Editor’s Note: Today we are taking a step back from politics to motivate a different kind of freedom. The base of a free society is free individuals, confident in their abilities, and secure in pursuing their happiness.
Joe Mirelli is a passionate musician and creative writer from the UK. Previously, he worked in various engineering organizations and 9-5 ‘dead end’ jobs until he realized – if he really wanted to be happy, he must free himself from this way of living.
When participating in an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering, he was once ‘reassured’ that in years to come he would be on a great wage in the factory. Forget the ‘great wage’, nothing scared Joe more than the idea of still being in that environment in ‘years to come’. Not that engineering cannot be great, of course it can. But he knew he was destined for something different.
Since 2013 he has been following his dreams and pursuing his passions as a Musician, Creative Writer, and Visionary. You can find examples of his musical work on his website JoeMirelli.com.
How do you define freedom? Sit back for a second and ponder it.
What do you think?
There are many aspects to achieving true freedom. Most importantly and where to start is freedom of the mind.
We must first free our minds from the shackles that society has kept us in. At birth, we are a blank canvas. We have no knowledge of school or college. We know absolutely nothing about the money we must give to various governments when we start earning money. At that point in our lives, we know nothing. Ignorance is bliss as they say.
From then on, however, things change. We learn to walk and talk, to eat, to laugh, to cry. Before we know it, we are being bundled off into an unknown environment and left by our parents with many other confused, crying and crazy characters. School.
1. Choose Your Course, Don’t Let Others Dictate
We pick up various habits and characteristics throughout our school journey. The education system seems to neglect crucial life skills, for example, the importance of following our passions and focusing on the things we love to do.
One of the flaws in the public education system is that the mindset acquired through this method of learning is far from free thinking. It prevents us from reaching our true potential. To reach optimum creativity we must be in an unchained environment. We must have the freedom to think and create without restriction.
Public school systems support the standard: work hard, take few risks, get a good job, slave away for years, retire, and die.
Once you step out of the rat race mentality you realize how important it is to reject that programming. Nowadays, the pupils are treated as statistics based on how they perform on tests. The most effective ways of learning have slipped down the drain. The fun and willingness involved with passionate creativity are minimal.
How can you force somebody to do something well, if they have no interest in the outcome? With students valued only as ‘percentage of grades achieved,’ the pressure imposed on the administration by the government, the teachers by the administration, and the pupils by the teachers is ridiculous. Does that sound like efficient learning to you? The goals and incentives are all wrong.
Surely, a real key to feeling freedom is to be actively involved and passionate about something in our lives. It gives us a sense of purpose and encourages us to improve ourselves. Finding and pursuing our passions can really ignite our happiness levels and the people around you will notice. Energies are powerful!
2. Be Careful Who Influences You
To free the mind further, you could evaluate the company that you keep. As the motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” meaning we pick up traits and habits from them. This can be great!
On the other hand, it might not be so beneficial.
Aim to spend time with people you can build with, people who are in a place where you would love to be. If you want to become successful at something, spend time with people who are succeeding at the same thing you wish to.
Yes, some things are easier said than done, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! Send that email. Call them. Approach them in the street and say hello! Start building a relationship. Network! At least take the first step, however small. Remember – life really does begin at the other side of your comfort zone.
Exercise is a major part of accessing mental and physical freedom. It is proven to reduce risk of illness, to increase confidence, it increases mental clarity, reduces stress and depression and the list goes on.
Gym memberships cost money, but exercise is free. Walk, jog or a bike if you don’t know where to begin. Get out into nature! Just be as active as possible – the benefits are incredible. Try and exercise in some way at least three times per week, but ideally, every day. Habit helps.
4. The Law of Attraction
Have you heard of an exciting subject called ‘The Law Of Attraction’?
As the Greek philosopher Plato noted, ‘like attracts like’ meaning that whatever you are feeling at any given moment you are attracting more of. Simply put, if you feel happy, you are on a positive vibration, (good vibes) attracting more positive experiences to yourself. If you’re sad, guess what? The same applies.
It almost sounds ‘magical’, doesn’t it? But it actually makes sense when you think about it. Being in a positive mindset means you are more likely to connect with others, and notice opportunities. Networking by meeting others and showing interest in what they are doing has an uncanny way of bringing the people we need into our lives.
But again, it isn’t magic. It is being in the mindset to notice paths forward, instead of focusing on the negatives.
Studies in areas such as neuroscience, psychology and philosophy show masses of evidence proving it exists. Scientists at the Welcome Trust Centre at the Institute of Neurology in London discovered that people who visualize a better future have much more chance of creating it.
That doesn’t mean you can achieve only by visualizing. It is just a good place to start. And it really isn’t all that different from having a plan.
A great introduction to the Law of Attraction is a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Byrne takes the reader on her own journey whilst explaining the law alongside talented and successful individuals, such as Bob Proctor and Marci Shimoff.
Admittedly, it can seem very surreal at first glance. Applying it increases confidence, instills self-belief and fuels motivation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You believe you can achieve something, so you work harder toward achieving it.
5. Believe in Yourself
If you think you can’t do something, you are right. There is no point in being negative about things. Even when you fail, learn the lesson, but don’t dwell on it. Successful people are successful because they moved on after their first, second, or tenth failure.
Self-belief is a huge key to unlocking the door to freedom. And while it is great to consider others’ opinions, don’t let people drag you down from trying to achieve.
Look at some of the most successful people in the world – the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Eminem, Steve Jobs. All of these people have had to undergo hardships and leap over ridiculous obstacles to reach ‘the top’. Virtually nobody believed in them at first, apart from themselves.
Did losing his hearing stop Beethoven from creating beautiful musical masterpieces? Thankfully, it didn’t. Did being told there was “no place in modern music for three guitarists and a drummer” stop The Beatles? Nope. Did being turned down one thousand and nine times before finding a taker for his chicken recipe prevent Colonel Sanders and the creation of KFC?! If you’re a chicken lover, you definitely know the answer!
Practise self-belief as much as possible and you’ll see massively positive improvements in your life.