Seven Principles to Expand Your Freedom
Toddlers pull and tug as they try to free themselves from the grasp of their parent’s hand. They long to roam free to explore the wonders of the world, like mud puddles, garbage cans, and half-eaten lollipops.
Nearly everything about adolescence points to a yearning to break free of parental restraints.
Men’s pursuit of wealth may spring from a desire to enjoy greater freedom to own whatever one chooses or to work when, where, and how one wants.
But wealth brings limited freedom. With it comes greater responsibilities to protect and grow it. It usually requires one to hire accountants, lawyers, and financial planners.
You need not obtain vast stores of wealth to gain greater freedom. By living these seven principles you will expand your choices and you will better enjoy the successes they will bring.
1. Spend less than you earn.No matter how much you earn, living this principle will facilitate greater freedom for you.
2. Get and stay out of debt.Debt and bondage are conjoined twins—if you invite one into your home, you get the other. Without debt you will fear less the economic downturns, layoffs, and setbacks of life.
3. Get an education.So many people would love to improve their employment but have limited themselves by their educational choices. Education begets options.
4. Consider carefully before you enter into commitments and keep them once you have done so.If you enter into commitments carefully you will avoid locking yourself into obligations you may regret later. But once you have made a commitment to your spouse, to your children, to your employer, to your customer, or to yourself, honor it fully.
5. Eliminate every addiction.Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and many other negative habits can completely overtake your life. They will never lead you toward freedom. They will seize you and lock you into a world of tragedy, broken homes, professional failure, regret, and misery.
6. Live lawfully and ethically.In recent years we’ve read about corrupt CEOs who lived the good life for a while, but lost it all through dishonest or unethical behavior. Even when they soared at the top, don’t you know that they felt the press of exposure and shame that eventually came upon them?
7. Live the golden rule.Treat others as you would like them to treat you. As you do so you need not look over your shoulder to see who wants get back at you for some slight, or some unkind act on your part. If you treat others well, they will return to you the same.
As you make improvements in these seven principles you will feel your freedom expand. Your choices will grow. Your comfort in your successes will feel more satisfying and permanent.