You remember the movie Jerry Maguire, don’t you?
Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) is a glossy young sports agent working for Sports Management International. After having a life-altering epiphany about his role as a sports agent, he writes a mission statement about perceived dishonesty in the sports management business and his desire to work with fewer clients so as to produce better quality. He shares his mission statement memo with everyone, thinking surely his candor will be rewarded with admiration and recognition.
In turn, SMI management decides to send Bob Sugar, Jerry’s protégé no less, to unceremoniously fire him.
So much for being able to speak your mind.
We hear a lot about freedom of speech lately, but are you sure you have that liberty?
Do you stammer or hesitate when wanting to say something at your job? Do you begin to speak your mind, but then get caught in indecision about the possible consequences?
Most folks find that their free speech is stifled, not by choice but by force. Millions fear not looking good, so they clam up. Others shirk in the shadows, knowing that they should call bullshit but they don’t. Walloping waves of people give up their freedom of speech every day.
Many of you may be thinking, “So what, that’s how I keep from being fired!”
Indeed, keeping your head down and not making waves is the way the corporate America game is played. And I’m not recommending you do anything to get yourself fired. Far from it.
So, what then, is the point of today’s essay?
It’s this – Don’t be apathetic about achieving financial freedom in your life, because until you do, you literally give up freedoms. Make no mistake about it.
I have realized that what truly makes me happy is total freedom of time, that is, the freedom to get up and do whatever I want every day and go wherever I want without restriction or control from others. To me, that is the real measure of freedom. If you don’t have that, then you aren’t free, regardless of what your government or culture tells you, or what political freedoms you officially have, or what your Constitution says.
But the thing is, most messages in society encourage you to do things that go against that ultimate definition of freedom – keeping up with the Joneses, mindless spending on credit cards, fancy cars and a boat you can’t afford, parked in front of a house you certainly can’t afford – all these things tie you down, enslave you, and take away your freedom. They hammer you with responsibilities and lock you onto a payment treadmill that robs you of your freedom – so that you can’t just get up anytime and go wherever you want. They are the antithesis to travel, freedom and adventure. So in that sense, the true freedom I speak of goes against everything that society teaches you about a “normal life”.
Society teaches you that unless you’re up to your eyeballs in debt, you are actually doing something wrong. So in effect, what society is saying is that unless you bind yourself into enslavement to others, you are empty and incomplete. How ironic!
Most people simply follow all this and don’t question it. In doing so, they never realize the obvious – that there is so much to see and do in the world, endless exciting adventures, places, events, and people that you can experience.
If you let society and the government define freedom for you, they will define freedom as not being under a foreign dictatorship and as the “freedom to work” (voluntary enslavement). Essentially what our culture will teach you, is that you should “live to work” and that free time is idle.
Friends, make no mistake about it. You are at war every day. You can use your dollars as investment capital to win your freedom or waste them on junk and become a prisoner. It’s either a debt-laded life beholden to a job until your too old to enjoy retirement or the sweet smell of freedom’s shores, as you sip margaritas and soak up the good life as a young man or woman. Which will happen for you depends on whether you stay focused on the main thing.
Stephen Covey’s words of wisdom –“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – are certainly poignant, but it’s not always so simple to keep it the main thing. With so many aspects of life to balance — work, kids, and bills – it’s no wonder that that main thing often gets lost amidst the lengthy to-do lists and the impromptu must-do’s.
But here’s the point.
If you’re reading this blog, your main thing is to become financially free. If you let go of that fact, if you lose focus on that very objective, there will be consequences to be paid such as losing your individual liberties. I see many intelligent people who “want” to become financially free. Most never make it because they lose sight of what’s really important and just give-in to the doldrums of the day.
Losing focus on achieving financial freedom means these people will wake up each day with someone or something controlling them – such as a boss, schedule, culture, society, finances, government, peers, etc. If you follow that path, you lose your freedom and become enslaved to a monotonous and binding routine. That’s not for you my friends.
Think about how you spend your time. Think about the people in your life. Are these things helping you become financially free? Motivating you? Are they in tune with the path you want to be on? If not, then you’re missing out on the main thing and it’s time to make some changes. Remember: no one is going to make the main thing your priority for you. It’s up to you to identify what you have to do each day to ultimately achieve financial freedom — your main thing — and it’s up to you to make sure you prioritize it in your life.
If you want your main thing to stay in focus, you’ve got to put it where you can see it. Don’t put it off until someday — or even until the weekends. Make sure you do something about achieving financial freedom every single day. Pencil it in on your calendar. Schedule it as a meeting. Do whatever you need to do to make time for the main thing in your life. And soon? And soon you’ll be enjoying all the liberties of life, as a financially free person!
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: