Are You Exercising Your Freedom?

| | Personal Leadership
Are You Exercising Your Freedom?

As July 4th approaches, we celebrate our independence in the United States. Each year at this time I ponder the meaning of freedom in my life.

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. I am also wide awake to the fragility of the freedom I can far too easily taken for granted because it is all I have ever known.

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.

Consider this passage from Carlos Catenada:

“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

What about you – are you exercising your freedom to follow 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.

Wherever you are in the world, I wish you the freedom to follow your dreams. And for those in the USA, have a happy and safe July 4th weekend!


Image Credit: Free-Photos


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