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In America, at the most foundational level, freedom was built into our DNA.
‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’
Freedom is what we all want, but it’s something we want, not something we automatically have.
Do you feel free? If we all have a right to freedom, why do most of us feel the opposite?
At least in America, we all have rights to it, kind of. The problem is it’s (unintentionally) easy to give your freedom away in different ways:
Want a great education? Of course, you can, at the expense of decades worth of loans and financial debt.
Want to be a good ________ (Writer, journalist, doctor, lawyer etc)? No problem, just conform to exactly how and what we tell you to do and maybe you’ll catch a break in a few years.
More often than not, we have to box our freedom away because we are beholden to someone or something else.
There’s an aspect of freedom we often don’t think about, and that’s work.
During the inception of the new country, freedom wasn’t easy. The founding Americans gave everything to enable that freedom.
I think everyone and their crazy uncle has at some point wanted passive, make-money-while-you-sleep income, or at least enough wealth to be free from doing work. There are two twin problems I see with this mindset:
One: We hate work, or rather we want to escape work that we hate.
And yet we don’t. We give up a little of our freedom for a piece of stability and peace of mind. We suppress the creativity we want and were born to do, in order to have more (mistaking the pursuit of happiness for the pursuit of things) or because we have too (because other pieces of our freedom, such as finances, are being boxed up) And so, we keep doing work we hate because that’s all we know, or because another circumstance in our lives convinces we could never leave the stability, even if that means being miserable.
Two: We desire freedom from work.
Which is actually the wrong way to look at it. What we should desire is to have the freedom to work.
Freedom to work.
On work that aligns with who we are and who we want to be. A universal truth says do work that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. You’ve heard this, I’ve heard this… This doesn’t mean that you’ll spend all your time sipping pina colada’s with Jimmy Buffett of a beach somewhere, rather, no amount of work that you do will actually feel like work because you’ll be loving every second of it.
It’s not enough to be free from work. In fact, trying to escape work is almost like trying to escape meaning or happiness.
The founders of America knew this. They created freedom through hard work. You can’t have one without the other.
Freedom is the equivalent of a prize inside of a cereal box. The free toy is yours, but first, you gotta earn it.
Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner