Breaking Free

Many people have a dream to break free from their daily lives, and perhaps even a dream about leaving everything behind and opening a B&B or living on an island in the Caribbean. Over the last couple of months, I have encountered quite a few people that checked out and decided to quit their jobs because they are not happy with the way things are functioning. But we don’t always have to leave in order to feel free.

We need to insist on living and working in a fulfilling manner, and we need to start fighting for some meaningful ways in the organizations and lives we already have.  Instead of putting others down or blaming anyone, we can start working with what we have, and that way find a more permanent sense of freedom that is not dependent on our circumstances.

This is how we can make the greatest difference for ourselves and for the communities we are a part of – by breaking free while staying put and inviting the small revolutions into our daily lives and in the board and meeting rooms.

This doesn’t mean that we should never quit a job, get divorced or move to another town. Sometimes the structures we have put ourselves in are too overwhelming for us to transform within them and sometimes we just need to move on. But the most effective step is to start with yourself and break free where you are as much as you can and then move on if still needed. The secret is to start focusing on your own journey and intentions a little bit more every day.

As human beings we do not only need meaning. We also need a sense of freedom to create our lives, and when you break free you inspire others to do the same.  I have frequently seen how one individual’s process has inspired departments and even whole organizations to find new ways that are more meaningful for all.  That is how we can change things – by working on it WITHIN the systems rather than giving up on them.


So, in order to break free within any system you need to know what matters to you and start implementing it little by little (see this link for instructions on this process) because that will give you the sense of freedom you desire. This is a long-term investment in yourself and the people and communities you have in your life.

Slowly you practice to get more of what it is you desire and little by little you will start breaking free, without having to go sailing in The Atlantic Ocean for three months. In the majority of cases, the freedom is right in front of you – within the system you are living and working in – and in practicing this you will create a ripple effect that will benefit your organization and community and the people in it.


The thing you need to do is not overly complicated, but it puts demands on your discipline and focus. Particularly it takes self-discipline to be true to what you believe in and desire in your daily routines.


How to start breaking free and staying put:

Instead of removing yourself you need to start breaking free from within the system.

  1. Find out what is important to you and where you are going (see this link for instructions on this).
  2. Start practicing a little every day – it starts with a slow turnaround in YOU and then the rest will follow.
  3. Start to align some of your smaller decisions and plans and move to the bigger ones once you get the hang of it.