Freedom isn’t what most people think it is…
How ‘free’ do you think you are?
And how do you know?
So, let’s compare you with a donkey. It’s a work donkey (not one of those stupid vanity donkey breeds).
It’s pulling a cart of hay. In front of it is a carrot dangling from a stick, which the donkey’s master uses to drive it along.
Now, obviously, the donkey is a total slave, right? It literally has a master who tells it what to do.
But what does the donkey think?
The donkey says, “Oh, no. I’m free. I’m a sovereign being. I have clearly defined life-goals (in the form of a carrot), and I am free to pursue those goals to the best of my abilities. I exercise my right to the pursuit of happiness.”
Hmmm. Good point, donkey.
Now, of course, you’re saying, “Yes, magical talking donkey. You might think you’re free, but you have no idea just what a slave you are. Everything you strive for was put there to enslave you. Every strategy you use is within the confines of what you’re master allows you to do. You have no real freedom.”
And they’re all good points. But let’s stop talking about a hypothetical magical donkey. Let’s talk about you again.
So… how free are you?
Are you a sovereign being, pursuing the things that make you happy to the best of your abilities?
(I have a friend you should meet.)
Of course you are. But where did those carrots in your life come from? Do you want the beach body because the soda commercial told you that’s what you should want? Do you want the flashy car to impress the neighbours?
Do you want status, power, prestige, little gold trophies sitting on a shelf?
How many of your desires are truly yours, and how many were put there?
And what about the strategies you use to get the things you want? Where did they come from?
Have you checked in to see whether all those shiny things you have are giving you the happiness you crave? Have you checked to see whether you really care about what other people think about you?
Have you stopped to look at how the money game really works? Or did you just get a good job because that’s what they told you to do?
So tell me again, how free are you? And do you think that maybe – maybe – you might have more in common with a work-donkey than you’d like to admit?
Freedom must always be won.
And it’s won through inquiry. It’s won through getting to know yourself – discovering what it is that truly makes you happy – and then by forging your own path – by not doing what you’re told but doing what works.
This is the only way.
It’s a lot of work.
But so is chasing carrots.