4 tips to declare independence (today).

Happy 4th of July!

Image of American flag from Flickr

Image courtesy of Flickr user *Micky

Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day in America. I honestly got confused about what actually happened on this date in 1776. I knew it had to do with the Declaration of Independence, but what happened in what order? My history lessons from 20 years ago failed me (sorry Mr Hoduski…my high school history teacher).

I did a Wikipedia search, and here is what I found…

The Declaration of Independence was a document written and approved on July 4th, 1776 by the Second Continental Congress. They put into writing what they was approved on July 2nd, 1776 – an official break from Britain. This split actually had begun decades earlier, coming to arms in 1775. The War begun in earnest in the Spring of 1776 and continued until peace was declared in 1781.

Your Independence Day

In January of 2011, I began a year-long project that I called my Word of the Year project. I chose one word I wanted more of in my life. I chose FREEDOM. On January 3, 2011, I wrote my first post about FREEDOM. This was my personal declaration of independence.

Do you need to declare independence? Do you need to find freedom? A few things you might want freedom from:

  • A past relationship.
  • Your “full-time” job.
  • Family.
  • Past bad decisions.
  • Bad habits or addiction.
  • Work.
  • Fear.
  • Stress.

If you want freedom, I challenge you to declare independence…today…now. Don’t wait. Say it. Write it. Do it.

A couple of hints about freedom

You will need a couple of insights on declaring independence in your life. Insights I’ve gained both from my experience and looking back at history.

Fireworks on the Fourth of July1. Don’t expect fireworks.

Today, we celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks and picnics, but 200 years ago nothing special or extraordinary happened. Internally, there was a marked difference among the men in the Second Continental Congress. Outwardly, life went on as normal. War was happening before July 4, 1776 and war continued after.

January 3rd, 2011 didn’t seem to be such a landmark moment in my life. What I wrote wasn’t even that grand, but something changed internally that day. Don’t expect a huge change or shift when you declare your own independence, but know that if you’re serious it’s coming.

2. Expect a battle.

In the Spring of 2011, the Arab world shook. Dubbed the Arab Spring, several countries shook off oppressive regimes through mass declarations of independence. Change, though, did not come easily. Outright war broke out in many places (and in most places we still wait to see if true freedom comes).

The British didn’t give up the American colonies easily. In my case, the battle was internally fighting against what my mind said could or could not happen. Sometimes I won. Sometimes I lost. I always kept moving forward.

In the battles you meet, continue to move forward.

3. Expect it to take time.

Freedom from the British empire was a 2 decade process – including a 6 year war. Finding my freedom has been a 18 month process and continues to go on.

Give yourself time. You will need it.

4. Expect RISK.

My 2012 Word of the Year – RISK – has tied into FREEDOM more than I realized when I chose it this January. The 2 are nearly inseparable. Claiming freedom means taking risk.

Freedom is risk from the security of the past. Freedom is risk of being hurt in the process. Freedom means risk of failing on your own.

Our American Forefathers took a huge risk in declaring independence from Britain. They didn’t have the funds or infrastructure to succeed. They should have failed, but they wanted freedom so badly, that the opportunity for freedom was worth the risk of losing a war.

I dare you.

Make the jump. Take the risk. Look and then leap. You’ll be glad you did…no matter the outcome. Declare your independence today.

I wrote a lot about FREEDOM in 2011. Here are a few posts you might want to check out:

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