“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to
choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Vicktor Emil Frankl
Most allow the event, the stimulus, to dictate their response. They allow loss to make them sad, lazy, and useless. They allow failure to ‘force’ them into giving up. They see barriers that aren’t actually barriers and confine themselves to a mediocre existence.
Most hand over freedom, the freedom of making a powerful choice, and choose victimhood, choosing a destructive, weak, and cowardly path and action.
What do you do?
If someone cuts you off do you lose it or do you not allow that person to dictate your mood? If a product you’re working on doesn’t sell do you step back, look at the situation, make adjustments, and try again, or do give up, get sad, and pity your plight?
Freedom and victimhood do not align, they cannot coexist.
If you choose to make the best of every situation, if you are able to see the big picture, the long game, the greater quest and respond with that in mind, you choose growth and freedom.
If you get pushed and pulled into seeing yourself as a victim in any way, shape, or form, you have given away your growth and freedom. You will not grow with this mindset, you will not be free.
“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” —Ayn Rand from The Fountainhead
Expectations are destructive. You can’t expect a person to behave a certain way or do a certain thing. You can’t expect anything that is outside of your control – expect the effort and process, never the outcome. Never expect something from someone else, but hold yourself to a high standard when dealing with them.
Depend on nothing – for happiness, meaning, purpose, depend on nothing or no one. That doesn’t mean don’t cultivate great relationships, you need those, but don’t be dependent on them.
Ask nothing that you are not willing and able to earn. Don’t expect blessings, the blessing is your potential. You have what you need to get what you want, to think that you need something that you do not have is to relinquish your freedom under false pretense.
“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
No one is your superior, but they can be. No one is your inferior, but they can be. We all have the freedom to be and live and earn what we want, and only of our own work, effort, and worth are we allowed to be judged.
Freedom, in this manner, is the freedom of potential, something we all have, but true freedom is only won when we use that potential through tireless effort, grand and daring thinking, and persistence.
True freedom, however, with all of this written, is in the mind.
Freedom is power, it’s the freedom to choose how to react with wisdom rather than emotion.
Freedom is being able to endure more than others, it’s mental toughness and grit. It’s also freedom from fear, be it the fear of what others may think, the fear of death, the fear of wrong decision.
Sadly, more fear wrong decision than they fear indecision, and live a life of inaction as a result.
Freedom isn’t the freedom to do what you want when you want to do it.
That’s a myth that has produced far too many movements in history.
America won its freedom, but it didn’t lose its discipline in the process, instead building one of the greatest nations in history by also granting freedom to its citizens and giving them a role in the building of a nation, freedom that has incrementally eroded over time.
Men need freedom.
We need it literally, in nature, in the form of adventure and danger, and in the notion that we can do and withstand anything, that nothing can truly harm us, hurt us, destroy us, or end us.
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ” ― Epictetus … Freedom