Guest post by Chris Folland (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-folland-5b3b9814/)

Here’s a life question for you:

Do you want to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want… for as long as you want?

That’s an interesting question, which is often closely followed by another one: how do I do that?

When I first heard this life concept I loved it, but at that time I didn’t know what to call it, even if I had it.

So I went to the dictionary to find the definition…

Collins dictionary defines ‘time’ as the continuous passage of existence. And ‘freedom’ as a state of being allowing you to do what you want to do.

So basically ‘time freedom’ is being able to do what we want, when we want to do it.

I wanted time freedom and I was willing to work for it. Wouldn’t anyone?

No, apparently not.

As it turns out everyone may want time freedom, but not everyone is willing to work for it. And because time freedom is simply a concept, it can mean different things to different people as well.

In fact the way I’ve defined time freedom has changed throughout my life…

For example, when I was in school, I had homework to do which I wasn’t always happy about. However, as soon as it was done, I was free to go outside and play football or tennis. I was free to catch up with friends. As a teen, that was time freedom for me. 

When I was practicing law, I was in the law office most of the day, most of the week, for most of the year. With so much focus on work, my time freedom was very limited. What I actually wanted to do was ski. 

So, I decided to stop wishing, and instead make a big change –  I left my job. I went to Canada, lived and worked on a ski mountain and went skiing as much as I wanted. 

That was time freedom for me.

Time freedom might be different for you… 

Maybe it’s getting a coffee each morning after dropping off the kids. 

Perhaps it’s getting a weekly massage. 

Or, spending time with your grandkids. 

The way that we define time freedom for ourselves becomes part of our life philosophy and affects many of our life decisions. That’s why it’s important for each of us to figure out what it means for us individually. 

When I left law and went skiing I had more time freedom although there were still some powder days I couldn’t enjoy because I had to work. 

I realised that time freedom has a relationship with money and in my early 30’s, I shifted my focus and decided to include financial freedom in my ideal lifestyle. 

My updated definition of time freedom also included my ideal life partner, so my new goal was now to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want, for as long as I want.

Without a clear picture on how to achieve this, I looked for people to model, who had time and financial freedom.

And, as the old saying goes, “I did what they did”  – and “I got what they got.” 

Looking back now, I realise that becoming free was a function of a change in my philosophy, strategy and systems.

Philosophy because I know that freedom is a state of mind. 

There are plenty of financially prosperous people who don’t feel free. So if I’d changed my internal philosophy earlier in life, I would have realised I was already free at every stage in my life. 

However, once I discovered that, I had already set in place strategies to help us become financially free automatically. 

And these were simple to implement strategies that everyone can follow and improve their financial picture including well-known investments and a lucrative side hustle.

And the systems we used removed the need to remember or continuously muster the willpower to get ahead financially. It was so much easier to set it on autopilot and relax.

This turns out to be one of the best things my wife and I have done, and has given us the freedom to live our lives on our terms

So, however you define it, time freedom follows your philosophy, strategy, and systems.

As I mentioned, a vital part to our success has been seeking out mentors who were already where we wanted to be and this is still a process we follow today in any area of our lives where we choose to grow. 

And that leads me to another question:

What about you? To whom could you reach out for help and guidance?

If there’s an assignment I could give you now, to help move you forward in life, it would be to reach out to someone who’s achieved what you want and ask for guidance.

If your experience is like mine, you’ll find most people are glad to share what helped them so that you, too, can do what you want, when you want, with whom you want, for as long as you want. 

And if you have any questions or just want to share your experience, please feel free to email me at chris@chriswfolland.com.

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