On freedom

February 28, 2014

Everyone will tell you they want to be free.

Most people are lying.

They want the benefits of freedom but don’t want to pay the costs.

I’m not making a political point here. I’m not talking about taxes. Or civic duty. Or anything like that.

I’m talking about what you want. What you really want. And what you’re prepared to do about it.

Freedom is a wonderful thing. It enables you to do things. To create. To achieve. To improve. But in order to do those things, you actually have to create, achieve, improve.

And therein lies the rub. Because getting it wrong hurts. Even the prospect of maybe getting it wrong hurts.

And so people run from the opportunity to create, achieve, improve. They run from responsibility. They run from accountability. They run from freedom. They don’t do this explicitly of course. Because nobody wants to admit they are abdicating the throne. They do it with excuses. With hints. With complaints about all of the things that get in their way.

Some are even more clever than that. They do it with suggestions for improvement. How the boss, the company, the system could do it better. This way they get to sound helpful. But really their framing is all wrong. Because they put the onus somewhere outside of themselves.

In doing so, they relinquish their freedom.

It’s quite tempting of course. If you’re not free, then it’s not your fault when it goes wrong.

But the reverse is true. If you’re not free, it’s not your success when it goes right.

Ultimately, this is the choice you have to make.

You can choose the path of freedom. This comes with the opportunity to have an impact on the world. And an almost certainty that you will fuck up along the way. And feel badly about it.

Or, you can choose to be a slave. To relinquish choice. To let mommy and daddy do it for you. To never know the pain of having chosen poorly. To never feel the pain of having screwed up. But also to never taste the thrill of success.

It’s your call.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: