The Power of Prime

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Personal Growth: Do You Have ‘Complete Freedom’ in Your Life?

Liberate yourself from a life that is not your own.

My series of posts on “life inertia” has been exploring the role that it plays in where your life has been, where it is now, and where it is heading. As you consider ways to change your life inertia, it’s helpful to have a vision of the direction you want your life to go. This goal gives you a wished-for destination in your journey of personal growth and change, and helps you to map out the road you will take the get there.

Life is simple and complicated

Funny thing about life: it’s actually pretty simple. You are faced with a series of forks in the road. The bad road is the one that you may have been on for so long, driven by your NEEDS!; it’s a “feel bad, do bad” road. In contrast, the good road is the one you want to be on, driven by your needs; it’s a “feel good, do good” road. If you have the choice between the good road and the bad road, of course you will choose the good road. It’s simple, right?

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Life is simple in other ways too. If you do a few basic things, like satisfying your needs, your life can be meaningful, fulfilling, and joyful. You can be happy and content, and find pleasure in its many facets, if you understand what you need, know what you value, and live in accordance with those needs and values.       

But another funny thing about life (actually not so funny); it’s often pretty darned complicated. Though the good road may be obvious to you, it’s not easy taking it because your NEEDS! keep propelling you down the bad road. You can feel stuck on the bad road, despite your best efforts to veer off of it. You may allow yourself to be stuck in unhealthy habits and patterns. You may surround yourself with people who drag you down rather than lift you up. You may lose touch with what you need and what you value, and, in doing so, lose sight of what makes you happy. If life was that simple, you would just take the good road, but you can’t.       

I have three goals for you in this process of personal growth. First, remove the complications (read NEEDS!) that make your life difficult. Second, refocus on satisfaction of those simple things (read needs) that bring you meaning, fulfillment, and joy. And, third, generate a force powerful enough to alter the trajectory of your life inertia.

Complete freedom

What is the point of all of your efforts? The point is to experience complete freedom in your life. Complete freedom involves knowing what you don’t want and liberating yourself from those obstacles that have propelled your life inertia down its current unsatisfying path:

  • Freedom from fear.
  • Freedom from pain.
  • Freedom from anxiety.
  • Freedom from doubt.
  • Freedom from worry.
  • Freedom from frustration.
  • Freedom from anger.
  • Freedom from despair.
  • Freedom from passivity.
  • Freedom from victimhood.
  • Freedom from dependence.

Complete freedom also means knowing what you want and propelling yourself down a new and fulfilling path toward that which you seek:

  • Freedom to feel.
  • Freedom to be vulnerable.
  • Freedom to risk.
  • Freedom to give.
  • Freedom to love.
  • Freedom to hope.
  • Freedom to choose.
  • Freedom to believe.
  • Freedom to be happy.
  • Freedom to be at peace.
  • Freedom to completely realize your dreams and goals.
  • Freedom to fully engage in life.
  • Freedom to be an active and conscious participant.
  • Freedom to live consistently with your values.

With this complete freedom, you can know that you did everything in your power to live the life that you most wanted and that would bring you your greatest significance and satisfaction. Also, at the end of your day, year, or life, you can be sure that you will not have to experience the most frustrating of all emotions—regret—or have to answer what is perhaps the saddest question of all: “I wonder what could have been?”

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco.

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