“It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men!” Friedrich Nietzsche
A family tradition we have - especially since the kids have been old enough to remember - is being in Boston, MA for the July 4th holiday. Besides being where I'm from - I LOVE the fact and am prideful THIS IS THE PLACE where the U.S. was born. SEE: Pre "Extreme Vetting" - the FIRST Immigrants...
Yeah - the Declaration written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress signed in Philly - the cradle of liberty was formed, stirred, rocked and rolled in Boston!
What Drove the Bostonians' Desire Toward Independence?
The King of Great Britain, George III, was guilty of 27 abuses. Among the 27, the King: interfered with the colonists' right to self-government; a fair judicial system; instituted legislation that affected the colonies without their consent - taxes on the colonists - required them to Airbnb / feed British soldiers withOUT compensation - removed their right to trial by jury - prevented free trade - refused to protect the borders & American ships at sea - and hired foreign mercenaries to fight against them! Otherwise, it was a great existence!
Ironically, the colonial governments tried to reach a peaceful reconciliation of these differences with Great Britain, but were continually ignored. Colonists who appealed to British citizens were also ignored - despite their shared common heritage and just cause! After many peaceful attempts, the colonists ran out of patience and had no choice but to declare independence from Great Britain.
Fast Forward 240+ Years...
So, no accident and not coincidental the thoughts, motivations, and actions of independence resonate strongly with me. Even during my years of being in corporate - I always felt most comfortable being more independent. Which is why when I left corporate I eventually decided to invest in a business that would allow me to maintain my independence yet "lean in" on a system / process. Yet, as that particular business is only one area of focus it speaks to my basic wiring - the desire for independence. (SEE: Making a Case for Career Polygamy...)
At the start of this blog I included a quote from Friedric Nietzsche - German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar. I like this quote because it identifies that independence is NOT for everyone. Yet, the option of independence - at least here in the awesome country our forefathers struck out to establish in 1776 - is available to all of us. The independence can take many forms:
So, what about you? While you think about that...let's see what we can learn from the original Patriots...
Independence Lessons Learned From the ORIGINAL Boston Patriots...
- Ask Questions! They began our nation by declaring the answers to the WWWHW questions, “Who are we?”, “What do we believe?” , "Why do we believe?" "How will we do this?" and "When?" These questions have set the standard for freedom around the world.
- Be bold! There were key ideas to establish this republic - new and earthshaking - in a world of empires and monarchies:
- Created a series of steps that got them where they wanted to go!
- Always kept moving forward!
- Diversified their resources to achieve the objective!
- Established and maintained strong alliances!
- Managed risks!
- Did something!
Benefits of Independence
1 – Confidence.
Independent people naturally tend to be a little more confident on handling issues affecting their lives. They are more prepared to take actions and do things without having to wait for support or permission from someone else. Being independent means you will be more likely to try new things you want, rather than what or how you're expected. Also, you'll have more experience than someone less independent. This, in time, will build up more confidence in you with the knowledge you can do things on your own.
For entrepreneurs, this confidence opens your mind to take bigger risks and uncharted paths that eventually return bigger rewards.
2 – Less dependence.
Less independent individuals tend to rely more on others. They choose not to want to have to make choices for themselves. Some lack the knowledge or the confidence to go through challenges in their life without somebody by their side. Being more independent will be appreciated by others. They will be willing to come to you for help. Being needed or relied on is what some independent types desire and this will add some value to you and make you feel confident.
3 – Emotional well-being.
Reduced stress and increased happiness. Being emotionally dependent means you can make the most of your personal decisions and go through challenging life situations without dragging other people along. More emotional independence can also mean less suffering and disappointment, since you do not depend on others to meet your emotional needs. It's important to understand social support is necessary and you can still get it without necessarily being emotionally dependent.
4 – Freedom and a sense of accomplishment.
When it comes to personal independence, there is no satisfaction comparable to the ability to forge and pay your own way. Being able to forge and pay your way through life reduces dependence on your parents, friends, spouse or whomever person you used to lean on. Independence means you control your income and expenditure and are not answerable to anyone.
5 – Better decision making.
Being independent makes decision making an easier task since you have proven to yourself you are the only person who will be really affected by the decisions you make. On the other hand, being dependent on other people for emotional or financial support makes it difficult to make clear and appropriate decisions since you will have to stop to think about how the other person will be affected, and how they will react to your decisions. Don't get me wrong, it's good to consider other people while making decisions, yet, independent folks are not scared to make choices in fear of upsetting others. SEE: Smarter Choices...ON PURPOSE!
6 – Personal improvement and creativity.
The idea of setting independence as a goal can greatly boost numerous aspects of your life. Emotional independence for example improves your personal relations with friends, family, work mates and other people you interact. You are more in control of your emotions. Having a free and independent mind gives you freedom to explore your gifts, talents and strengths and will ultimately enable you to bring out your best.
7 – Broader horizons.
To be more independent means being prepared and free to meet new people and try new things. This means you will develop a broader sense of the world and be open to people and new opportunities which leads to more knowledge and understanding of the world. It's here where opportunities for success and adventure can be found. Less independent individuals are less likely to have such opportunities. For the successful "intrapreneurs" (the entrepreneurially-minded corporate employees) and entrepreneurs, this is what sets them apart.
8 – Self-value and self-esteem.
Earlier, we spoke about the "boost of confidence" independence can provide. It can also help increase your self-value and self-esteem, more so if becoming independent is one of your goals. The achievement of financial, emotional, social, career and personal independence gives you a sense of accomplishment. It will change how you rate yourself and how others view you.
9 - Ability to help others.
It's not bad to need help. Everyone needs it at some point. With independence comes the ability to care for yourself and help other people with your gifts, talents and strengths. People learn to trust you as a beneficial resource and look to you for assistance.
10 - Enhanced reputation among friends and colleagues.
When you prove you are independent, other people view you positively as a contributor to society rather than a dependent. Today, reputation determines how far you go. Independence creates a powerful reputation.
11 - Social independence and dexterity.
The world we live in is social both in face-to-face situations and online. Sociability is essential to being human, and being independent provides you with the ability to maneuver in society. This enables friendships, networking, and collaboration.
12 - Physically capable of caring for yourself and others.
Despite disabilities, the more physically able you make yourself, the better you are able to deal with situations in your environment.
13 - Positioned to be an innovator with independent thought.
Regardless of your occupation or workplace, innovation is a valuable commodity, and independent creativity makes you a powerful asset to your employer or to your own business.
14 - Makes you mobile.
This means you're able to act freely, move and operate as you see fit. You're not bound to your current circumstances and can alter your future for the better.
15 - Sets you up for further progress and self-sufficiency.
Since you rely on yourself, you're able to keep up with life's evolution. You can accomplish anything you want and you possess the means for infinite progress. Rather than falling behind with every evolution you're able to stay ahead of the changes and adapt as needed.
Happy INDEPENDENCE Day!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, Facet5 and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation.
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About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria