For a long time, freedom has been my strongest value. I try to follow my own feeling of freedom like a compass in everything I do. This led me to drop out of school, become an entrepreneur, write a book, and tour the country in an RV.

When I first experienced pure freedom, it came in the form of living in the moment. I let go of a lot of my “earthly” belongings, and freed myself from a single geographic location. Then, I started to free myself mentally. I let go of worries, insecurities (this book helped me), and expectations.

I did a great job becoming “free”, but I quickly realized there was a lot more to freedom than eliminating possessions and freeing your mind in the moment.

Sometimes freedom means discipline. Sometimes freedom means more structure and more rules. Sometimes you must sacrifice freedom in the moment for long-term freedom, unless you want the opposite, and that’s a hard truth to buy into.

Since coming to this realization, I’ve created some rules for myself. It seems counterintuitive, but this structure is what gives me freedom in it’s purest form.

Self-imposed structure is crucial to building the unique, sacred freedom that I desire. Most of these rules are not automatic for me. They reflect my deepest values and it requires consistent effort to act on them instead of doing the easy thing.

This post was inspired by similar posts by Zak Slayback and Isaac Morehouse.

Here are some of my rules:

  • Choose relationships over money (IE: don’t stress about losing a couple bucks if a valuable relationship is involved)
  • Under-promise, over-deliver
  • Don’t watch the news
    • Help other people turn off the news
  • Read, write, and meditate every day
  • Be honest with people, including myself, even if it will hurt someone’s feelings
  • Avoid pills of any kind
  • Step into fear whenever possible (most of the time it’s really just excitement)
  • Travel somewhere at least once per month
  • Watch sunrises and sunsets
  • Trust my gut over authority, even people I respect deeply
  • Don’t drink sugar
  • When details keep me from action, ignore the details
  • Opt to discuss ideas instead of people
  • Take a moment each day to remember that nothing really matters
  • Choose intriguing experiences over saving money

What are your rules?