Everyone has a different definition of what Freedom means in their individual lives. When I think of the word Freedom, I think immediately of William Wallace depicted in Braveheart. England was ruling Scotland with an iron fist and Scotland desired to be free. To them, being free meant they were no longer under the control of the English Empire and were able to determine their own future in their individual lives and which direction they were to go. I also think of what our founding fathers went through in the birth of our Country. They literally pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in order to secure the blessings of liberty for each one of us. They knew they would likely never be able to enjoy those blessings but felt it necessary so that the people that followed them would be able to. They wanted to leave something better for us.
It seems to me that in recent years, our freedoms have been more and more eroded. I totally understand that freedom isn’t free. Many, many men and women have given their lives, and still do, in defending our Country and way of life so that we can continue to be free. But what is freedom? Are we as free now in this Country as we were 150 years ago? I guess that is up to the individual to decide but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s time we reread the Declaration of Independence.
The thing that got me thinking about Freedom was the day I had Monday. This isn’t bragging but just something I’ve been pondering. I decided to build a Beachbody business back during the summer of 2007. During that time, we had many setbacks. Many people said they wanted to come along with us and build a business also but for whatever reason, they decided to quit when things got tough, or, they decided to go forward with a different pursuit. I guess I just decided to do something other people weren’t willing to do. I learned a long time ago, do something other people aren’t willing to do and you will have what other people will not. In other words, find out what the majority of people are doing and do the opposite. But it is easy to follow the crowd. Most people won’t do something different simply because of fear and they want to stay in their comfort zone.
Freedom – What are you enslaved to?
My wife and I decided to get into beekeeping. When you collect rent from the bees, in the form of honey, it’s nice if you take care of them and feed them to help them get through the winter since you took their food. We took off and went to North Carolina in search of bee food from the Bee Supply place up there near North Wilkesboro. After getting the things we needed, we went to a vineyard and did a quick wine tasting and then sat out on the veranda of the place and had a glass of wine with a dear friend of ours, who is retired at 65, and just talked about life. In his words at one point, he said…”This is nice. I wonder what all the working people are doing today?” I didn’t have to take vacation. I didn’t have to take a sick day. I didn’t have to wait for a weekend. I didn’t have to worry what my employees were doing while I was gone. We just went and enjoyed the day.
I didn’t dream I would be retired before 65. I figured I’d be like everyone else and just work until I died. That is what most people do these days. We have been trained to go to College, get a degree, go work for some company in a job that we don’t like but tolerate to make money to live a lifestyle and have things to impress people we don’t even like. How did we even get here? It’s amazing to me to think about that. People in other Countries dream and some have even died trying to get here to be free. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Millionaire, yet. But, it isn’t all about money either, really. Maybe it’s in God’s plans that I never will be. I’m going to work like it depends on me and pray God blesses my efforts. But I can tell you, I’m much more free now than when I was the office manager of an Engineering Firm. It took me about 2 to 3 years to equal my pay I was getting from my Engineering firm that took me 6 years of education, several certifications and 20+ years of work in order to reach. I thought I was doing GREAT because I was comparing myself to other broke and enslaved people. Then, over the next year or so, I more than doubled that. It just amazes me.
What if we were to redefine the word Freedom and what it means to most Americans.? What if we redefine it as being debt free? What if we redefine it as literally, doing what you want, when you want, because you’ve put in work to own your own business? What if we redefine it as “sleeping til you’re done” instead of waking up to the electronic rooster?
I’m not suggesting that you do what I did. All I’m doing is to try to get you to think about where you are. The VAST majority of people are where they are today because of the long list of choices they made. Small choices today and every day going forward can definitely change where you end up 5 years from now. I highly suggest reading the book Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. As a friend of mine who turned 70 this past week told me, “Hitch your wagon to a strong horse and hold on”. That is what I did with Beachbody. Be careful which wagon you hitch to. Also, in the old days, there were very few road signs and roads weren’t well paved. There are reports of signs that said…”Be careful which rut you get into, you will be there for the next 5 miles.” Be careful who you associate with. You will be the average of the 5 people you hang around most.
What does Freedom mean to you? Where do you want to be in the next year, 5 years, 10 years? What are you doing TODAY to make those dreams come true? What is worth you fighting and sacrificing your life, fortune and sacred honor to secure?
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