What does Freedom means to you

 In articles, Goal Setting, Mentoring, Tarbiyyah

For those who may have noticed, I have stopped writing for approximately a while now however that doesn’t mean that I have left this beautiful habit of mine for good. It is just a temporary seclusion that i decide to partake in order to fully focus on the big step that I was about to make at that time. Now I have taken that step and moved on, I hope to continue with my articles once again.

Some of you may be aware of my new geographical whereabouts and has decided to flood me with emails and inquiries asking how can you make such a step too. Well, there is no short answer but to I think this article will help to put your mindset at its proper place before you think of moving on.

Let me ask you a simple question to begin you thinking align with me. What does freedom means to you? Im not asking for a dictionary or an academic definition of freedom, all I’m asking is what does it mean to you? I believe everyone should have a different answer although they may be lingering on the same subject but my point is that the answer should be unique to yourself and it must mean a lot to you and your life.

Without trying to be philosophical, this question has the potential to change your life and the way you see things evolving around you.  So lets begin.

What does freedom means to you?

Let me give you some help. In order to fully understand this simple question, we need to have clarity about our life and the direction that we are heading. We must be wiling to step back and analyse how are we living our life.

For some people, this question will resonate with their financial standing and their spending power (or the lack of it). They will look at their upgrades in life and some may do so in materials terms and how else can they add more in order to give them that fulfilling feeling of acceptance. Have you thought about upgrading the couch or renovating your house to make it more presentable and more suitable with the status that you wish to be in or switching to a bigger and more flashy car in order to feel special and important?

We may disagree but don’t you think this is the way the world has shape our thoughts and dictate the word freedom for us, and perhaps this also is the definition of SUCCESS for some people. The ability to accumulate anything and have everything that one can desire.

If this were to be the case (for some) then it is no surprise to hear and learn about the amount of debt that we may have put ourself into even at a young age. Does this sound like a script that you chose or is this a script that chose you?

For some people, this is a script that chose them because they were unwilling to answer one question for themselves. What does freedom mean to you?

If you are not willing to answer this question in your life, There will be somebody, or some company or some society that will answer the question on your behalf and you will wake up one day and realising that you are living life simply based on a script that others has impose on you.

Just take a look at how we were taught in school. We were taught how to be taught. We learn how to learn better. The education system treats everyone equally and pays no attention to those with different needs and talents. Each one of us are told to follow the system and ask only the right question at the right time and this is exactly what learning is NOT. We go on to be told that our grades are an integral part of learning and that we have to excel in school and get through with flying colours so that we can have that opportunity to enrol in the best of universities and chase that piece of paper called a Degree and with this comes the beautiful promise of job security with a steady decent paying job. This dream that many has adopted unfortunately is not as straight forward as it may seem however many still fail to notice it.

Take a moment and contemplate on the tremendous amount of student loans that we commit to even before we begin our adult working life and as soon as we enter the working world, we are overwhelmed by the offers from credit card companies and we duly accepted them without hesitation. We are given the impression that these plastic cards can offer us a safety net when we need one and we rely on them more than the Divine help from the Almighty.

We then move on to buy a car because the society tells us that we need to have one to justify our status and standing and also taught us how to spend our money wisely according to the perception of the public. We are told and encouraged to purchase those that can give us some level of comfort and that we deserve the treat. Well we didn’t stop there, some went a little further in obtaining a second car and with ‘proper’ justification and just as we begin feel comfortable and ready, we begin to toy around the idea of getting a loan to get married. We seek assistance from our family members to make sure that we have the wedding of our dreams and if they are unable to help us out, we go further by obtaining a loan to get married and build that ‘happy-family’ that we have always wanted.

We begin to adapt and we get desensitise with the word loans and repayments. We started with a student loan and we went on to enjoy the benefits of having a credit card and got comfortable in paying the minimum monthly and then added a car (or two) to the list and to top it all off, we took more loans just to get married.

Not long after building this family, we will soon be shopping around with the idea of buying a house of our own and add more loans to what we already have. We will then fill that home more stuffs that we don’t need by using the money that we don’t have. With all these repayment scheduled, its no wonder that we have to focus on our job and to make enough money to pay for everything!

We will then spend the most of our life, working our socks off, at a job that we dislike and getting paid just enough to pay for all the outstanding loans that we may have incurred.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this script, unless that you don’t want it. So the next question that we should ask ourselves is ‘What do we really want?’ Why are we so obsessed to follow others and be in this script when we don’t even like it in the very first place?. Why are we so obsessed with this lifestyle and so reluctant to let it go, even though the change may take you to a better outcome in life, one that is more fulfilling. Do you really think money is the solution to have a better and more fulfilling life?

I personally think that we have been told of a myth so very often that we begin to believe that it is true. That acquiring things in our lives will give us that security and the  feeling of happiness. We were taught that these possessions will add to our value as a person. And in the pursuit of these things, we start to identify and label those who has them and who has not. We give labels to those who are successful and who is not. We fall in to the idea and the perception of the society once again. We forget that success is a very subjective word and has different meaning to everyone.

If you are toying with the idea of moving and uprooting your family to some place else, then I suggest that you re-program your mind. Because the same problem will follow you no matter where you go because you will keep on repeating the same thing over and over again. Thats is totally fine of course if thats what you specifically choose for.

But if you want to start anew, then realise that there is more meaning to life than just the accumulation of possessions, wealth and debt. All these things that you have will pin you down and will make your decision even harder than the actual move itself. So start asking yourself, What does freedom mean to you?


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