Freedom… A word that is in the front of the minds of people all over across the United States today.
As we take a moment to celebrate and reflect on the history of our nation. I’d like us to be willing to reflect on a related but different topic.
I’d like us to take a moment to think about Freedom.
Are we free? Do we experience freedom on a daily basis? Do you feel free?
These words have been in front of my mind as the 4th approaches.
I feel the answer is not as clear as I once thought. There was a time that I would have thought I was free to do whatever I like. I would have thought that I could do whatever I wanted. Granted there are consequences for our actions, but the choice was mine. Now… I’m not so sure.
Sure the choice is mine, but I’m bound.
Bound by the limitations placed on me by others.
Bound by circumstances.
Bound by the limitations that I place on myself.
And sometimes bound by my lack of focus.
The very freedom I seek binds me to my current environment.
So what do I do about it?
We must do something. Anything.
I’m coming to realize that the very thing holding me back in life is me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying jump off a cliff, just to see what happens when you hit the bottom. What I’m encouraging all of us to consider, is to look at where you are with an analyzing mindset. Be willing to accept the difficult answer you may find.
We must ask 3 questions. If the answer is not clear ask the corresponding questions, but be willing to join me as we go down the rabbit hole. We may just be amazed at what we find at the bottom
1. Am I bound? Am I stuck? Is there something that I want to accomplish? Is there more to my existence than how I live on a daily basis?
2. Do I want to be free? If I am bound, am I happy here? Am I willing to be uncomfortable? What is standing in the way of my freedom? Who is standing in the way of my freedom?
3.If I want to be free, what will I do to break free? What will I sacrifice for freedom? What will I risk to be free? Will I be willing to face failure to get free?
It in this series of questions that we find the answers and clarity that it takes to break the bondage we can often find ourselves in. However, we cannot stop simply by finding what holds us back. What we must do next is crucial to the success of the whole process.
We must act in a calculated manner in response to the data that we have gathered in our self-reflection. There is little value in taking time to analyze our current state if we are not going to use the data we gather to change our future actions.
Let me clarify this. I remember as a kid learning to Rollerblade down the tallest hills near our house where I grew up. It was quite steep. I was a little rough, but I was so going to roll down it and come out standing. I mapped it out. I knew that I could not skate up it, and that I was going to need to make a hard left turn about 7/8 of the way down. I knew that traffic on the hill was quite heavy and that there were no shoulders on the road.
I knew all this while standing at the top of the hill.
I’m sure many of you see where this is going. I had all the facts to tell me that this was not going to end well. I also knew that I had multiple kids from the neighborhood watching and I could not let them down. I knew the analytics. I had the data and I ignored it all. I was in a place where the best thing I could have done would have been to choose to walk away. I did not.
It was EPIC! I think I may have flown for a moment! Then it happened… the car came over the hill, the hard left and an up close and personal introduction to the ditch at the end of the culvert.
The outcome: a bruised body, bloody nose, cut eyebrow, and most tragic…2 broken roller blades.
Epic as it may have been, I did not use the data that I had to make my decision. I was bound by my ego, circumstances, and many other factors.
How many of us are stuck and have the data to be free, but yet we are paralyzed?
We have allowed ourselves to ignore the very information, passion, and opportunities that can unleash our greatest sense of fulfillment. We ignore the information and keep trudging away in bondage.
My encouragement to you on this Independence Day is to break free. In whatever way the above questions lead you.
Get free. Chase your dreams. But at all cost. BREAK FREE!