Freedom and other Burdens

by Josh

There is nothing to lose

Hello friends!
First of all, I want to apologize for not being in touch for over two weeks.
I had been in bed with a flu, but today I am fully back to life with my first icy water dive in more than two weeks at a water temperature of weenie-shrinking 4°Celsius.

I grew up in an amazing abundance of freedom.
I guess, if you think about it for a moment, my dear reader, you did too.
Never in my life I have really been forced to do anything.
Never have I been forbidden to do something I really wanted.
By really I mean big things. Big choices.

Of course I was forced to clean my room and of course I have been forced to do the dishes when I was a kid.
But I’ve never been forced to believe in a certain god (or any god at all), I’ve never been forced to pick a certain job, sport, education or spouse.
I grew up without want and very little must. (Thanks Mama&Papa!).
It is a luxury that we western wealthy kids cannot possibly grasp.
Some of us might, because they lived in India for a year or spent a gap year in Nigeria.
But I certainly can’t.
And also, even if we’ve been there, we’re still just tourists, with warm meals and medical care and sanitation waiting for us at home.
And freedom.
You’ve probably seen this popular video recently.
Alan Watts asks us, challenges us, what we would do if money were no object.
As in what if you didn’t have to pursue money.
Many people re-post it, and yes it is a great video.
But I doubt that a lot of people really think about it.
I find this question quite challenging.

What would you do if money were no object?

I have this little cleaning job at my university which gives me a certain amount of financial freedom that I am quite happy about.
But it’s definitely not my dream job.
There are so many things we could do, so many things to try, so many things that need to be done.
Freedom is a burden, too.
Too much choice creates stress.
And if they are big choices, they don’t come easy.
There is comfort to cleaning up other peoples poo rather than struggling with my situation. Imagining or even visualizing (“The Secret” is a load of bu****it by the way, and yes I read it) how my life could be better than how it is right now.

By all means, be creative, be social, be fit, seek to inspire others and get out of your comfort zone.
But be careful that you don’t become too driven.
I might have been sick for almost a week recently because I tend to be too driven.
Driven by what?
Driven by an awareness of how short my life is, and that I need to fill every second with something useful.
But then I forget to read, do not sleep enough, neglect my writing and hassle my friends to hurry up.
Before I fell ill, I wanted to do less, so I could go slowly, relaxed and mindful about the things that I do.
Now I see, that I can just go slowly. No changes needed.
That which does not fit and asks me to hurry will be abandoned sooner or later.
Enjoy your freedom and do something that you like with it.
It doesn’t have to be the greatest thing in the world.
It doesn’t have to be your greatest dream (if you have one).
It doesn’t even have to be super fun.
Just do something. And if you don’t, maybe you can relish that too.


I am very pleased (puzzled) and honored to be among Niall Dohertys  100 People doing extraordinary things in 2013.
I tend to become addicted to checking blogs, so I follow very few. His blog, Disrupting the Rabblement, however is a constant source of inspiration for me, which is why I follow his blog and which makes this a special honor to me.