How did this year go for you? Did you accomplish everything you set out to do?
How many days do you wake up feeling free vs feeling trapped by your life?
Would you like to increase the amount of days you feel inspired and alive, where you wouldn’t change anything if you could?
I can personally attest to you that freedom is not something automatic. If you follow the template blindly, you will be douped into believing that freedom comes “someday.”
It’s far too easy to be lulled by the promise of future rewards.
Sacrifice now, enjoy freedom and happiness later is the myth that we’re sold.
But it’s not how the world works.
If you want more freedom, joy and creative fulfillment in your life, it’s up to you to create it.
This is not necessarily the most intuitive process either. Not in a world that sells you the false promise of freedom someday.
You have to do the opposite of “what works.”
Here are seven “strange” ways you can create more freedom than you ever thought possible in 2015:
1. Accept that you are the source of time
Time is not something you “find.” You don’t find time to do something. You make time.
The most powerful step you can take right now is to stop complaining about not having enough time for the things you want to do.
Either make the time, or decide that it’s not that important to you.
Your priorities are always reflected in what you spend most the majority of your time on.
Are you spending it on the things that truly matter?
2. Realize that freedom is always now
The most dangerous delusion is to believe that freedom is something you earn, or cash-out on at some future date. Most of us approach freedom like this — saving up tickets at the arcade to redeem them for whatever prize we most desire.
The only difference is that the majority of us are not playing fun games, getting lost in time. We’re slogging it away doing things we’d rather not, hoping that it will all pay off eventually.
Freedom is always now, or never. Always has been, always will be.
Ask yourself this: are you free, in this moment? Can you make a different choice?
If the answer is yes, you are correct. You have just reclaimed your freedom. Congratulations, you’ve won the prize.
3. Accept 100% responsibility
Why is this slightly strange? Because most people only assume a portion of the responsibility for their lives. They blame the rest on a shitty economy, bad luck or things outside their control.
If you want to create an outrageously free life, you must accept 100% responsibility.
When something is truly outside of your control, completely let it go, and refocus your energy solely on what you can control.
You are the captain, not anyone else.
4. Stop caring
That is, on the things that don’t really matter.
What kills our freedom more than anything is wasting energy and time on stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Buying stuff to impress people you don’t really care about it? Maybe instead of trading your life for approval, you’d be better off not caring about what other people think.
Boom. From that one decision, made in a split second, you just unlocked a massive amount of freedom.
5. Don’t do what works
Following the proven path is almost always guaranteed to make you feel constricted and restrained.
Anything that constricts diminishes your freedom. Anything that feels expansive increases your freedom.
Having the courage to do it your own way, is the fastest path to freedom.
6. Build your own fiefdom
When you create your own business, you get to build your own kind of sovereign entity. It exists and flourishes by the rules you create.
Want to only work with creatives? That’s your choice to make.
Want to take off one week a month? You can build a business that supports that goal (with time and effort, of course).
Decide what kind of lifestyle you want your creative pursuit to support, and build it around that from the beginning.
Whatever you do, don’t build a cage.
7. Find the pleasure in the challenge
Knowing that you can be free is the first step. But it’s not enough by itself.
All of your previous patterns of confinement and keeping yourself small will not automatically dissolve simply because you know you are more free than you have been.
Your habits of closure, of second-guessing and playing small will only be transformed through rigorous practice. Each day you have an opportunity to stretch yourself, to challenge your decision and reclaim a bit more of your freedom.
The key to this journey is to find the pleasure in stretching yourself, going just outside of your comfort zone. Every time you do this, the territory of your freedom will expand a little bit more.
One day you’ll wake up and find that the life you once lived seems like a dream, hardly recognizable.
Then, the final challenge is to enjoy it. :)