True freedom is to live as you are, to do what you want, and to spend time with people you like.
For many of us, true freedom is a distant dream. We’re tied down by obligations that we never wanted in the first place. So why do we still end up living a life we don’t want?
We live in deception because the truth is too painful. But no one wants to live in deception, as the stoic philosopher Epictetus once observed (quote is from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday):
“Who wishes to live in deception—tripped up, mistaken, undisciplined, complaining, in a rut? No one. These are base people who don’t live as they wish; and so, no base person is free.”
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We all know that everything has a price. So what does it take to be truly free? If you want to live on your own terms and do as you please, you must give up the following 4 things.
The seeker of truth will be free of deception, lies, and negativity. The seeker of truth will see everything for what it is.
Remember this: The truth will make you stronger. Too often, we hide from reality. We don’t want to face our problems. But our problems are not problems. It is merely the truth. Why can the truth be a problem?
We all have this sense of loneliness inside of us. We feel restricted. Anxious.
That’s truth, trying to come out of you. Always be honest with yourself. If something is bothering you, address it. Do not ignore it.
That’s how people end up in relationships that eat them up alive. That’s how people can’t look at themselves in the mirror. And that’s how people never take action in their lives and die with regret.
Give up lies. Instead, follow the path of truth. It will set you free.
This is counterintuitive at first because so much of our lives is dedicated to seeking comfort and avoiding suffering. I’m saying that you should flip it.
Why? Because that’s the price of freedom. The idea is simple.
When you welcome suffering and no longer hide from it, nothing can take away your peace of mind. No matter what happens to you, you know that you will be able to endure it.
Death, grief, sadness, bullying, fear of the unknown, illness, injury, being broke, losing friends, being alone, breaking up, and physical pain. Those are mainly the things we try to avoid.
We don’t want to suffer through things that make us feel bad. Why? The reason we’re in pain is that we fear suffering. When you welcome it, you will find that suffering is merely suffering. It will not break you. In fact, it will make you stronger.
Next time something bad happens, smile, say bring it on and be free. And continuously do hard things in your life. Remind yourself to give up the comfort of your safe life.
3. Fear of money
Money makes the world go round, is what people say. It’s true. You can’t do much without money. But we fear that we run out of money. That fear is completely unnecessary.
To get over your fear of money, you need to do two things:
You’re free to do any type of work you want. And when you have valuable skills and always improve yourself, you will never be out of work.
In contrast, if you have a job, and become too loyal to that job, you forget about yourself.
You always work for yourself. Never forget that. You are responsible for your own career. And you need to think about yourself first. I prefer to have such an employee to someone who always does what they are told.
The former is always trying to grow; the latter accepts the status quo. And then finally, save your money so you can quit any job you have. That’s freedom. You work because it’s you want to make yourself useful. Not because you have to.
If you want to hear more thoughts on overcoming the fear of money, check out my video about it.
4. Incompatible People
Nobody can thrive on their own. You’re better with good people around you.
The problem is that most of us surround ourselves with incompatible people. And we keep those people in our lives because we’re afraid to be alone. That’s the opposite of being free.
The free person spends time with people who share the same values. There are millions of people on earth. Seek the ones who are like you. And say goodbye to people who are not like you.
Does your partner want to complain and be negative? You will be a prisoner of their emotional energy. Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s way better than being close to people who drain all your energy. Remember, you can’t change people. It’s better to accept that.
Instead of fighting with people who are not compatible with you, create a support system. The word already says it: Find people you want to support. And who also want to support you.
You are the ruler of your kingdom
When you live by the rules of others, you’re not free. We behave in a certain way because we think that’s what we should do. We spend time with people we don’t like. We take jobs we’re not good at. We stay in relationships with people we’re not compatible with.
That’s all because we don’t realize we have power. You are the maker of your own life. Everything that has happened to you is because you made certain decisions.
When you’re unhappy, it’s because of your own doing. You have absolute power to live the way you desire. People who don’t agree with that are fearful. They use excuses like, “that’s easier said than done.” Or they’ll cry, “easy for you to say.” And then they spit out one excuse after the other.
Look, everyone can be free. You can decide to do whatever you want.
- Don’t like to hang out with certain people? Ignore them.
- Don’t like your job? Find another one.
- Don’t like your city? Move to another one.
It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t mean you should always quit everything and be impatient. Remember, always seek the truth and don’t be afraid to do hard things. If you’re unhappy, a different job or city is not the answer. But you already knew that.
The lesson is that you are the ruler of your own kingdom. Until you don’t recognize that, you can never be free.
So change the way you look at life. Whatever you do, do it because you want to. And live an honorable life.
Give up the crap, seek the truth, suffer voluntarily, do hard things, save your money, build real relationships.
That’s the price of being free. It’s worth it.
This article originally appeared on Darius Foroux.
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