Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to live it
The urge for freedom is so much a part of human nature that it can never be suppressed by laws, slogans, or commandments. There is a difference, however, between the urge and the reality.
For most people, freedom remains a pleasant fantasy–something to dream of while carrying out daily obligations in the real world.
For most people, freedom is an ‘if only’.
Hoping to be free, many people engage in continual social combat–joining movements, urging political action, writing letters to editors and Congressmen, trying to educate people. They hope that someday it will all prove to have been worthwhile.
The plans, the movements, the crusades–none of these things has worked. And so the unfree person continues to dream, to condemn, and to remain where he is.
There must be a better way.
There must be a way to be free without having to wish for a miracle. It must be a way by which an individual can change things without having to to rally the rest of the world to his side.
Why you are not free?
[bluebox]Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to live it. And that is possible, even if others remain as they are.[/bluebox]
The freedom you seek is already available to you, but it has gone unnoticed. There probably are two basic reasons you haven’t taken advantage of that freedom.
One reason is that you’re unaware of the many alternatives available to you.
The second reason you’re not free is because you’ve probably accepted without challenge certain assumptions that restrict your freedom.
It’s very easy to get caught in a trap. Traps are assumptions that are accepted without challenge. As long as they go unchallenged, they can keep you enslaved.
If you are not free now, it’s very likely that you’ve accepted some of these traps. And you probably haven’t known of a number of alternatives that could get you out of your restrictions without the pain and effort you might have assumed would be necessary.
You act in ways you believe will produce the the consequences you want
But why do you do that? What is it you’re trying to accomplish?
You may decide that your goal in life is a good marriage, fame, wealth, or any number of other things. But each of these things is only a means to a further end.
Happiness isn’t a new car, fame, a good marriage, wealth, or a warm blanket. Those are things. Happiness is what you feel inside of you as a result of the things that happen to you.
Happiness is an emotion–an involuntary reaction to what happens to you. And unhappiness is an involuntary feeling of discomfort as you react to things that don’t suit your nature.
A free person spends most of his time making positive decisions–choosing among attractive alternatives.
Each individual seeks happiness for himself in the way that his knowledge and perception indicate to him
There are four basic principles whose recognition can help to avoid the Identiy Trap:
- You are a unique individual–different from all other human beings.
- Each individual is acting from his own knowledge in ways he believes will bring him happiness.
- You have to treat things and people in accordance with their own identities in order to get what you want from them.
- You view the world subjectively–colored by your own experience, interpretations, and limits of perceptions.
[bluebox] To become free requires a well-conceived plan of action. It can’t be achieved by occasional spur-of-the-moment hunches. To be free, you must know what you’re doing and why.[/bluebox]