Friday, July 11, 2014

Choices and Freedom

   I went on a hiking trip today with a group that I had joined just a short few months ago.  I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time.  I enjoy walking or hiking, and love the scenic view of a natural park.  About a dozen of us walked around a 365-acre lake today, enjoying the company and the scenery.  It was a lovely experience... one that I hope to enjoy again soon.

  Okay, so "what's the point?", you say.  This is a Business website, isn't it?  I mean, at least it's supposed to be.  It's a place where you can come and learn more about becoming and being an entrepreneur and finding new avenues for a fulfilling career and life.  So... "why are you talking about hiking on your business site?"

  Because... part of planning and living your dreams is to actually begin to enjoy the things that you enjoy.   That may sound redundant to you, but it's not at all.  Well, of course you enjoy the things that you enjoy.  Yeah, but the real question is NOT if or whether you enjoy certain things, but how often do you really have the chance or opportunity to enjoy them?

   Part of the drudgery of life sometimes is always doing things the way you've always done them, and never ever becoming able to make the changes that you need to that will make things any different than they've always been.   Wow- that statement I just made feels really monotonous just typing it or saying it.  Much less-- actually living it!

   The trouble is, so many times we resign ourselves to relinquishing control of our lives over to someone else, or groups of people.  Oftentimes we do not even realize that we are doing it, until we've been doing it for such a long period of time.  Have you ever REALLY believed that you could live the way you REALLY want to live it?   I mean-- REALLY!   Not just talking x's and o's here.. but smack dab down on the field of life, in your everyday life?   If not, then there might just be a problem.

  Like I've said before (see the rest of this website), if you want to work for another boss, or another man, or another-- whatever-- then that's fine.  But the KEY word here is "want".  Is it REALLY what you want?   Or are you just settling for something less than you REALLY want or that you've always wanted.

   You may be noticing the use (or over-use) of the word "REALLY" here.  It's quite intentional.  Why?   Because lots of times, we are not REAL with ourselves.  We are dishonest and fool ourselves into thinking that somehow, everything is the way that it should be, or if not, then at least everything will eventually work out the way that we want it to be.  The trouble is, the only thing that usually changes when we think this way is time.  Yeah, time.  In other words, we eventually take a look back and see that over the past 10, 20, 30, 40 (fill-in-the-blank) years, we've maintained the SAME exact attitude about our lives, and nothing else has ever REALLY changed, except... the date (and our ages)!

   There is no doubt that the worst thing that can be taken away from a man is not a house, not a car, not any other prized possession.  It is his choice or his freedom.  Or we could say:  his freedom to choose.  May God have mercy on those souls whose freedom has been taken away from them, not from their own neglect or folly, but totally without any fault of their own.  There are countries where governments have subjected their citizens to such a life of misery.

   It is a fact that no matter where you find yourself in life, no matter what choices you've made in the past, no matter how difficult or impossible that you feel your situation to be, the one thing (and the most important thing) that you still have available to you is your ability to choose.  You can choose to make today different than yesterday.  You can choose to take a different direction than you've taken in the past.  You can choose to stop following a path that will only lead you down a spiral to misery.

   Most people are in that spiral, and not only don't realize they have a choice, but many times don't even realize that they made the choice to be in that situation.  There are many excuses :  "I don't have an education."   "I'm not smart enough."   "I've always done this and guess I always will."  "I don't know where to start."   "I don't feel comfortable making changes."   The excuses will always be there.  There's always one available.  But do you choose an excuse, or choose an escape?

   Ten years ago, I probably couldn't have gone on a scenic hike on a Friday morning.  But it's not about the hike, or a concert, or a beach trip... or even about the money, or the cash flow.. it's all about your freedom.. to be able to choose.  

   Don't kid yourself.  If you think that working for forty years to get to retirement will help you enjoy life more, you're fooling yourself.   Especially if you're not really enjoying those forty years of your life that it takes to get you to that point.   It makes no sense at all to devote yourself to something for that long a period of time, sacrificing many enjoyments of life (family, friends, travel, etc.), so that you can get to a place where you can perhaps enjoy those things for a few short years.  First of all, there's no guarantee that you will even make it there, or once there, live that long to enjoy it.  Second of all, there's a great chance that the pressures and stress of everyday life will wear on you to such an extent over your lifetime that, by the time you get to retirement age, you may not have the energy or health to really enjoy what you've worked so hard and long to obtain.

   Think about it.  No matter where you are in life, no matter your age, or your situation, you still have a choice.  You still have the freedom to make choices.  You have the freedom to make changes.  Don't sell yourself short in believing otherwise.  This little essay today is not about specifics or details.  I'm not about to tell you -what it is- that you should do, or what you should think.  But one detail is important- don't stand still and make no choice or decision.  Because not to choose... is to choose.  But the lack of making a decision can never be a good choice.  So give your life some thought.  If you're not really where you want to be, you can pull off the exit ramp, and get on a different road, one that will take you in a new and exciting direction.