"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
244 years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, here in the United States, we set aside an entire day to celebrate Freedom.
Freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
"Free at last! Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last." – Martin Luther King, I have a Dream Speech, 1963
What does it mean to be Free?
I challenge my clients with this question:
What are your minimum requirements for Personal Freedom?
With a puzzled look on their face, they usually ask:
What do you mean by Personal Freedom?
I divide Personal Freedom into 5 arenas: Financial, Physical, Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual.
Take some time to journal these 5 questions:
1. What are your minimum requirements for Financial Freedom?
2. What are your minimum requirements for Physical Freedom?
3. What are your minimum requirements for Emotional Freedom?
4. What are your minimum requirements for Psychological Freedom?
5. What are your minimum requirements for Spiritual Freedom?
Ooh, personal freedom is feeling GOOD!
Just for fun, here's a sixth Arena of Personal Freedom that I call Guilty Pleasures. Here's my two.
Guilty Pleasure #1. My Dad always kept the thermostat at 65 degrees in the winter. Growing up, my fingers and toes were always cold. I adopted my first guilty pleasure as soon as I left home. My thermostat is set at 72 degrees in the winter.
Guilty Pleasure #2. I like to eat out wherever and with whomever and NOT worry what it costs. Sharing an intimate meal with my significant other should be extravagant. Sharing a meal with a group of friends or clients should be enjoyed with good food and a free flow of conversation. A good meal generates Freedom of Expression!
As the Declaration of Independence states, freedom allows us the pursuit of happiness.
The Problem with the Pursuit of Happiness
Do this. Do that. Do this. Do that. Only then, will you achieve … Happiness
Why in the world would I hold my happiness hostage until I attain self-made goals and expectations of personal freedom?!
That's why I ask the question:
By identifying minimum requirements for personal freedom, you can attain happiness in shorter and shorter intervals.
In fact, do you want to meet your minimum requirements for Personal Freedom AND achieve happiness Right Now?
Simply answer these five questions:
By celebrating minimum requirements of personal freedom, you generate a deep sense of gratitude and happiness right now!
Wow! You can feel happy now AND pursue happiness at the same time!
Repeat after me:
I will Pursue Happiness, Happily!