Chapter 1 - Freedom Mindset
If I could only communicate one single thing with this entire book, it would be this:
You are MEANT to be free.
That’s the big idea.
Everything else that follows is just an exposition on WHAT it means to be free, WHY you aren’t already free, and HOW you can become free.
Freedom and slavery begins in your mind. It’s partially a set of circumstances and partially the way you choose to look at those circumstances.
The circumstances that you are in are hugely influenced by how you ACT.
How you ACT is primarily determined by what you BELIEVE.
Freedom is, therefore, primarily an attitude of your soul.
What is freedom?
- Freedom means that YOU choose where to live.
- Freedom means that YOU choose how to spend your time.
- Freedom means that YOU choose what tasks to accomplish.
- Freedom means that YOU choose your goals.
- Freedom means that YOU choose who to work with.
- Freedom means that YOU choose when to work.
Freedom means that IT’S YOUR CHOICE.
When you are free, you are able to shape the circumstances and people around you to become more the way you want them to be.
When you are free, you are also able to leave your current circumstances and place yourself in a new set of circumstances that you believe will better suit you.
Freedom is the key to living the life you are meant to live.
Slavery also begins in your mind, and it feels like this.
What is slavery?
- Slavery means that THEY choose where you can and can’t have your desk.
- Slavery means that THEY choose when you arrive at work.
- Slavery means that THEY choose when you are allowed to leave work.
- Slavery means that THEY choose which people you work with.
- Slavery means that THEY choose which tasks you must accomplish.
- Slavery means that THEY choose your goals and metrics.
- Slavery means that THEY choose how you spend your time.
Slavery mean that THEY CALL THE SHOTS.
When you are a slave, you are at the whims of your team, your boss, and your company.
When you are a slave, there are more punishments than rewards.
When you are a slave, you are in a state of uncertainty – you don’t know if your boss is pleased with your work.
When you are a slave, you live with the stress of knowing that speaking some truths might cost you your job.
Slavery is what steals your joy and makes work painful instead of joyful.
The freedom mindset is: Valuing and Pursuing Freedom over other things.
Freedom and safety are mutually exclusive mindsets. If you want safety or security most, then you CAN’T be free!
The freedom mindset requires that you value freedom, in at least particular categories, MORE than safety.
If you don’t already have the freedom mindset, then it will feel scary and uncomfortable.
At its extremes, the freedom mindset looks something like this:
“Give me liberty, or give me death.” - Patrick Henry (American Revolution)
“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Ancient Babylon)
You can only be free if you value making your OWN CHOICES based on your BELIEFS, VALUES, and DESIRES more than you fear what others will do or what the future holds.
However, for 95% of us, freedom doesn’t require something this extreme.
Sometimes it means you’ll have to work a little harder to get something you desire.
Sometimes it means you’ll have to choose a path that’s more challenging since it will let YOU call the shots instead of someone else.
Sometimes it means you’ll have to face social pressure and ridicule for walking a less popular path.
Sometimes it means that you’ll make less money since you aren’t willing to compromise your morals.
If the freedom mindset might have these negative effects, why would I want it?
You ALREADY know if you want freedom. Desire for autonomy is hardwired into the souls of most people.
If you want it, the only choice is to learn HOW to be free or to squelch your soul, suck it up, and try not to hate being a slave too much.
But there are benefits, too.
There are many benefits of being free. My favorite ones are these:
Being free FEELS BETTER than slavery. Being free makes your world a BIGGER PLACE with more possibilities. Being free IMPROVES your outcomes in virtually every scenario.
So yes, the freedom mindset may require some sacrifices. But the rewards are FAR BIGGER than the sacrifices will ever be.
Living a life of freedom is a richer and better experience.
But you already know that. Your soul already agrees with that. You’re not crazy. It’s not a pipe dream.
You are MEANT to be free.
Put It Into Practice
To really get the full value from this book, you’ve got to put in the work to shift your mindset and develop new habits.
The mindset is the foundation from which the habits will grow.
The habits are the patterns of action that will transform your life.
Once you’ve built a habit of being free, it will be effortless and natural. You will never be able to be enslaved again by anyone or anything.
Set aside 15 minutes to meditate and reflect.
- Write down the parts of your life in which you feel free.
- Write down the spheres in which you are making YOUR OWN CHOICES and nobody else is calling the shots.
- Write down the parts of your life in which you feel enslaved.
- Write down the specific things that you would like to have CHOICE about which you presently don’t.
Now, as you go about the next few days of your life, reflect on this truth: