I was around 10 years old, and I was walking with my mom down a street towards our house after doing some shopping. While walking back to our house, I asked my mom if she understood that I would not live in this country when I grow older. My mom, being painfully aware of my passion for living as a world citizen, answered that I should not be saying those things, because "I know too well that it will happen, but right now you are still my little boy, and I do not wish to imagine you not being here".
The many years to come, I grew up, and worked dedicated to be able to live in any country I like. For the last 4 years I have lived outside my home country fully independent. I feel extremely happy and fortunate every single day, also in bad times.
My desire was freedom. In this post, I would like to talk about the importance of setting yourself free.
Richard Branson wrote a blog post not long ago where he ask a simple question; how do you measure success?
Success and money can contribute to happiness, but happiness itself is another thing altogether. Words like ‘family’, ‘friends’, ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ have a lot more to do with happiness than words like ‘gross’, ‘capital’ and ‘revenue’.
Money is a by-product of bigger, more meaningful goals such as passion, fun and wisdom. As I’ve said before, have fun, do good, and the money will come.
To me, money is a tool, and never a goal. My goal, and dream, has always been freedom. In reality, I didn't need money to do what I did. Of course there is many expenses involved in living abroad, but money should never be an issue for your goals.
When I moved away from my country, I had no network, and I didn't have any independent income to support myself. I just moved with a sparse capital I had. What I did have, that was so much more important than any practical planning, was the desire. The desire to be 100% free. To just jump and feel the rush. And, more important, to find out who I really am. Am I the person I wish to be, or not?
Many years after that conversation with my mom as a small boy, I was reaching 19 and I had a pretty clear idea that I needed to figure out who I really was. I was thinking, "What am I meant to be?". I figured there is two ways to find out who you are. Either you try change yourself, or you change your environment. I did both, experimenting with my life.
To set yourself free you need to be able to let go of who you think you are, and really push yourself.
Happiness is a strong indicator for how close you are to who you wish to be. If you feel generally unhappy there is some things you have to change in your life, and it is probably things coming from yourself. You should not be afraid of loosing who you are, but embrace this idea. You might have a very specific idea of who you are, but it might not really correspond to your emotions. Do you feel generally very happy?
It is always amazing to feel the rush of something new and scary, and to feel that everything is possible. This includes changing who you think you are. If you finally do the jump you will understand exactly this feeling.
Set yourself free, experience freedom, and find your true self.