What does freedom look like to you? Is it a house, or a yacht, or is it just being able to rise whenever you please in the morning? Most people consider “freedom” to mean financial freedom, but this is a tricky dream to acquire: because how much money do you need? What tends to happen is, people have a lifestyle that matches their income. If you follow this model then you’ll never be free – you’ll be constantly trying to keep up with the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to.
The only way to get true freedom is to remove yourself from the pursuit of money and material objects altogether, to find pleasure in things that are not subject to be changed by passing trends and fashions. It’s about looking to the sky and being able to say “I am free”, even if you have nothing to your name.
Out of the Rat Race
The rat race is a trap, from which you never really depart as a true winner. You may be comfortable, but you’re unlikely to reach the top, and even if you do you’ll likely gain all the problems that follow being in a position of hegemony. The only logical move is to leave the rat race on your own terms, to realise it won’t fulfil your quest for freedom. Be warned: you’ll be giving up your lifestyle, but if your end is freedom, then it’s all in the name of a noble cause.
Say Goodbye to Money
Freedom requires that we’re not burdened by decisions or financial commitments from the past. You want to be able to live cheaply and happily, not continue to worry about making payments for a life you have already left behind. Use a loan payoff calculator to see how quickly you can pay off your student loan, cut up the credit cards and make a plan to pay them back, and, if you have a house, then do your best to negotiate or pay off your mortgage. If you want this done quickly, consider taking a seasonal job: you can raise some $10,000 in a few months if you apply yourself!
Providing For Yourself
Freedom isn’t just about lying in the grass and watching the clouds go by (though really, doesn’t that sound great?). It’s about being free from the burdens of others, but also being free of their support. Like it or not, a job supports you. You eat from the money they give you. If you want to be free, you have to provide for yourself in one way or another. There are many great and cheap alternative accommodation options out there, and you can also grow your own food, exchange labor for food, and so on.
To live free is to live to your full potential. It’s not always easy, but it is the most rewarding existence you can have on a personal basis. You’ll have more time, a deeper understanding of the earth and its people, and the ability to live the life you’ve always wanted.