“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.” – Winston Churchill

Don’t we all want to be happy? Don’t we all want to be free?

If we take a good hard look at our lives do we really feel those emotions powerfully everyday? Have we settled for far less that perhaps we feel we were destined for?

We seek happiness and freedom yet so often don’t truly live like that every day. So how do we cultivate it? What does it mean to be free?

What Is Our One Ultimate Freedom?

How do we become happier in our lives? So what does it mean to be free? What is freedom?

These are all powerful questions right? So what does freedom mean to you?

At times do you feel restricted, inhibited and controlled by situations in your life? Perhaps it is a controlling partner? Perhaps it is being stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfill you? Maybe it is the boss who doesn’t care? Perhaps it is not having the money you’d like to do the things you’d love? Maybe it is not being able to go anywhere in the world, whenever you want?

What would you do in your life if you felt completely free? For me, freedom means affluence –that can be interpreted in many ways but ultimately I would describe it as being able to make happen whatever it is I want whenever I want that also serves the greater good. If I want to treat my family to quality time away together, then I can do that. If I want to go and experience something in the world then my life, career and business are set up in a way where I can go when I choose. If something happens in the world, like a major disaster, I want to be in a place where I know I can really do something meaningful about it – like get a whole plane full of volunteers, experts, relief workers and aid out there… But there is one ultimate freedom beyond that which I would really like to share with you.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of work to dig deeper and discover how I can live my life with more passion. Like all of us, we’ve had times when we’ve felt incredibly passionate, driven, inspired, powerful and certain and I’ve grown to recognise the radical difference in my day when I do indeed live like that compared to when I don’t. Can you remember a time when you experienced that? So why don’t we live like that more often? Compare that to a day in which you felt lazy, lethargic, frustrated or reactive? They are radically different right?

It has been through this search for living my life with more passion and freedom – you could say, my ‘pursuit of happiness’, in which I’ve made some deeply moving distinctions. Like many of us, we know that the most important thing is to be happy in this moment right? To be in the ‘here and now.’ Well yes, but doing that from an intellectual understanding compared to an emotionalised reality are two completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

I recently encountered an experience in which I was required to do something which I haven’t massively enjoyed doing and with the prospect of having to continue to do it for quite some time, I felt a reaction that I would miss out on a lot of opportunities to serve and continue to build my life in other ways. In that moment I felt that some ‘freedom’ had been ‘take away’ when in fact it actually presented me with an opportunity for the exact opposite. How wrong was I?!?! Let me explain to you why….


What Are We All Seeking? – To Feel Good

Recently too I made another incredibly powerful distinction… As I child I was obsessed with aviation and flying. I used to watch every program or film about flying I possibly could, I had model planes everywhere, drawings scattered throughout my school books, and I would bug my parents to take me to the airport as often as possible so I could see the planes take-off and land. My mother bought me a trial flying lesson when I was 13 and then I decided that I would learn to fly as soon as possible. From the age of 15 I began learning to fly and funded myself to get my pilot’s license when I was 17!!! I loved it, I loved flying myself and loved flying abroad to new places. The feelings I had about flying where ones of intense passion, freedom, space, power, flow, opportunity, possibility and freshness. Everything was new and you could see everything below and around you with absolute clarity.

So recently, when exploring how to live with more inspiration, passion, drive and enthusiasm this was a time I reflected upon. However, what I grew to recognise was that it wasn’t actually aviation that I was passionate about, that I was pursuing, but it was actually the state – the way I felt about it, that is what I was pursuing. It was through these feelings that I felt more alive, more passion and more freedom.


Becoming Free

When I discovered that it was that state of freedom that I was searching for, not actually the situation or circumstances that is when it struck me… Our greatest and ultimate freedom isn’t having the money, the ability to travel anywhere we want or do whatever we want – some would describe it as ‘liberty’, but our greatest freedom lies where and when we recognise how we are most enslaved, where our life isn’t in our own hands, where our state is not in our control but is being controlled by circumstances and unconscious conditioning. Haven’t we all had times perhaps when we’re driving and we get angry when someone cuts in front of us? Or when someone pushes in front of us in the supermarket queue? Or when someone we love is nasty? Or when we don’t get what we want? Or when we’ve worked hard for months or even years on a project and in one moment it crumbles? In those moments when we allow ourselves to remain angry, frustrated and disillusioned we are a slave to circumstance – we are not free!!!

The man who has all the money in the world, who can have travel the world, and yet still feels alone, depressed and unhappy, is he really free? Yet the person who has endured adversity, who when everything is falling down around him is still able to dictate his thoughts and feelings, he is a free man!

We are free when we have enough of an ability to influence our state no matter what is going on around us – when no situation or person robs us of the freedom to choose how we feel. When all else is gone, it is the only thing which remains. Even when we have ‘everything’ then our experience of life is infinitely richer and more meaningful and we won’t feel down, depressed or devastated if or when those things change or disappear.

Tasting Freedom

So, with these realisations I grew to appreciate that in the experience where I faced doing something which part of me had felt might take away some of my ‘freedom’, that very experience was exactly what I needed to indeed become more free because I will only be able to be free when I can turn my state around when I’m feeling challenged. I will only be free as I increase my ability to stay collected, stay centred, stay calm, stay grounded, and even cultivate passion when times are tough because it is only against perceived challenges do we expand our world and our lives. Challenge marks the boundaries of our own worlds. If we retreat in fear, frustration, annoyance or disappointment at the edge of our boundaries we remain like the elephant who is now free but has been tethered all its life… It will stay within those now perceived prison walls. It is only at the boundaries of our lives when we can choose differently can we create a future that is brighter than our past. It is only when we can choose to feel freedom in that moment are we actually capable to draw upon our emotional resources to stimulate the drive to make our life situations different from what they’ve always been. Our freedom lies in using our experiences of adversity to increase our ability to choose what we want to feel. Why, because our ultimate freedom is not the life we build around us, but our ability to choose our state, to choose what we want to feel!!! In fact, it is when we cultivate in ourselves that state of freedom and passion are we then able to create that life of freedom in the situations around us.

Do You Want to Learn and Discover More?

Having read this post, would you like to deepen your learning and understanding of critical knowledge and wisdom that can help you build your life and live with more passion?

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I hope to walk this journey of inspired change with you one day soon.