“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.” – Sudha Murty


This is a beautifully presented piece of philosophical thought from Murty – apparently on the surface so simple yet, when you look more deeply, it has layer upon layer of complexity that can trap us into illusory thinking. It’s surprisingly easy to kid ourselves that we’re free and/or happy when we’re anything but! It’s our fundamental responsibility to determine whether or not we truly are and it’s a battle very much worth engaging in because, in the end, WE WIN!

Freedom isn’t always what it looks like, especially when you’ve fallen into the habit of liking what you do for the sake of it and you call it ‘freedom’. When that happens, you’ve become dependent on it, precisely because it’s an illusion. Maybe you’ve already realised this and are telling yourself it’s okay, it’s the best you can get, you can tolerate a little discomfort now and then – because you feel you are in control of your life. All you’re controlling is the illusion.

True freedom comes from making the right choices for yourself at the right time and for the right reasons. If you feel like you’re in a position where that choice is too difficult, then you’ve lost your true freedom. To gain it back, make that choice – it’s hard for a reason – and it’s likely to be the one you most need to make to get closer to the true happiness you seek.

At times, for you to reach that happiness, it’s necessary to walk away from something (or even someone) you like. Liberating yourself from the illusion of freedom has the wonderful double impact of liberty itself and also of joy and vigour, which can act as the catalyst for a life of happiness you couldn’t previously even imagine, precisely because you are now more free to experience what you truly like. Remove the illusion and the truth is revealed! 

Look back at the October 10th article, where we talked about the Japanese principle of ‘Ikigai’ – it’s a road map for finding the balance point between freedom and joy. If you’re not in the centre, something’s off – so, when you find what’s off, you then have a choice – either don’t believe you have true freedom to make changes or believe that you do and then make the ones needed to find your balance – that way, you really can be happy.

Which area of your life can you look more closely at today and change, as hard as that feels, so you might become more free to experience what you truly want to do? Go find your Ikigai!

Love and light,

Jim Sharman



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