Stop Asking for Permission

Stop Asking for Permission

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Harley Roxanne of

I visited New York City with my mom and younger sister recently. We were walking near Battery Park when we saw a man wearing a clown wig and playing a ukulele- making up songs as people walked by.

It was this man, Freddy Harrington.

To onlookers he was a street musician, a comedian entertaining passers by. But he spoke of things much deeper.

In this video interview, you learn that he is not merely a street musician trying to make a couple bucks to survive, but a high school science teacher with a much deeper message. His message?

Life is meant to be lived.

“If you’re not having fun living, you might as well be dead.”
-Freddy Harrington

I hear so many people timidly mention they would like to do one thing or another in their lives- to travel, to try something new, to have a better job.

So many people spend their lives waiting and preparing to live. They complain about a job they hate, how everything seems to go wrong, or how it’s just “not the right time.”

It’s like the whole world is conspiring against them. But is it?

When you make out the world to be a place that snuffs out your dreams, where nothing goes your way, then that’s what it will be. But, when you take control and open yourself to possibilities, and have faith in allowing good things to happen, there’s a much better chance that your dreams won’t be just dreams anymore, they’ll be reality.

Once when I was telling a friend of my plans to travel to China, he scoffed and said “Yeah, I wish I had the money to travel,” But guess what? He was earning almost double what I was at the time and could have more than afforded a small trip, let alone a trip half way across the world to China. Plus, he would talk about how important it was for people to travel, even though he didn’t himself. See the faulty logic here?

It’s like these people were waiting for someone to swoop in and declare- Yes, you have permission to do this. Yes, you are allowed to live a life you want.

Well, sorry to break the news to you, that’s now how the world works.

You don’t need permission to live.

The reality is that no one is going to come in and give you permission. The only person who can do that is you.

You have responsibility over many things that happen in your life. (That job you don’t like- Who applied for it?) There are a great number of doors and opportunities out there if only you would choose to take them. Most of the time, it’s you that’s getting in your own way.

You’ve been taught to hide your true self and submit to living an ordinary life- taught that living a practical life takes precedence even if that’s not what you really want. You’re conditioned to believe that your dreams should just be dreams. That’s what they’re called dreams, right? Wrong.

It’s time to wake up and start living.

There are two options in life:

On one hand,

1. You can spend your life complaining about a job you hate, about how the world seems to be against you, about how things could be better if only you had more time or more money or something else that you think you need- spending your time preparing to live and waiting for someone to give you permission to do what you really want to.


2. You can begin taking responsibility for your life and actually start living.

So what if you want to walk around the city wearing a clown wig playing the ukulele? So what if you want to quit your job and do something *gasp* not ordinary?

That’s up to you to decide.

Because it’s your life, so you might as well have fun living it. The only one you need permission from is you.

What is one thing in your life that you have been ‘waiting for permission for,’ and what can you do about it, TODAY? Share your story in the comments below.

About the Author: Harley Roxanne is the creative strategist, videographer, and photographer behind, helping entrepreneurs engage people and build their brand through photo and video. Shes’s definitely worth checking out.

photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk

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