The Myth of Freedom

I’ve been hesitant about what to write about this go round. But the more I just relaxed my mind, the more I began to ponder on the myth of freedom. I watched a video earlier today where a guy that I highly respect talked about his journey for freedom. He started an online blog, went nomadic, traveled the world, didn’t want to be tied down, thinking with more options, and less stringency, he was going to be free. But instead, he gained anxiety.

I’ll admit, I was just talking to a buddy of mine this past week in messenger asking me about my plan and what I wanted to do. I expressed to him how most of the activities I’m extremely skilled in, or have performed well in, I don’t really give a fuck about. I further reiterated how in all honesty, I just want to do what I want when I want. Sounds good right?!

Thinking back on it, I was pondering the conversation realizing how much of a hypocrite I was actually being. It’s not that I don’t desire freedom. It’s not that I don’t want to do what I want when I want, but there’s more to it than that. The dictionary definition of freedom is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” We think, “Nobody can tell me what to say or do.” And theoretically, that is true.

Do what thou wilt. This is the whole of the law.

But true freedom is truly knowing what to give up, knowing what you’re committed to. It’s choosing what your own limitations are. It’s so much more than basic hedonism. Think about it. If you have the freedom to travel wherever, the surplus of options can create an analysis paralysis. You can explore London, the Congo, Singapore, etc. But you can’t go everywhere. You can’t do everything. Your time is limited. You can’t bring all of your friends with you. Hell, you may even be going alone. Is this what you truly want?

While I don’t want to correlate to dating, because I don’t want anyone thinking I wrote this for that reason, it does remind me of a study I read in the book Modern Dating. The author was trying to find out why he and his male friends were basically being stiffed so easily on first dates. We all know women get hit on all day, everyday. And many guys can be creeps and aggressive. As such, women in general, move through guys quicker, not giving them a chance if they slip up even slightly. So the author tried to find out why. They did an experiment with jars of jam. When there were a surplus of jams to sample in a store, say 15 different flavors, customers were more inclined to try multiple flavors, and end up not buying. Yet when options were limited down to two or three flavors, customers were less inclined to sample, and more inclined to buy. It makes perfect sense. With more jam options, customers feel more anxiety, and they’re less likely to choose a long term product commitment, let alone see if a jam is even good for their liking long term.

We as humans say we want to explore the world. We want to break free from the chains that bound us. But when it all comes true, is that truly what we want? Or better yet, are we making the best decisions? I remember watching some episodes of Nas Daily when he explained why so many Americans and Europeans avoid traveling to some of the most beautiful destinations in Africa, and pick conventional destinations instead. It’s the same concept.

Coming full circle to my conversation with my buddy, what limitations am I choosing? I chose to give up moving to California to go all in on a business venture, looking at the cost benefit analysis. Yet what if I get everything I want? I can travel, I can read as much as my heart desires, I have financial freedom, I have a beautiful relationship, etc. would I truly be happy if I’m not creating a lasting impact?! To be honest, impact and purpose is what carries us in life. What’s the purpose of anything if we are not giving back and trying to better the world that helped mold us?! I’ll never forget that!

I love you all! ❤️

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