We mainly think of being free FROM things we don’t like, and free to DO things we want to do. Which I totally understand.
But ‘doing’ only goes so far. I have a friend, Sam, who is wealthy. Built and sold a software company and doesn’t really need to work again. He is free! Free to DO whatever he wants.
I have another friend, Chris. He started a trucking company and a quick three years later found he had lots of time and money margin. The American dream right? Again, he can DO pretty much anything he wants.
What are both spending the majority of their freedom DOING right now? Trying to find what they want to…BE.
I’m a professional DOER myself. Actually…I’m an addict. I even married a DOER just to add fuel to the fire. DOING is what gives me my identity. I’m not talking about being busy to keep from facing your demons, but DOING to perform, in order to gain approval.
I have an uncle who is known for the phrase, “Thanks for…being.” Literally, he’ll grab my shoulder, look me in the eye and say, “Hey Kevin! Thanks for being!” with a big smile on his face. I’ve always loved it and often said I wanted a shirt with that saying on it. (Picture: My wife had one custom made for me this Christmas!)
But the depth of why I was drawn to this message hasn’t really surfaced till lately. I’ve gone through (still going) a long personal journey amidst some burnout and frustration to better clarify who I am, what I’m about and what I want to BE.
Interestingly, amidst this time I also discovered that I don’t know HOW to BE. To just BE. Me. Though that’s actually more of a personal admission than the point of this writing.
What’s the point?! It seems we as a people inherently, at a deep level, yearn for freedom. But as life trudges on we lose sight of what we truly want freedom for. Freedom to DO is most tangible, but once achieved quickly wanes as we realize the longing is freedom to BE.
Which brings up a chicken vs egg quandary:
Be to get Free OR Free to find Be
Be to get Free
For many it’s hard to adequately commit to getting free when they don’t have much clarity on what they will be free for. In this case, they’ll be best served to dive into themselves and discover more on who and what they want to BE. Once this is achieved it becomes much easier to commit, pursue and achieve the necessary freedom to fully…BE. From my experiences in walking with so many people desiring freedom, I’d say this ‘Be to get Free’ category is the majority, though not by a landslide at all.
Free to find Be
Then there are many who can’t disentangle themselves enough from life to delve very deep. They need to do whatever it takes to gain some freedom from the grind so they can then journey deeper into what they want to BE. Like Sam and Chris. I’d have to say I fall into this category as well.
Regarding the pursuit of free agency, aka Self-employment
My hope is in understanding these two options, you may discover where you need to start.
- Stick with the day job while you put time and effort into discovering what you want freedom to BE? Or,
- Go after something viable to generate income to get you free enough to breath so you can pursue who and what you want to BE.
I can win awards and accolades and ‘the world’ by what I DO. But I can only win peace, fulfillment and love through what I BE. So my journey continues…
Watch the show where I expanded on this topic: