“The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do” Eric Hoffer
Personal freedom. What is that?
Personal freedom to me is having the ability to express myself and to pursue what is worthy of me. Having the capacity to choose what is right for me and not being forced upon by my country, the authority, the employer, the society and the people around me.
Sounds like a pretty simple concept to grasp but does personal freedom really exist?
It does, and it all starts with you.
Find your true self
The first step to personal freedom is to find your true self. When we were born, we were mold into a person that our parents, society, government, education institute think it’s best for us. We were told that we have to act and speak certain way to be socially acceptable and we live our lives through the shadows of others.
To find your true self, you can only do so by having an open heart and keep on experimenting. Years and years of pre-programming cloud our visions. Try to remember activities that makes you happy. It could be baking, traveling, surrounding yourself your watercolors and canvas.
Discover what makes you happy.
Learn to say NO
I used to find saying No a chore and end up saying Yes and feel really shit about it because it takes up my personal time and opportunities I might have had if I didn’t say Yes.
We need to understand that its completely ok and we have all the right to say No. The only reason why we are not saying No is because we are unwilling to deal with the consequences of saying No. And therefore we say Yes unwillingly and feel bitter about it afterwards.
Realize your priority. When you say Yes to something or someone, are we sacrificing your personal time? If you answer Yes then its time to say No.
Removing negative people in your life
My biggest allergy in life is negative people.
I used to be part of the community, often the one giving advice and beaming positivity to the negative ones. After years of doing this pro-bono work, I realize that one can never change a mind of a negative person. They are so caught up in the negativity; no amount of positivity can save them from their negativity.
So I’ve decided that enough is enough. Trying to get someone out of negativity is a loosing game. People will only snap out of negativity when they want to, not because we want them to.
Let go of people who are too demanding and demeaning in your life
There are 3 people in my life that fits this description. My 8th aunt, my former creative director and my former employer.
In the case of these 3 difficult people in my life, I did my best to be what they expect of me. But it was never enough. Because they were so caught up with their own perfection that no matter how hard I try, I can never measure up.
I used to think that in order for me to learn, I had to overcome all obstacles in my life. Little did I realize that sometimes, walking away or letting go might just be the best thing to do.
Love yourself more
We all heard about this phrase ‘Love yourself more’. But what does it really mean? Does it mean sign up for yoga classes, go to bed early, and get a Prada bag for your birthday?
To me, loving yourself simply means listen to your heart and engage in activities that makes you happy.