These Two Principles Gave Me Total Freedom in My Life. They Can Give You Freedom Too.
We all desire total freedom in our lives to do what we want when we want to do.
We want to work for ourselves, determine our own hours, paycheck.
We want to travel the world.
We want it all.
But at times, we feel as though we do not have freedom or control. We continue to work at jobs that we think we cannot leave. We put off travel because we look at money, we look at the amount of time. We put off everything we feel will give us freedom off, and one day, we realize that we haven’t lived fully or freely as we want.
I know that feeling. For years, I worked jobs that I didn’t want to work at but took because I needed it more than I wanted it. I put off travel for years because I made excuses with time, money, other commitments that we’re not commitments to myself.
I ended up feeling burned out, drowning in a pool of things that were not my own.
At my lowest point, I sought out a close family member and mentor of mine for help. I couldn’t bear to work at places I felt unfulfilled or feel stuck at my house I grew up in and I asked her what to do.
“You choose to feel this way about your work because you are not doing what you want to do. That’s why you do not feel free. You feel as if you are living in a cage.”
Those words struck every nerve in my body. She was right. I wasn’t doing anything I wanted to do. I was doing things to get by.
“So what do I do?”
She replied “You have to accept that this is where you are right now. This is what happened. You now need to make a choice and carve out a direction. You will see that you are able to live freely on your terms when you do so.”
That night was the beginning of looking at every decision I made since I got out of the military. The jobs I took, the nights I got drunk as hell, the women I dated, everything was on the table. I went through each one that I felt some sort of resentment or grudge against and started to work on accepting it for what it was, making a choice about and moving forward.
That night led to today where I now feel more fulfilled, happier, and free than I have in my career and life. While I am still doing the work on acceptance and adjustment, it has given me total freedom. I work for myself doing freelance writing, I travel as much as I want and like. I spend time with those closest to me as much as I wish all because I decided it was time to choose what was important to me.
Total Acceptance and Absolute Adjustment are the two things that have given me the feeling of freedom in my life. I cannot thank those along the way who helped me work on these two principles, and it was time I shared these with you. They can give you freedom too. They make you feel in control of determining what’s important and what matters to you. It will help you see that we all have a choice in everything we do.
We don’t have to bear weight from unnecessary burdens. We do not have to feel stuck.
We can free ourselves for once and for all.
Total acceptance is not easy. It’s quite difficult. It requires you to let go of preconceived notions of something or someone and accept them completely and entirely for what they are or who they are.
When you accept for what they are, you free yourself of harsh criticism and weight. You can let go finally of things that may have hurt you or brought pain in some form of your life.
Let’s say you work at a fast-paced company that pays you well, and a leader in the industry. But the company’s internal communication is flawed, your manager micromanages you, and the culture is lacking. Most of the employees are burned out, and maybe you’re burned out as well.
You’ve raised your concerns to the executives, but they tell you that this is the way things have always been.
What do you do?
In this situation, you can’t change the company as they’ve stated this is the way things are.
Most of what we encounter in life is out of our control. What it is in our control is our attitude towards the event, person or situation.
Having a negative attitude towards what our bosses say would make anyone angry and frustrated beyond belief.
But what if we accepted that this is the way things are? What if admitting that the company did not want to change its way would actually free us of any weight or additional burden.
I have been in the situation numerous times throughout my work career. When I have said something in hopes of changing, nothing came about. I bore the weight on my shoulders for no reason other than I took it personally.
I have some great mentors who helped me through these difficult times realize that there was nothing I could do to change their mind, but I could change mind. I could accept that they did not want to change. It was not about being right or wrong. It was about wanting things to be different for my best interest.
When things don’t go our way, we tend to sit on the why instead of asking what's next. This can be pivotal for us. Total Acceptance is the first key to accessing complete freedom.
Absolute adjustment involves two parts: choice and direction. When we come to accept that something or someone will never be the way we want it, we now have to choose what we want to do about it. Acceptance doesn’t mean we are over it. We’re humans, and we have emotional attachments to situations, people, and outcomes. It’s okay for us to be pissed that a business deal we were banking on fell through. It’s okay that we can be sad a relationship ended though we had high hopes for it.
Just don’t beat yourself up over the way things are. It is what is. Let it be. Accept and choose.
Choice is one of the best things we have in life. It is also quite the paradox. We are not forced to stay at any job or company we hate yet we act as if we can’t leave because of external circumstances. We don’t have to be with any partner we are unhappy with yet some of us stay because we don’t want to hurt them. We don’t want to be seen as the bad one in the relationship.
Whether we make the right or wrong choices for ourselves is up to us but its true freedom. Once we choose, we can build a plan. We can take control of any situation because we made a choice to proceed.
Let’s take the company example I stated earlier. They are not going to change. They told you this is the way things are done and have always been done.
Why should they change?
They have had success, and their priorities look to be more on the bottom line than the culture.
You said something, and it didn’t move the needle.
Let’s say you accepted what was told to you by the executives. You now have a choice on how you will proceed. Will you start looking for a company where you may value culture and balance more than a hefty paycheck? Will you pick up a passion project on the side in hopes of turning that into your business someday
When making your choice, consider all your options. Choice should be made when you have all the routes in front of you. And when you make your choice, now you move into a direction.
No one knows what’s best for you except you. No one knows your direction better than you. But when it comes to freedom, choosing what direction you will go will help give you the total freedom you seek in your life.
I was unexpectedly laid off from a job years ago. I had no idea what I was going to do, but something hit me that day I was laid off.
Sometimes, we work jobs we are not good fits for though it seems it will be at first and this job, in particular, I was not a proper fit for the role. I didn’t see it at first when the news broke to me I was being let go, but I decided that instead of being angry about it, I accepted it. It didn’t work out, and that’s ok. I made a choice that I was going to take my writing more seriously. I was going to push myself to do the thing I love the most which are telling stories and share helpful insights from my experiences with those that need help.
I started writing every week and every day, asking friends who had companies if I could help them with their blog. One friend led to a couple more references and months later, I was in control of my work and felt true freedom because as author James Altucher says, I chose myself and the direction I wanted.
Now that’s not to say that working for yourself is easy. It’s one of the hardest things I have done, but I am free from feeling as if I was locked in a cage because I accepted what happened, I made a choice and moved in the direction I chose.
Here are some ways you can implement choice and direction:
This is the hardest - Ask if you genuinely and wholeheartedly accept the situation, the person or the company for how it is.
Does the person’s quirks, things I find annoying really outweigh the things I love about them? Do the negatives of working at my company or job exceed what I love about my work?
If I choose to accept this or them, will this improve my life? If so, how? Will I find satisfaction in seeing things for the way they are?
If I accept, what do I choose now? What is the choice I want to make that will give me what I want?
What does the direction of the choice I make look like?
These may look like very hard-hitting questions, but these questions were the same questions I gave myself I was laid off. It took a lot of work but anything you think is worth doing takes time and energy.
Acceptance and adjustment are some of the hardest things I have had to implement in my life. To this day, I still have to work on improving acceptance and adjustment in all aspects of my life.
But it’s been worth it. If you practice them, you will find it worth it too.