Thursday, October 15, 2020

How To Find The Pathway to Personal Freedom

When you were born you arrived without an instructional manual! You were expected to figure things out as you evolved. And everyone else was in the same boat.

We learnt initially by imitation. Repeating words that our parents taught us. By the time we were 4-5 years old we were starting to figure things out and our individual personality began to develop.

Then we went to school and were molded into a functioning individual. Rather like a bakery. The dough is placed into hundreds of bread molds and when cooked all the loaves look the same. So it is with us by the end of our basic schooling. We have learnt to fit into society and have been taught the basic reading and writing skills that enable us to join the workforce. And here the pressure to conform really begins.  If we displease our boss our job is on the line.

Likewise in our social environment we don't really want to displease our family or members of our social groups. Everything is a compromise because we have no real individual freedom. That is we are not free to do things the way we really want to. And as we grow into adulthood and start a family the same pressures to conform are still with us. Society expects us to behave in an acceptable way... that is... acceptable to the society we live in. 

As we progress through life we slowly come to the realization that we are not a free spirit and never have been. It gets to the point where many individuals suddenly rebel and go off at a tangent. Which is why so many marriages fail these days. In the "good old days" unhappy marriage partners stuck together "for the sake of the family". There used to be tremendous social pressures on married couples to "hang in there".  These days there is no such pressure. People who have been confined and restricted all their life suddenly break out.  There are plenty of alternatives available to unhappy individuals and a massive amount of information available thanks to the internet and a more open news media approach.

The point is... you have the right to be free and happy. If you are not then you are denying yourself this basic freedom. The old attitude might have been acceptable 40 years ago but it now no longer applies. Many of you reading this will recognize the truth of the above analysis and will be asking what you can do about it.

To pull yourself away from the personal traps you need to sit down and rethink your beliefs and attitudes. Many of us have developed beliefs that are simply no longer valid and we pursue them merely from force of habit. We need to break these habits and reprogram our personal belief system so that we feel we are the master of our own destinies!

At any one point in time each and every sane individual is either doing that which makes them the happiest or doing that which makes them the least unhappy.  Most individuals operate in the latter category. 

Think about the things you have done so far today. Did they make you seriously happy or did you do them so that you wouldn't be unhappy? I'll bet that less than 5% of them actually made you happy! In fact think back over the past week and isolate one single event that made you blissfully happy and personally satisfied.

It has taken me many years to sort out my belief system to the point where I now feel almost totally free. And I made a ton of mistakes along the way because I didn't have an instruction manual to help me.

An instruction manual for personal freedom

But you are in a totally different position because you are currently reading this vital instruction manual!!

The vast majority of individuals get stuck in this rut all their lives but occasionally a traumatic event breaks them out of it. For example a person might become seriously ill and their doctor advises that they only have 6 months to live. Now some people will roll over and pretend to be dead the moment they hear this while others will suddenly realize that they haven't lived life at all and go hell-bent on catching up. These are the ones who get so involved in doing all those things they always wanted to do that their illness suddenly disappears. There are many recorded instances of these miraculous cures, particularly in regard to cancer. Just stop for a moment and visualize what you would do in this situation. 

You might be stuck with a time-wasting family situation of visiting Auntie Nellie and Uncle Erntwhistle every Sunday fortnight for dinner because that's what you have always done and it is expected of you. If you got sudden bad news like this would you continue to visit them or would you head off to do some jet-skiing or parasailing? 

Chances are you would mentally cut all the things out of your life that didn't matter and do only those things that did. And this is where you can sit down and make a list of all the important things you do each month. Take some time about it and make a complete list. Now imagine which items you would cross out if you knew you had limited time left. You would probably find that 80% of the so-called important items had been deleted.

This is the exercise I did many years ago when I realized I was wasting my life on garbage non-productive events. I crossed out all the things that didn't really matter, particularly those items that I felt obliged to participate in because of social or family pressure. I got somewhat unpopular initially but others soon realized I had taken a new lease on life and left me alone. 

My thinking was that this life of mine was not a practice run and I'd better start living it otherwise I would go to my deathbed with a ton of regrets.

Just visualise lying in a hospital bed with all your family around you in the certain knowledge that you are dying and suddenly realising that there were many things in life that you hadn't done. You had "missed out" because of your inertia and were extremely sad about it. Do you want to spend the last few moments suffering from massive regrets? No... I don't think so!

It is over to you to correct this situation NOW. 

By James Coyle, Author of The Freedom Book and The Ultimate Self-Help Manual


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