There are two types of freedom in the world, freedom from and freedom to.
The problem is that the majority of people don’t understand the difference between the two. They primarily think about freedom in their lives as freedom from things they don’t like. Freedom from a place they don’t like, a job, a relationship, or another tie that limits or confines them.
Even though not many people think or talk about it, the second freedom—freedom to—is 10x more powerful.
Freedom to isn’t reacting to something you don’t like, but creating ahead of you something you love. It’s a way of operating in the world, and experiencing yourself on a much bigger scale of performance and results.
I often use the example of the story of Exodus to illustrate the difference between these two types of freedoms.
In the Exodus, the Israelites and their leader, Moses, sought freedom from the bondage and slavery they were experiencing in Egypt. For this reason, it was easy for Moses to get them focused and motivated to undertake a dangerous escape across the Red Sea. He led them to give them freedom from their hardships.
However, once they were free from Egypt and in the Sinai desert, they wandered for 40 years searching for the Promised Land. This illustrates why being able to achieve freedom from is a totally different skill than being able to achieve freedom to. Moses was able to free his people from Egypt, but he wasn’t able to lead them into the Promised Land. There was no freedom to.
The truth about freedom.
I’ve found, in coaching entrepreneurs, that it’s easy to help people free themselves up from things they don’t like. It simply starts by asking them to tell the truth about everything they dislike, and then helping them make decisions on how they can get free from those things.
It can be scary and painful to make these changes, but it’s easy to determine what we want to liberate ourselves from. But what I’ve noticed is that even once entrepreneurs are free from everything they don’t like, they still don’t feel complete autonomy.
This is because real freedom, freedom to, is about having a future that corresponds to your greatest visions and ideals. Experiencing this freedom doesn’t come from getting away from anything; it’s all about creativity.
Creating the life you want.
Freedom to is about creating an entirely new situation. I experienced this three years ago when I made the decision to stop coaching people on situations that were limiting their growth. Instead, I decided to spend the rest of my life working with entrepreneurs who were interested in finding freedom to.
Happiness is about custom designing a future that works for you.
Click To Tweet
Helping people use their most powerful thoughts about themselves to operate in the world gave me an entirely new perspective and outlook on entrepreneurial happiness. Happiness has nothing to do with how other people live their lives; it’s about custom designing a future that works for you.
True freedom, is not about freeing yourself from everything you dislike. It’s about who you become after you’ve achieved freedom from. This is where great breakthroughs and innovations in the entrepreneurial world happen.
Start working on how to switch gears so you can devote the rest of your life to freedom to. This is where you will do the most good in your life.
About the Author
Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dan Sullivan