This past weekend was Passover, a huge deal for my family. Our seder is much like my life; a cocktail of tradition, giggles, irreverence, un-inhibition, music/singing, diversity, eccentricity, love and a healthy dose of edge.
And I love it that way.
It allows the many parts of who I am to come out and play…together, which I long ago learned is important for me if I want to feel happy, healthy and whole, and if I want to feel balanced.
Passover in my family celebrates freedom. Not only the freedom that is the story of Passover, but the freedom that we are able to enjoy as Americans. The freedom to be who we are meant to be as unique, magnificent individuals.
There is nothing more precious, or important to living a life of joy, passion and fulfillment than the freedom to do so.
I found myself thinking about how important freedom is in our professional journey as well, far more important than we actually imagine.
We spend more time at work than doing almost anything else, so it is critical that we create a professional path that is built on and an extension of the freedom we yearn to feel.
There are many ways to define and design a life and career around our own personal freedom quest, here are just a few:
- Know what’s most important to you
Freedom is a feeling state, it is the ability to create what feels good in your life. Money on its own is not freedom, but it does represent a currency through which you can experience freedom. However, so is time, energy, health, love and information. Doing a freedom assessment of your life to determine what matters most and what you need more of to create what you want is the first step in getting there.
- Be prepared to ask for it
Once you have a little clarity around what freedom means to you, the journey can only continue if you are prepared to ask for it…if you are ready to go after it with reckless abandon. Women often get uncomfortable with asking for what they want, but statistics show that when you ask for what you want, you are more likely to get it!
- Don’t be afraid to make changes
Our definition of freedom changes over time to keep up with the many ages and stages that we go through. As our definition changes, so must our lives and careers. In order to stay aligned with what is most important to us and get to how we want to feel, we will have to be prepared to change; change environments, change our home, change our professional path, or change the company for which we work. The opportunities to change, evolve and expand are infinite, but only if you are open to their possibility.
- Become a Life Networker
We often think of networking as something that we do only for our careers, but in fact I would like to suggest looking at networking as a life discipline. Getting out, doing the things we love to do and strategically connecting to others around those passions and interests, will only serve as a means of meeting interesting people and opening yourself to potential personal and professional opportunities.
As we move into spring, we are all feeling the pull of freedom.
But before it pulls you in, take a little time to do your homework and understand what freedom actually looks like for you. What does it feel like? How do you spend your time and with whom? How would you define it?
Now ask yourself, does your life and career reflect your definition of freedom? And if not, why?
What has to change for you to find your freedom?