When you read the word “freedom” what comes to mind?

Being released from chains or cuffs or bands. Walking out of a cell or imprisonment, maybe.

Freedom, for a lot of us means moving away from some sort of pain.

I think freedom is something more. Something so much more.

Brooks Hatlen got the news that parole had been granted. After 50 years in Shawshank State Penitentiary Brooks was going to be a free man. So he decided take a dear friend into a choke hold and put a knife to his throat.

“It’s the only way they’d let me stay…” He wept. “

That was his response to being granted freedom. He tried to kill his friend, spill his blood. On the surface it makes no sense. None at all. Why would he do this if he finally gets to walk out of the prison walls that held him for so long? He is a FREE MAN. No more cells. No more walls. No more telling him where he can and can’t go, what he can and can’t do.

That’s because FREEDOM is not an external state of being. It is not where you are physically confined or legally restricted. It is not your walls, your chains, you tethers.

You can be free of all of those things listed above and still not have freedom.

That’s because freedom is something deeply rooted within each person. It is a state of your soul, your mind, and your heart.

Let me prove it to you.

Fear, rational or otherwise, can have you convinced that there is risk and danger associated with an action. Going out in public, writing that book, starting the business, having the conversation, loving someone. That risk might be real or completely imagined.

But it’s there in your mind and it sinks your heart and enslaves your soul.

Despite not being a cell or behind prison walls, you are not free to do that thing, regardless of how enticing or rewarding it might be.

You are imprisoned to fear.

There is way to freedom, though. In the coming weeks I will be laying out a framework to combat and overcome the things that enslave us. Tasting freedom is a real possibility. I’ll show you how I did it.

For now your homework is this: dare to hope.

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