When you dig deeper into the phrase “I want freedom”, you’ll find that what people really want is “freedom of choice”. But this interpretation can be misleading, because what most people really want is specifically “control over whatever impacts their lives”.
So what’s the difference? Well, while most people say they crave “freedom of choice”, few people actually enjoy making choices; most find it difficult and stressful e.g. What if they make the wrong one? What if they regret their choice? etc.
So at the end of the day, what most people want is not more freedom to make even more choices! Rather, they want the feeling of “freedom of choice” without having to actually make tough choices; freedom without the accompanying Responsibilities & Risks of choice.
What’s going on here? Well, once upon a time when we were young, most of us experienced a sincere desire for true freedom of choice. However, at that time we didn’t have any idea of the harsh realities of the Responsibilities & Risks inherent in making any choice. As adults, though, after years of real-world “experience” (e.g.. having some of our major choices effect unimagined consequences) we have a healthy respect for – and perhaps even anxiety over – the Responsibilities & Risks inherent in Choice.
And that is why, although we may still feel that familiar desire for “control” over whatever impacts our lives, we can still prove through our behaviour to be unwilling to accept both the Responsibilities AND Risks of choice.
The crux of the matter is that the Responsibilities AND the Risks of choice are each one side of the same coin that we call Choice! So the inescapable truth is that it is impossible to accept ONLY Responsibility OR Risk! You must accept BOTH or NEITHER, simply because they are both always present together – again, two sides of the same coin: Choice.
The takeaway is twofold: First, you must make a blanket decision to accept both the Responsibilities AND the Risks of choice as the investment cost of true freedom. Second, you must understand that your reality will be entirely dependent upon which side of the coin you decide to use as your anchor from this point forward. You can decide that Choice represents RESPONSIBILITY, in which case making choices will give you a feeling of inherent control. Or you can decide that Choice represents RISK, in which case making choices will cause you anxiety and the feeling of living perpetually under threat.
You must decide for yourself. Your future awaits your choice.