“Freedom is not about the privilege to choose the things we like, but rather to choose what we want to give up.”Everything Is Fucked, Mark Manson
While this is the second book of Mark Manson, this was the first time I read one of his books. Ever since I read Everything Is Fucked, my definition of freedom has never been the same.
We may hear a lot that successful people have given up or sacrificed a lot of things in their lives. Give up time, energy, money, and other things to achieve what they have achieved today. What we don’t realize is that we are no different from them, even in our daily lives.
I give up on eating and drinking a few unhealthy things, instead I have freedom to eat anything else I want (I am not the type to hold my appetite anyway). I give up on buying a few categories of things, like daily coffee, gadgets, and apparels, so instead I have freedom to save more money to travel abroad.
Every single day, every single moment, we’re faced to choose what we want to give up.
Freedom is not choosing the pleasure we like. It is choosing the pain we want in our life, choosing what we give up. By giving up something, we have freedom in any other thing in return.
Do you remember when you’re on the last year of high school? I, in my case, restrained myself from hanging out, playing games, doing my hobbies, and being active in communities/organizations to study harder instead. Basically, I gave up doing those things in order to get great grades and get into the college I want which, in other words, to have freedom in choosing the college I want.
Living is choosing the right thing to give up, and that’s the hard part. It’s easier to live our early lives until college because we didn’t have to choose our pain yet. We pretty much only need to study harder at school and give up everything else.
When we graduated from college, suddenly we had to choose ALL of our pain ourselves. There is no system or curriculum to direct our lives. It’s especially hard because…well, giving up on something is, after all, painful. And to consciously choose to give up on something, I think, takes a lot of courage.
Can we have something without having to give something, tho? After all, humans have the tendency to wish for a lot of things and things to do.
But of course, our time, energy, and money are limited. We can’t have everything and we can’t do everything all at once. Understanding what we give up pushes us to understand our priorities and identify what we value at a certain moment. We know that by giving up something, we can gain something else instead.
So, next time we want something and have a goal, maybe we can also ask one more thing. What are you willing to give up?