The Steps to True Freedom
Every 4th of July, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence and how it was the battle cry of the 13 original colonies against King George and the oppressive British rule.
It is the greatest and most significant manifesto against injustice the world has ever known – serving as a template for revolutions all over the globe, including the French Revolution.
Often lost in the shuffle of the Declaration of Independence is the list of the 27 grievances that compelled the colonists’ to revolt against King George. To the colonists, it wasn’t just one grievance that motivated them to throw off England’s chains; it was a long list of them.
These grievances fell mainly into two categories:
- The denial of a particular right; or
- The imposition of a specific burden.
Examples of denial of rights included the right to govern themselves, to have their judges, and to be represented in the English parliament.
The imposition of burdens included:
- Excessive Taxes.
- Quartering of Troops.
- Military Rule.
To the colonists, achieving freedom was a function of both subtraction and addition, which means the elimination of burdens and injustices on the one hand and the bestowal of privileges and rights on the other.
Our forefathers’ pursuit of freedom was a lot more complicated than just rebelling against English rule.
At its core, the Declaration of Independence was about the colonists wanting to forge their own path and institute their own rules of law and governance so that individual citizens could be free to pursue excellence and realize their full potential.
Getting to the summit, however, would require not only casting off the injustices and burdens that prevented them from progressing but also pursuing certain rights – freedom of religion, free speech, the right to bear arms, etc. – vital to freeing the American spirit to achieve greatness.
We can apply the lessons from the Founding Fathers in our own lives to achieve individual greatness.
Freedom can mean different things for different people. Still, I believe that we all want mainly the same thing – to be our best selves and once we’ve attained personal success, to turn around and share our success, knowledge, and wisdom with others – in other words, make the world a better place.
Whether we’re pursuing personal, emotional, professional, or financial freedom, etc., I believe the same universal principles apply to achieve the different types of freedom individuals long for.
Different Levels of Freedom
The first step to achieving personal, emotional, financial freedom, etc., is recognizing the different levels of freedom.
How can you get to your destination if you don’t know where you’re going?
For decades, people from all walks of life – academics, sports, business – have leaned on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a guide for fully realizing human potential.
Maslow’s theory is about personal motivation and how to achieve self-actualization (the full realization of one’s talents and potential).
Maslow’s theory is based on levels of needs that every person is motivated to fulfill based on a hierarchy – with self-actualization at the top.
However, to get to the top, the needs at the lower levels must be met first. When the needs on one level are met, that person will then seek to fulfill their needs on the next level, and so on.
Achieving true freedom is a process that requires taking the necessary steps and fulfilling the needs at each stage. This must be accomplished before you will be equipped with the necessary tools and background to be able to keep ascending to ultimately achieve the goal of self-actualization – the pinnacle of all that you are and can achieve).