20 July 2012
Set up a life that does not need escaping from —Seth Godin
Earlier this month we celebrated Independence Day, the idea of liberty and what it means to be really free. Since we live in the land of liberty, why are so many feeling imprisoned and lack a sense of freedom in our lives? Feeling stressed-out, besieged, over-whelmed, working too many hours, and neglecting our health absents us from real liberty.
Some of us may choose to work long hours because we have great affection for our work and it does not extract a toll. The difference is that those with great affection for their work are in the land of choice. What I have seen (and where I have been) with scores of people across the lifespan who are making changes in their lives is a renewed commitment to the land of the free. Once we are in choice, we stop telling ourselves stories that may no longer be serving us or that are incomplete. When we enter the land of the free, and know that we are in choice about nearly everything in our lives, remarkable things can happen. Perhaps you have lost the affection for your work and need to find it again?
A client with whom I am working resigned from a job that was taking a major toll on her health and her family. She spent some time at home and started: 1) de-cluttering her house, 2) running and lifting weights, and 3) spending more quality time with her family. When she began her search for new employment, her criteria were quite simple; the work must use her core strengths (thereby be meaningful) and she must have time and emotional energy to have a life outside of work. She has declared freedom and will no longer allow herself to get lost in an employment situation. Living in freedom can mean aligning what you want with what you do every day. What can you do to create more freedom, to keep Independence Day alive year round…to live your life so you don’t have to escape from it?
The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing —Steven Covey