You're sitting in your cubicle on a beautiful hot summer day thinking about the great time you're going to have after work.
But about four thirty your boss suddenly is standing there, blocking the entrance of your cubicle demanding that you stay and put a couple of hours of overtime.
Suddenly a rush of anger just boils up from the core of your soul and you feel like sending your boss to hell...
But you don't... you restrain and just sheepishly say: "Ok, I'll stay!"
In a situation like this, you certainly wish you could be strong and courageous to be able to use your God given right of freedom of choice and do what you really want, which is to quit and get the hell out of there...
But you don't!
You know that given the circumstances, you can't take that type of apparently irrational action. However, in your head a burning desire starts to build up... you deeply want to find the secret to financial success, authentic happiness and freedom.
How to use your freedom of choice in your pursuit of happiness and financial freedom?
Even though in a lot of circumstances it doesn't look like it, FREEDOM OF CHOICE is a God given or innate right that each one of us has.
The problem is that in a lot of situations and because of circumstances beyond our control, we might feel that the pursuit of happiness and financial freedom is in our case way out of reach and unattainable.
But is that actually so? I sincerely don't think so...
I believe that your physical situation has no bearing on your ability to achieve authentic happiness and financial freedom.
It might not be easy, but it's attainable if you subscribe to a definition of happiness that empowers you and helps you develop the courage to change and get ahead in life.
Let's talk about happiness for a second
Happiness is one of the biggest dreams or goals people have. In fact, people pursue it constantly. That's why you hear it over and over that people just want to be happy!
They actually try all kinds of things to achieve that goal. The routes people take to try to attain this goal vary completely and what happens, is that lot of people think happiness is something they need to get to, something tangible they will be able to keep once they've reached it.
However, according to the majority of researchers and philosophers, happiness is related to the distinctions people have inside their heads about what will grant them that most desired wish of happiness.
Some will read lots of quotations on happiness thinking that, somehow, doing that will help motivate them to be happy. Others will subscribe to the belief that money doesn't buy happiness, and therefore concentrate themselves in the search of nirvana or some special illuminated state.
When people embark on this quest without understanding the importance of what happens inside their heads, they're falling prey the happiness trap, which results in them being more frustrated, unhappy and stressed at the end of their pursuit than what they were at the beginning.
The problem is that the misconceptions people have about what happiness itself actually is, throw them curve balls that derail them from their goal of achieving authentic happiness and financial freedom. And each person seems to have a completely different definition of what happiness is or, even better said, what would be required to make them feel happy.
But once you dig deep enough, you'll discover that happiness is just a STATE OF MIND. And a state of mind is relatively easy to obtain, once you know how to do it.
But before we go into it, let's dispel a common misconception...
Does money buy happiness?
In my mind, this is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have concerning happiness.
They either honestly believe that money cannot buy happiness and is actually the source of all evil and that, therefore, if they have money they can't be happy at all or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, they subscribe to the school of thought that believes that they can't be happy if they don't have lots of money.
However, if you read my statement above in the previous section, where I said that happiness is a state of mind, something will somehow be kind of illogical with this money thing.
Ask yourself, what does money have to do with a state of mind? In reality, nothing!
A state of mind, as the words clearly say it, happens inside your head, in your mind. Money is just a physical representation of a very practical means for the exchange of goods and services.
Yes, I will 100% agree that having lots of money will allow you to arrive at your problems with style, but having money does not guarantee real love and authentic happiness.
In fact, when you look at the lives of wealthy people in public life, you'll see a huge percentages of unhappiness, lack of mental freedom, betrayal and a bunch of things that are not conducive to happiness at all.
Why is this so?
Because these people have never learned to deal with their mental states and control them.
As we can see, money and happiness can go hand in hand, but only when the right mindset has been cultivated and nurtured independently of wealth and circumstances.
Freedom of Choice
As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, when we live in democratic countries, certain freedoms have been guaranteed by constitutional rights.
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press and the ability to pursue financial freedom, are things that lots of countries guarantee.
And yet, in a lot of cases, you'll find those freedoms lacking in the lives of many people.
Let's not talk about the general circumstances of nations here, but let's concentrate in what we as individuals can do in this respect.
Start with the right mindset
Given that happiness is a state of mind, it's not something that can be obtained just by liking a bunch of "Pursuit of Happiness Quotes" in Facebook or Pinterest.
It does require having the courage to change your mindset. To do this, you need to first understand where you are in terms of mindset and attitude.
You must learn to accept that the freedom of choice does not mean that you can change everything in your life. There are certain things that you will have to learn to accept as they are and interpret their meaning in a completely different way... a way that's positive and ends up benefiting you.
However, it's not just acceptance. And this is of paramount importance; it also requires action. Action to change the things that you CAN change but have taken for granted for a long time.
You might be terrified of changing deeply entrenched behaviors and beliefs in your life. But have courage!
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to be terrified and still go ahead and do what we know we need to do.
Once you start acting the right way, once you have projects that fulfill you, that give you a purpose, once you start having a growth mindset, you will be in the "happiness mindset" on a regular basis.
You will not have to pursue happiness. You will just be happy the majority of the time.
Yes, you'll enjoy quotations on happiness and freedom. But their impact will not just be a nice collection of words, but the fact that your own life will be a reflection of what most of those quotes say.