Freedom – another of life’s paradoxes. The freedom we’re talking of here assumes that you haven’t been captured by Somali pirates and you are living in a democratic, law-abiding, civilised society. Barring physical incarceration, the term freedom strikes me as being similar to another of life’s seemingly obvious but extremely hard to define terms – success.
Barring obvious forms of physical or political bondage, freedom, like success really is a very personal concept. It’s has various levels from physical to mental. For example, even Victor Frankl chose to be ‘free’ in the concentration camp setting. While not physically free he was spiritually and mentally free. The paradox – We’re free within constraints. So if you have the mindset that you’re not free, then you aren’t. Take a simple example. “I could never work from home because the boss will not allow it”. Very often that’s merely a fear of asking and assuming the answer will be No!
Bondage, the opposite of freedom – Having no time to pursue things important to you, like family, travel, sailing, etc
I guess there are levels of freedom, ways of living that are more free than others. Nobody is truly free, truly independent of others. There are laws and taxes, rules and regulations, requirements and obligations that we all need and require to have a reasonably peaceful coexistence with the rest of humanity.
The bum living under the bridge is in some ways free – free from paying taxes, free from toeing the corporate line. But the consequences of that freedom are extremely limiting – limiting freedom of movement, freedom of diet, freedom of travel etc. He is ulta-dependent on handouts.
The independently wealthy heiress is perhaps free due to the unlimited bucket of money at her disposal. Free to travel, party, wine and dine. But still, not free, because she must keep daddy happy and motivated to continue supplying the funding for her freedom.
Just like the term ‘success’ I think that ‘freedom’ is a nebulous concept
Life is not a theoretical exercise. If you take the human factor out of the equation then yes, maybe there is an optimum formula, a set of pre-defined steps to follow in the pursuit of wealth and
financial personal freedom.
So, for me I define freedom as the following:
- Financial freedom – Earn a sufficient, stable income to live a good life in the world without having to worry about every cent. Key to this is no debt. To kill the debt is equivalent to getting a huge salary increase.
- Time freedom – And this is the big one for me – Time to sail, time to travel a bit, time to have the odd late mid-week morning and enjoy the view. [and of course the financial reserves to make this possible]