“It’s freedom.” That’s what my friend said when I asked him why after he commented how excited he was about our By-Election today. And I had to think about that for a minute.
And he’s right, its freedom. It’s a freedom that my grandmothers only knew part of their lives, it’s a freedom other women in other countries don’t know today and it’s a freedom no one knows and may never know in other places.
I have always felt it was my right and my obligation to vote, but I hadn’t thought of it as a form of freedom. But it is, it’s my right to vote in a democratic nation, I’m obligated to use my voice because the generations that came before me fought for this freedom, this free will.
I have voted since I was legally able to vote, that’s 18 in my country. I grew up in a house where my parents voted, always. Interesting to note that they didn’t necessarily vote the same way, another form of freedom.
Freedom is defined as the quality or state of being free; as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. And there you have it, voting is freedom.
So what else is freedom? Controlling your own money? Picking your own spouse? Playing sports? Naming your children? Having a pet? Dying your hair? I mean really, it’s abundant. Let me say that again, our freedom is abundant.
I left a job this past summer where I felt imprisoned by the system, my office and the company structure. Where others thrive I was dying. I knew it was not the right fit for me, I knew that I was not being used and I knew that I was not adding the level of value that I am built to provide. I knew…and I stayed long past my due date. Why?
I stayed because I was fearful of giving up a steady income. So I put my own plan into place and built my foundation for my company, then I had a shot at my first contract and I was tantalized by the possible freedom. I liked the company and the people but I liked me more when I was being challenged and used, and when I felt free.
If you think about your business and your team can you see their freedom? And more importantly, can they? Freedom at work is a mindset and a perception. Really it is a gift to explore and use your talents for good. Freedom evokes innovation because the ability to speak and learn and explore creates a safe environment for people. It’s a cultural situation youcreate. People like to be useful, people like to do what they are good at, people flourish in environments built on the fundamentals of freedom. And when people you lead flourish, your company flourishes…
So, take a moment to be grateful for your many freedoms today and take another moment to see where and how you can foster freedom in your own life and the lives of your team. Then go and vote, because that freedom was earned not by you, but for you. And the difference although monumental, results in the same gift of decision, of choice and of direction.