It’s simply human nature to want freedom. If you think about it, our ultimate desires almost always boil down to wanting freedom. The desire to be a financial success – is really about the freedom to do what you want, when you want and how you want. The desire to be healthy – is really about the freedom to live life without the handcuffs of extra weight, fatigue, chronic pain or worse, a disease or illness. The desire to be in a healthy, loving relationship is really about the freedom to be who you are and still connected to another.
Most of my choices in life have been about maintaining my freedom. My poor mother. She would tell me to do something – and I might listen. But try to tell me to do it HER way – I would purposely go out of my way to do it MY way.
Freedom is exactly why I left a high paying, cushy job on Wall Street for which most MBA graduates would have given their left arm. When I was working on Wall Street, I often told people that I had sold my soul to the devil. Sure, I made a lot of money, was widely recognized as an industry expert, had great perks, was wined and dined and for the most part, was very happy. But I had to follow someone else’s orders, stick to someone else’s schedule, and pretend to be passionate about something that I could care less about. I felt handcuffed and my soul was slowly dying.
So I gave it all up in the name of freedom. Freedom to report to myself. Freedom to make my own schedule. And most important, freedom to pursue my passion…let my soul free.
But I must be honest here: did I find freedom in entrepreneurship? Not immediately. In the beginning, I simply traded the handcuffs. Sure, I got to do things my way and be my own boss, but in order to generate revenues, I had to get clients. And to get clients, I had to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally want to do. To keep clients, I had to do a lot of things THEIR way and not mine. Instead of no problems, I just had different problems.
So after years of frustration, lots of ups and downs, and a ton of personal development work, I eventually realized that my freedom has always been there, living within me, not outside of me. It was just that my perception of freedom was gone. Travel is a great teacher of this lesson.
Travel has an uncanny ability to make all of life’s problems (or handcuffs) go away. People travel to be themselves again; not the roles they play in life. People travel to quiet the noise. They travel to explore new places, sites, experiences, people, cultures so they can experience our connection to other human beings. Travel allows us to enjoy the exploration without being attached to the result or outcome. And that’s exhilarating.
But you don’t need travel to rise above your problems or to enjoy the journey. It’s not the travel that creates the positive emotions and makes the negative ones go away. It’s you. You just believe the illusion that the travel experience is doing it. So use your lessons from travel in everyday life. Tap into the power within you to rise above your daily problems. Use gratitude to tap into your ability to quiet the noise. Embrace the beauty of who you are no matter what you accomplish.
As a travel entrepreneur – you also get to GIVE freedom to people, through the act of traveling. Think about it, if we all felt a little more freedom in our daily lives, the world just might be a better place.
Working for yourself is not always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world…or a high paying, cushy job on Wall Street. Today, recognize the freedom (lack of problems) you have. It’s always been there. You do it by rising above your frustrations and your fears. You start by finding gratitude in what you have. You pay it forward by getting excited about the freedom you get to give to your traveling clients. And slowly, you can make the world a better place.