I watched the documentary I am Ali this weekend. Not that I needed a reminder of the awesomeness of Muhammad Ali, but this movie definitely reinforced it for me. How can you not admire someone whose conviction in his beliefs and in himself is so strong? He had his boxing license and heavyweight championship title taken from him for four years because he chose not to fight in the Vietnam War. It made me think about what freedom means to me and what I would be willing to sacrifice to keep or gain it.
I believe that freedom is the ability to live to your highest potential without restrictions. There are lots of forces out there that can make this a challenge. Our own perceived limitations or what we are capable of, conflicting needs of friends and family, and in some places in the world, government policy. We’ve seen political protests erupt all over the world, as citizens band together to fight for the opportunity to take advantage of all that life has to offer. The desire to live to our fullest potential is a universal one.
How do we gain that total freedom that allows us to live to our fullest potential? After watching Ali’s story, I understand that you must be clear on your priorities and your values. When you have that clarity, you know exactly what your boundaries are in all things. Commitment is another key ingredient in gaining the freedom you seek. Commitment means not quitting because things get hard or because others don’t think you should be doing “it”.
As I write this, I’m reminded of the song from a children’s show I used to watch Free to Be You and Me. Isn’t that what freedom is all about? The freedom to be ourselves, our authentic selves is what we all want at the end of the day. Some might say that this is easier said than done. I would have to agree. We have to be willing to let go of a few things – the need to put the happiness of others ahead of our own, allowing the opinions to influence our actions, and most importantly our own fears. You know, nothing big 😉
The path to achieving ultimate freedom may have a few challenges and obstacles along the way, but I believe that it’s still a journey worth taking. What does total freedom look like to you, and what would you have to do to get there? In all things, once you know where you want to go, you can develop the plan to get you there. ♥
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