India had attained its independence somewhere 60 years ago. That mean, we the Indians are free people. Perhaps the freer to do anything and everything until except it is illegal or illegitimate. But does, it sound true? Are we free enough to live our own life the way we wish? If you feel so, what exactly does the word “Freedom” means to you?
If you ask me, then I would define “Freedom” as that path which leads to individual satisfaction in life. It can also be termed as “Personal Happiness” (There is nothing more nourishing than happiness) where one does not have to spend an unreasonably large part of life doing things that he/she doesn’t want to do! But are we living a more vivid and effective individual life? No right! So, have you ever tried to find a solution for achieving Personal Freedom?
In my view, we as individuals can be truly free only as we are sufficiently independent, powerful and influential in our own right to become persons to reckon with. But to my surprise, it is always otherwise. We love to live like those caged birds (in the prison named Relationships) who had forgotten to fly high. By this way, we are our own enemies losing the enthusiasm to find the real essence of life. Here, please do not mistake me, because, I am neither criticizing the family system nor preaching the benefits of bachelor hood. This article is quite different. In this, I am just trying to focus on some guidelines applicable to each one of us to attain personal freedom. And here are those Nine Lines of Action for personal Happiness:
1) FIND YOURSELF: Being independent, we are more or less dependant on each other (say, family, friends, relatives, society or what ever). In India, to my knowledge, there are only two stages of life, viz., one where the parents look after their children until they get well-settled in their life and the second stage is that, the latter looking after the former until they die. And surprisingly, we do rotate in this continuous life cycle sacrificing all our choices and wishes for the betterment and happiness of others who are dependant upon us. So, there exists no question about individualistic life where one can think about his/her own happiness. And it is true that, “When we do not find happiness with in ourselves, it is vain to seek it else where”. Therefore, one must find himself/herself first. There is no harm being Selfish. But mind you, it should not effect the relations you have. Each of us is blessed to enjoy the pleasures that life brings to us. We are blessed with the right to live the way we wish. And hence, one must learn how to feel joy (Seneca). Live life blissfully. It is never too late to be who you might have been.
2) BE SELF-RELIANT: To be self-reliant, we should save money. Too many of us think of savings as security for old age. But to me, saving money is one of the key factors that strengthen our personal freedom. Voltaire stated, “When it is the question of money, everybody is of same religion.” If we are financially sound, then there exists no question of begging loans from others. To me the thought of making a loan itself make me feel guilty and stifled. My grandma had taught me, not to make a loan until it is a matter of cut-throat. Because making a loan threatens our self-respect. We our self, give a chance to people to talk ill about us. So, never ever try to risk your self-respect, as it knows no considerations (Mahatma Gandhi). If once, we are self-reliant, then people gather around us, praise us, and seek for help. We become independent for doing anything we wish. Even at Tirumala Tirupathi Temple, the richest people are given the highest priority. Therefore, try to save money for a secure future. And at the same time, also remember, “Save not where you can spend and spare not where you can save”.
3) BUILD YOUR EDUCATION AND SKILLS: Personal freedom can be expanded by education and skills because they open up a wider range of professional opportunities. Knowledge is a tangible asset, quite often the most important tool in the work. The more marketable knowledge you possess the more free you are, for it can’t be taken away from you – it’s a tool you carry around in your head.
This competence, cannot, in fact, be taken away from us except by obsolescence. In today’s world many of us can feel competent, and free, only as we keep abreast of new development in our field. We are definitely going to hear a great deal, in coming years, about the importance of continuing education. (By this statement, I hope many of my friends who always pinch me for still being a student might have got an answer for the reason behind me continuing my education.) Therefore, it becomes necessary to update yourself and share the knowledge in achieving personal freedom and immortality respectively.
4) KEEP YOUR HONOR CLEAN: To maintain freedom, we should reduce personal frailties, for these make us Vulnerable. It is still true that an upright man is more likely to dare to speak the truth. No matter, if you are financially pinched, but, never become a man of dishonor. Believe me, “Penniless is better than honor less”. If you keep your honor clean, you can dare to live the way you wish; say, as a leader or a hero. You can dare to express yourself to the fullest. And of course, as said by Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a person of success, but rather become a person of Value”. This will definitely fetch you freedom.
5) KEEP YOUR PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE: Privacy is the heart concept of Freedom. It is the first thing to disappear when freedom disappears. And we all know that, in India, we cannot live a private life. These days, Media (Example, TV9) is after exposing the privacy of people to the Public itself. If we can at least preserve the privacy that remains to us, as so many do, giving it away; then, we can be successful in living an individualistic life to a greater extent. Of course, this can never happen, but we can try to preserve our privacy to dream and plan and to discover the reason behind our existence on the planet earth. We can seek an answer for what our life is meant for?
6) KEEP YOUR WORD: Always try to keep your word. If you cannot, then just do not say anything in the first place. For doing this, reach out and share your concerns with others. And by making certain that, they are well-informed and well-balanced; you can build your web of influence. People, who keep their word, always influence others apart from gathering respect, strength and trust. To my belief, those who are well-trusted in the society become the most effective. But for doing this, one must trust him/her self first. And hence, never lose trust as it is like a crystal vase that once it is shattered, it is broken forever. Therefore, remember that it does definitely count in maintaining your personal freedom.
7) TAKE UPON PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: The sovereign way to personal freedom is to help determine the forces that determine you. Be active! Take on Responsibility! This means not merely voting, but working for the things, you believe in! If you do not, you are surrendering your fate to others to do act. Never allow others to live your life. Be individualistic. Be firmly attached to the decisions you make for yourself. Live your views on the grounds of Self-Confidence and show courage. And if you’re courageous and confident, no one can dare to stop you; you are free to do anything you wish.
8) DON’T GIVE YOUR LIFE TO ONE ORGANIZATION -UNLESS IT IS GIVEN WHOLE-HEARTEDLY: Most of us do not dare to try things which we often wish to do. We feel “Absorbed” and Swallowed up by the organizations where we work of our daily bread. To my observation, when I was working with one such organization a year back, I found that, we do not personally control about what is happening around us. We are not allowed to express our feelings, as it does not matter at all for them. We thus, are supposed to wear the sad spectacles and have the vision through the goals of the organization itself. The many layers of authority surrounding us may leave us feeling insignificant. Here, again do not mistake me, because, I am not asking you all to start up a new business of your own or let yourself in the things that you cannot do; but, please do not give your life to any organization unless it is given whole-heartedly.
If you are in love with the work you do, then there is no problem; but in case, if you feel that you efforts are not recognized and thus make you feel hemmed in or manipulated, then, think for a change if you are a person of talents. And fortunately, there are many opportunities waiting at your own door step. Search for the companies where you can live and not just merely exist. Try searching for the opportunities where you feel contented. Make prior planning and just not drift to make the best from what ever job you get but make sure that you live an individualistic life to the fullest. And since, life is a matter of choices, and freedom consists in making them yourself, try making decisions which improve our lifestyle. All of us should assess the potential for freedom in any important action. Ideally, we should work for the things we believe in.
9) BE PATIENT AND ENTHUSIASTIC: There is a proverb that says, “To lose patience is to lose the battle”. So, try to be patient. Don’t hurry and rush up but rather wait for the gift that life is going to give us for our patience. It is always better to slow down and get there than to never arrive at all. If you believe “Life is Beautiful” then just be as enthusiastic as ever. For Enthusiasm, is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers the production of genius (Isaac Disraeli). Don’t let life discourage you; and don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. Stop day dreaming. If you really want to achieve something seriously then, just look above and beyond the circumstances and never sit back crying for things which you don’t have. Be confident and contented. Realize your potential to the fullest. Every man gets an opportunity to prove himself. We too, will get a chance one day or the other. If we prove our self, then, we are free to do anything we wish.
In conclusion, I would like to say that, it is not only the most difficult to know one self, but the most inconvenient one too. We can try as it is never impossible. But the truth is that there is a great deal that most of us can individually do to increase our freedom. We can combat the forces that would make us tame. We can fortify ourselves with the qualities and conditions that promote individual freedom. In doing so, we will be helping to create a better environment of freedom for all, and thus, motivate the future generations. And finally, I would like to share with you all a wonderful quotation by Norman R Augustie, which reads, “Motivation will almost always beat mere talents”. So, keep motivating others like I, and create a lively society.
Thanks and Regards,
UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD.
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