Earn Your Freedom
Rishi, my friend and roommate, wrote a piece on, how to come alive in every moment. The piece describes how living a life in which every moment you come alive is possible and how to achieve it. The piece reflects my own personal philosophy on how I choose to live my life.
However, there’s one part that I disagree with:
In September I spent nights reading this book in bed, and one morning I was supposed to wake up early with my roommate and go to the gym. At first, I had a flash of “oh, I have to go,” despite also a tug of “man, I don’t want to.”
Just then I remembered an exercise from Martha’s book:
- Tune into your inner teacher.
- Ask yourself “If I were absolutely free, what would I do right now?”.
- Recognize you are free.
- Do the thing.
So I asked myself what I‘d do if I was absolutely free for the first time in my life and discovered - I was free.I had a choice! I’ve always had a choice. I can do whatever the fuck I want in life, early morning workouts be damned!
I’m the roommate he’s writing about here, and the thing is, I don’t like waking up early either. Every morning, I always have an internal debate where I try to reason with myself why I shouldn’t wake up early: you slept late last night, you deserve to sleep in, just a few more minutes. I don’t think anyone prefers to wake up early over getting extra sleep.
So why do I wake up early? I wake up early so that I can work out in the morning. My morning workout gets me pumped and energized for the day. I start my work on time and get most of it done by lunchtime. By the time my work ends after 5 or 6 pm, I’m free, I can spend this time however I like: writing, reading, or building the Olive Tree Writing Club, etc.
If I don’t wake up early, my day starts off sluggish and I miss my morning workout. This leads to a less productive morning and by 6pm, I haven’t finished my work yet. Because I procrastinated, I’m working later in the day, taking away my evening freedom.
While it’s true that life is a series of obligations, and most obligations are optional, there are a few obligations that are necessary. And when it comes to freedom, you have to earn it, and you earn it through discipline.