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Another Kind of Freedom

| | General Leadership

As so many of us do on this day, America’s 4th of July, I have been pondering the meaning of freedom.  While clearing my desk this morning I came across the passage below that was shared with me some time ago by one of my teachers and mentors, Joan Goldsmith.

It provoked the thought that perhaps one dimension of freedom is simply the belief that anything is possible.  For if we believe our past is the ultimate predictor of our future then aren’t we trapped by what has been, rather than free to explore and create what could be?

Today I celebrate the possibility of freedom.  I am reminded to cherish the good fortune to live in a country that provides so many freedoms to us as individuals.  For so many people in the past, the present and the future, freedom is the ultimate possibility.

Yet for those of us who today live in a remarkably free society, perhaps there is another kind of freedom that can only be realized if we believe anything is possible – the freedom to follow our dreams.  The thing about this kind of freedom though is that it cannot be won from or granted by anyone except the person you see when you look in the mirror.

“The difference between me and most people is that most people look at their lives as if they’re on a train and they’re sitting in the caboose.  They watch the tracks sweep out behind them, and they’re disappointed.

But they adjust.  And they know exactly what will happen next because of what’s happened before.  They believe their future will be just like their past — the same box of disappointments, the same box of pleasures.

But me, I look at my life as though I’m sitting in the locomotive.  Ahead of me the landscape disappears into the distance.  I don’t know where I’m going, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

No matter what went on yesterday, I know that today anything can happen. That’s what keeps me happy.  That’s what keeps me alive…  You have to listen to the quiet callings of the heart.

Ambition:  it’s the enemy of intuition.  You have to be silent.  You have to listen to the quiet callings of the heart and know that anything can happen.”

Carlos Cateneda, as quoted by Nina Wise in “Luck Disguised as Ordinary Life”, The Sun, February 1996, p. 12

So what about you – are you freely following your dreams?

If you are, good for you!  And if you are not, perhaps it is time for a personal declaration of independence from your past and a leap of faith into the future you desire.

Happy 4th of July!!

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Gwyn Teatro   |   04 July 2009   |   Reply

A great message, Susan. Thank you. And happy 4th of July!

Kent Julian   |   30 July 2012   |   Reply

Very inspiring post, Susan. Having the freedom to follow our dreams is priceless!

Dawn   |   04 July 2009   |   Reply

What a beautiful passage. You really inspired me with this post! I love the idea of a personal declaration of independence. Thank you!

Joe Williams   |   05 July 2009   |   Reply

Thanks for sharing a nice perspective of freedom, Susan.

Monica Diaz   |   06 July 2009   |   Reply

True freedom comes from accepting and expecting amything can happen! Loved your take on this. Thanks for sharing it here!

Lisa Hickey   |   07 July 2009   |   Reply

Susan, every blog post of yours has at least one nugget that I can walk away with to help guide my actions. Today it was “It provoked the thought that perhaps one dimension of freedom is simply the belief that anything is possible.”
Thank you!

Jann Freed   |   14 July 2009   |   Reply

What a thought provoking post with a wonderful quote. Thanks for sharing. While it is important to reflect on the past and learn from life experiences, it is important to live in the present and benefit from that wisdom. Thanks. Jann

Jann Freed   |   14 July 2009   |   Reply

Have you read the short book Dream Manager? It is a good one.