding financial success by following their passion.

2. Make yourself uncomfortable.

Oftentimes, we stick with the familiar. And that makes us predictable and boring. Instead, do something that scares you, something that you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail.

3. Think outside the box.

Stop spewing out answers like you’ve been taught to do since kindergarten. Start asking the right questions and exploring new possibilities. The world needs people who can imagine a better future and make it happen.

4. Keep the essential – get rid of everything else.

I think the reason we feel trapped is because we’ve left ourselves very little breathing room. Free yourself from pointless tasks, meetings, and obligations. Use that free time to do stuff that matters, things you’ll care about 10 years from now.

You can read my guest post at Mike’s blog here: Freedom is not what it used to be.

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View Comments

  1. says:

    My (not so) favorite line: “Everyone has to pay their dues, right?”nnKill me now. nnGreat post, Mike! I agree completely.

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