Independence Day. The holiday we (American citizens) celebrate our independence from the rule of Britain. A day that if we are to give it thought is really about freedom. The freedom from unjust and unrepresented rule over our lives. The freedom to pursue our hopes and dreams. The freedom to live how we want to live (with some rules for society as a whole). The freedom to live as we please.
Live as you please is how most people view freedom. This leads to a false freedom. It’s a false freedom because you are never truly satisfied with living how you please. There is always something else, something more. Another goal, title, pay raise, new house, new car/boat/toy, or vacation.
When you live with a mindset of ‘live as you please’, you become a shallow consumer. Everyone and everything is available to please you, make you happy, bring completion to life or career. The truth is, it never satisfies the way you think it will.
I have worked with clients who are entrepreneurs and executives. They have built their companies and climbed the ‘ladder’ to executive level of leadership. They have bought the big house in the ‘right’ neighborhood. They have gone on vacations, play a lot of golf, visit the spa once or twice per week because they wanted to live a life of pleasure; a life without worry; a life that is complete and whole.
That’s not how it work out for them…
- When you buy the house or car; after 90 days or so it’s just a house, just a car.
- When they go on the vacation; it was fun, relaxing, exciting, etc. but after a while it’s just a trip.
- The golf course and spa? How much consumption and relaxation can we really endure before it becomes an appearance to keep up with?
There is more to life and freedom than consuming or striving for something that doesn’t matter at the end of the day or a career.
When I work with clients, the end result is freedom. That’s what we strive for together. I know what you’re thinking… “Jason, you work with people around the idea you just railed against?”
Our striving together is not towards a ‘live as you please’ freedom. Instead, we do work around: Eleutheria; which is a Greek word for freedom that means – Live as you should, not as you please.
Live as you should is a life of purpose, lived out of your values. Eleutheria has substance and legacy beyond yourself. Live as you should requires getting below the surface; pursuing your dreams, not the dreams and goals you wrote down to go after what everyone else does.
I’m talking about your fears. Fear is a mask for your deepest desire, your true hopes and dreams.
I once worked with a man who had built companies oversees and connected with me about what his next adventure would be. I asked about his possibilities and he gave three options, none of which got him excited. I paused the conversation about his options and asked, “What is it that gets you most excited?” He offered some basic platitudes about goals around wealth and health.
I stopped him and said, “That’s very boring. What is the one thing you aren’t telling me that you want to say out loud?”
He paused and said, “I believe travel to Mars will be a reality in my lifetime. I want to go. I’m afraid of what it will cost me.” (He wasn’t talking financial)
The fear was palpable and we had our starting place. “Which opportunity will get you to Mars fastest?”, I said. That was all he needed. The fear would set him free to pursue something great that was beyond my dreaming.
This Independence Day; this day of freedom, what would it look like for you to: Live as you should, not as you please? What is the fear that is holding you back? What reality could exist if you leaned into that fear?
If you want to have a conversation around Living as you should or leaning into your fear; connect with me.