FREEDOM AND SUCCESS – A Means to Succeed
“Give me liberty, or give me death!” The words of Patrick Henry echoed in 1775, empowering the Thirteen Colonies to break free from British oppression. Much like our founding fathers, it is our individual and collective duty to strive for success by attaining freedom from oppressive fear. I define freedom as the power to dream, believe, plan, work and achieve what one wants without hindrance or restraint from fear of failure, the unknown, criticism, embarrassment and self-doubt. It is more complex than the acquisition of money, prestige, influence, title and power; freedom means knowing joy, peace, happiness, and spiritual fulfillment.
Although freedom is, by definition, a noun, it is most effective when associated with action. Action is how the Thirteen Colonies achieved their independence, and action is the means to achieving one’s goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations. In this blog, we will address the manner in which freedom allows us to take control of our own success despite the oppressive forces pressed against us.
LIFE LESSON ONE – Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is the first life lesson gifted to us through freedom. It allows us to believe we can achieve. Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t–you’re right.” I often have my audiences, from grade school children to industry professionals, repeat my Coach V Belief Code; “I believe in me. What I believe, will be. Respect all. Fear nothing. I will not be bullied. And the bully will not be me. I believe me. What I believe will be.” This is the password punched into the keypad of our minds, reinforced through positive self-talk, which unlocks potential and grants access through the doors of courage.
Reciprocally, a negative self-perception can become an obsession. There are always a number of excuses for failing to act; the goals are too lofty, you’re not good enough, you don’t have the skills, you don’t deserve that, too young, too old, too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too good looking, not enough experience, they won’t like you, they hate you, they won’t help you, they can’t understand you, and so on.
Self-worth is manifested from within one’s own mind. Always know that you are unique and there is no one else on the planet like you; you are the only carrier of your individualized finger print. Special are the abilities, skills, and passions that you have to offer the world. Your finger print, and the destiny set forth by your purpose, are unique, so too will be your journey. You have a purpose, and your destiny calls for you to believe in it.
LIFE LESSON TWO – Self-Growth
The next life lesson granted from freedom is self-growth despite what we might not be familiar with, an expert in, or ready for. There are many universities, trade schools, conferences, and seminars to develop our skills and knowledge within every career field. However, I am a firm believer that struggle, failure, embarrassment, and obstacles are the true cultivators of our progress and growth.
Yes, success breeds success. But only loss teaches us to prioritize our time and value our resources; to respect others, to be more forgiving, to be engaged and fully invested in the process, and to take responsibility for every outcome. Though we all age biologically, that does not equate to a sense of maturity. Maturity develops from experience, thus mistakes are inherently part of the success process.
Mahatma Gandhi says, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” To err is human. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Success is a relative term, and everyone has a different means of interpreting it. This fact remains, there is no progress or growth without mistakes, loss and struggle.
LIFE LESSON THREE – Self-Appreciation
The final life lesson taken from freedom is appreciation. My most respected historical mentor, master speaker and motivator Jim Rohn, says, “If it’s easy to do, it’s easy no to.” I word it slightly different, but the lesson remains the same; easy to, easier not to.
Prior to my success, I was lazy and would not put forth the effort to do better. It wasn’t until 1999 that I finally applied myself to the opportunities presented to me. After graduating high school in 1994, I went to college in Billings, Montana, only to leave after one semester. I then attended a local junior college and transferred to San Bernardino Valley College, only to drop out again. At the age of 22, I decided I had had enough, and it was time to pursue the future I had always seen for myself. I returned to junior college once again, and accepted as a transfer to the University of California, Davis. Finally, at the age of 26, I was able to graduate with a four year degree.
It’s easy to take the steps to become educated, start a business, and earn money, but still easier to accept one’s current state. Contentment is a disease of our freedom. Opportunity is everywhere around us, yet we choose not to reach, choose not to plan, choose not to dream, not to work, choose not to risk, and choose not to do. We easily subscribe to our complacency, feeling stuck, thus perpetuating self-doubt. Ultimately, when you neglect your freedom, you are neglecting your future.
FREEDOM AND SUCCESS – A Final Thought
None of these lessons require super-human power, but they do demand discipline and determination. I was able to bridge the gap between the poverty of my childhood, and the professional that I am today. I didn’t graduate with a four-year degree until I was 26 because it was easier not to. Only once you have the confidence, experience, and appreciation for life’s opportunities will you be able to reap the fortunes of freedom.
“Give me liberty or give me death!” We have the freedom to, so do it.
Release Your Champion,